The Ithaca College baseball team scored in each of the first five innings and pulled out a close 7-6 victory against SUNY-Oneonta on Wednesday afternoon at Freeman Field.
Senior Jasper Adams started the game on the mound for the Bombers, who won their eighth straight to improve to 14–4 on the season. Adams pitched three and 2/3 innings, allowing four hits and five runs.
However, it was the offense that led the way for Ithaca. Junior Tim Locastro had another stellar offensive performance, going 3-4 at the plate while scoring two runs and contributing two RBIs.
The Bombers struck first in the bottom of the first inning when junior Colby Gee hit a sharp grounder that the Oneonta third baseman could not handle. The error allowed Locastro to score from third base, putting the Blue and Gold on the board.
The Bombers tacked on another run in the second inning and then used a three run third inning to extend their lead to 5-0.
Oneonta battled back in the top of the fourth inning. The Red Dragons posted five of their eight hits in the fourth and took advantage of two Bomber errors to even the score at 5-5.
Ithaca Head Coach George Valesente said though the team was rattled by Oneonta’s big inning, they were able to refocus offensively and battle back.
“It’s disappointing when you’re ahead 5-0 to go out and let that happen,” Valesente said. “But there was still a lot of game left at that point, and we kept our composure and got some big hits.”
After the offensive explosion in the first half of the game, both teams settled down and the game quickly turned into a pitcher’s duel. Sophomore Jimmy Wagner, who replaced Adams, pitched three and 1/3 innings for the Bombers, giving up three hits and allowing one run. Wagner, who is now 5-0 on the season, got the win for the Blue and Gold. Junior Matt Colbert came in and pitched two scoreless innings to pick up the save.
Junior center fielder Luke Stark said the strong relief pitching allowed the Bombers to focus on producing offense.
“The pitchers were huge for us because they came out and had shutdown innings when we needed them to,” Stark said.
Though Ithaca’s pitching got the job done for the most part, it was far from perfect. Valesente attributed the mistakes partly to the cold weather, which makes it hard for pitchers to throw effectively.
The cold was not only a factor for the Bomber pitchers, but for the rest of the team as well. Stark said it was difficult to play in such cold weather.
“Coach always tells us to battle through the elements,” Stark said. “We came out and did what we could with it, and we got out of the gate fast, which helped us.
Even though the Bombers had nine hits, Wagner said the team’s defense played a huge part in the win.
“We have one of the best defenses I know out here,” Wagner said. “I just know when I throw strikes, more than likely someone will get an out for me.”