SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Oswego right fielder John Barnes went 3-for-4, including a two-run home run in the first inning, while second baseman Zach Kollar finished 2-for-4 with a go-ahead two-run single in the eighth inning to lead the top-seeded Lakers past second-seeded Southern Maine, 6-4, on the third day of action at the NCAA Division III Baseball New York Regional, hosted by Onondaga Community College.
Southern Maine got on the board with a run in the first. Right fielder Zach Quintal reached on a fielding error by the Laker shortstop before advancing to third on a single by third baseman Matt Bender. Shortstop Andrew Olzsak followed with a deep fly-out to left field that brought Quintal in for the first run of the game.
Oswego answered with two runs in the bottom half of the inning. Designated hitter Mike Dellicarri led things off with a single up the middle before Barnes came back from an 0-2 count to launch a two-out home run to straight-away center field for a 2-1 Laker lead.
The Lakers tacked on another in the bottom of the second after first baseman Kyle Dinges singled through the left side and advanced to second on a balk with shortstop Zach Whelan in the box. Whelan laid down a bunt on the next pitch that pitcher Henry Curran threw wide of first base, allowing Dinges to score from second for a 3-1 edge.
Southern Maine plated two in the fourth to tie the score, 3-3. Catcher Kip Richard drew a lead-off walk before first baseman Andrew Hillier reached on an infield single to the left side. Left fielder Paul McDonough loaded the bases with a bunt single before second baseman Jake Dexter plated Richard with a fly-out to center. Center fielder Devin Warren reached on an infield single to re-load the bases. Quintal flew out to left field to score Hillier but McDonough was doubled off at third to end the inning.
Southern Maine threatened in the seventh. Dexter led off with an infield single before Warren reached after beating the throw to first on a double-play attempt. Warren advanced to second on a wild pitch to Quintal during the next at-bat before Quintal walked. Relief pitcher John-Michael Guarino came in to face Bender, who blooped a single to short center field to load the bases, but struck out Olszak and Hapworth swinging to avoid any damage.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Whelan led off the seventh with a single up the middle and appeared to have stolen second but catcher Alex Brown was called out for batter's interference during the next at-bat. Dexter, who had moved in to pitch to Brown, induced an inning-ending double play to close the inning.
Richard led off the Southern Maine eighth with a single up the middle and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Hillier. Dexter then drew a two-out walk before Warren dropped a single into short center to drive in Richard for the go-ahead run, 4-3.
Hamilton led off the Oswego eighth by dropping a hit into shallow right on an 0-2 count before Dellicarri followed with a line-drive to left. Barnes dropped a bunt down the third-base line and beat Dexter's throw to first to load the bases. Kollar smacked a two-run line drive to right center to bring around Hamilton and Dellicarri. Kollar stole second before Holton hit a sacrifice fly to left field that was just deep enough for Barnes, who had advanced to third on Kollar's hit, to beat a throw home to make it a 6-4 Laker lead.
Oswego starter Mitchell Cavanagh allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits while striking out three in 6.1 innings of work. Guarino (2-1) earned the victory, holding the Huskies to one run on four hits while striking out four over the final 2.2 innings. Dexter took the relief loss, allowing three runs on four hits in the final two innings of action.
Oswego will return to action on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. opposite an opponent to be determined by day's end on Saturday. The Lakers need one win out of a possible two games to punch its ticket to the NCAA Division III College World Series next week. Southern Maine awaits the winner of the day's next game between sixth-seeded Ithaca and third-seeded The College of New Jersey.