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The Stylus

Brockport has strong showing in Florida

Katie Wilson
Cole Traudt rounded the bases after a home run in Florida. Traudt homered twice and drove in 10 runs during the six-game trip.

SUNY Brockport’s baseball team traveled to Auburndale, FL to compete in the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational from March 15-19. The Golden Eagles played six games in the five days and finished 5-1. 

In their first game on Friday night, Brockport fell 9-7 to Mitchell College in a back-and-forth affair. Brockport took a 7-3 lead into the eighth inning, but Mitchell’s Cole Lalli hit a game-tying grand slam off Anthony Lapine before tacking on two more runs in the top of the ninth to secure the comeback victory. 

Brockport was able to bounce back quickly as the next day, they swept a doubleheader over St. Lawrence University. In game one, the Golden Eagles trailed 6-1 going into the bottom of the seventh, their last at-bat in the game. After a big two-RBI hit from Zach Eldred, Cole Traudt, getting his first start of the season, hit a walk-off grand slam.  

In Brockport’s game two win, Traudt also came up big. Traudt drove in four, including a three-run home run to lead the Golden Eagles offense.   Justin Delvecchio spun six shutout innings on the mound as Brockport secured the sweep, 7-1.  

It was a huge doubleheader for Traudt who’s coming off a season-ending knee injury last year and took advantage of his first opportunities of the season. 

He had a tough knee injury last year but he’s been one of the hardest workers, he’s back to one hundred percent and it’s great to see,” Brockport head coach Justin Beach said.  

Moving into Monday, Brockport beat Western New England 8-1. The Golden Eagles put together another late rally.  After falling behind 1-0 in the seventh, Brockport put together an eight-run bottom half, headlined by RBI singles from Eldred and Traudt, each knocking in two. Senior Michael Helig got the win on the mound going 5 strong innings only allowing the 1 run and getting 6 strikeouts.  

Monday’s game marked Brockport’s second late comeback victory of the trip as a theme of resiliency began to develop for the ball club. 

It’s the thought of in baseball, you can’t run out of time, you can only run out of opportunities, and we did a really good job of making the most of them.,” Beach said. “It’s a whole different team from last year and that comes with a new identity which is what we’re trying to figure out and embrace in the early stages here”  

On Tuesday, the last day of the invitational, Brockport swept SUNY Cobleskill in a doubleheader where the pitching was dominant. The Golden Eagles did not allow a single run in either game. Eldred started the first game going five shutout innings and the bullpen baked him with two shutdown frames.  Brockport pounded 12 runs in a balanced effort where six hitters picked up at least one RBI.  

In game two, Brockport won 4-0.  Lapine started the game, bouncing back from Friday’s outing with two strong innings.  Colin Pytlak went the other five, generating seven strikeouts and finishing the shutout. Brockport got all four of its runs in the sixth off a grand slam by pinch hitter Steven Ciancio III. It was another example of the Golden Eagles’ resilience, as they found themselves in a tight game late and came away with their fifth win in a row, capping a great showing down south.  

Even more impressive to Beach was the pitching throughout the Invitational as he gave credit to the work put in by the staff along with pitching coach Kyle Canavally.  

“Our pitching was just tremendous, guys stepped up and we shut down some really good hitting teams there over the last couple days. Those guys have been doing some great things,” Beach said.  

The Golden Eagles hope to carry the strong run prevention into the start of conference play. Overall Brockport pitched 37 innings over the final five games in Florida and allowed just seven runs.   

“We got to be ready to roll with whatever the weather is up here and every game will be a tough one in the SUNYAC and in non-conference so hopefully the spring training we did down south will have us prepared and ready to go,” Beach said.  

A successful trip leaves Brockport at 8-3 overall.  The Golden Eagles are scheduled for their home opener against SUNY Poly on Friday, March 29.

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