APPLETON, Wisc. – The top-seeded Oswego State baseball team saw two leads dissipate in an 8-7 loss to No. 8 Roanoke College in its first game of the 2017 NCAA Division III College World series on Friday afternoon at Fox Cities Stadium. Oswego (32-10) will now face Concordia University Chicago (33-12) at 10 a.m. (CDT) on Saturday in an elimination game while the Maroons (34-17) face Washington & Jefferson College (39-11) in Saturday's second contest. Concordia fell to Washington & Jefferson 4-2 in the tournament's first tilt.
Oswego started the game hot as Eric Hamilton flew a big blast over the left field fence in the bottom of the first to grab a 2-0 advantage. Wes Randall was on second after he has hit by the first pitch he saw before moving over on a failed pickoff attempt. The Maroons were not dismayed, however, plating three runs in the top of the next frame before adding another in the third for a 4-2 edge.
In the fourth, the Lakers mounted its comeback, beginning with a lead-off walk by Zach Kollar. After a strikeout gave Roanoke an out, Oswego got back-to-back to singles from Kyle Dinges and Zach Whelan, with Whelan's driving in Kollar. Senior Alex Brown drove a double off the wall in left in the next at-bat to plate Dinges and knot the game at 4-4. A Randall ground out scored Whelan from third to regain the lead for Oswego before a Hamilton single drove in Brown for a 6-4 margin. Again the Maroons had the answer to the Lakers' crooked number, cutting the deficit to one in the fifth before scoring two for a 7-6 lead in the sixth. An insurance run from Roanoke in the eighth was just enough as a sacrifice fly by Kollar in the ninth made it 8-7 before Eli Holton flew out to right with runners on first and second and two outs to end the Laker threat and game.
Hamilton – who was named an All-American by ABCA/Rawlings and D3baseball.com on Thursday – was just a triple shy of the cycle, compiling a 3-for-4 day with three RBI and two runs scored. Mike Dellicarri, John Barnes and Dinges also had multiple-hit outings, each finishing with two hits. Brown and Whelan had a hit, run and RBI apiece while Kollar and Randall each scored once and drove in another.
On the mound, senior Tim Cronin threw 5.2 innings in the start, surrendering seven runs on 12 hits to fall to 9-2 on the year. Sophomore Brian Bolan tossed the final 3.1 frames, scattering four hits and allowing just one Roanoke runner to cross the plate. Each Laker pitcher fanned two Maroon batters in their time on the bump.
Oswego will be the away team against the Cougars on Saturday.
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