AUBURNDALE, Fla. - Senior Hal Landers (Salem, N.H./Salem) and junior Sean Ryan (Norton, Mass./Norton) each recorded three hits in No. 16 Wheaton College's 4-3 season-opening loss to No. 24 Cortland State Saturday morning in non-conference baseball action at the Central Florida Invitational at Lake Myrtle Main Field.
Ryan and senior Dan Haugh (Andover, Mass./St. John's Prep) each drove in a run for the Lyons (0-1), who took a 3-1 lead into the ninth inning. Junior Frank Holbrook (Middletown, R.I./Portsmouth Abbey) started for Wheaton and allowed four hits and one run while striking out six over seven innings of work.
The game remained scoreless through the first three innings as Wheaton left two runners on in both the first and third. In the fourth, the Red Dragons (7-4) went ahead 1-0 on an RBI double by sophomore Max Rosing (Rockville Centre, N.Y./South Side).
The Lyons - who had their season-opener against Husson rained out on Friday - struck back with two in the eighth to take a 2-1 lead. Following back-to-back walks to Landers and junior Eric Jensen (Gorham, N.H./Gorham), Ryan laced a single to plate Landers and tie the game at one. Haugh plated Jenson with a sac fly to give the Lyons a 2-1 lead.
After senior David Longley (Brunswick, Maine/Brunswick) worked a scoreless bottom half of the inning, Wheaton tacked on a run in the top of the ninth to grab a 3-1 lead. Junior Dan Gusovsky (Andover, Mass./Andover) roped a one-out single and came around to score four batters later when Jensen struck out but reached base on a third strike wild pitch.
In the ninth, the Red Dragons loaded the bases with one out. Junior Bryan Mistretta (Commack, N.Y./Commack) was then hit by a pitch to plate the second Cortland run and make it a 3-2 game. The next batter, junior Michael LaTempa (LaGrangeville, N.Y./Arlington), walked to force in the tying run. Senior Matt June (Colonie, N.Y./Colonie) ended the game with a single that plated the winning run.
Junior Mike Hughes (Albany, N.Y./Albany) started for Cortland and scattered four hits over 7.1 innings of work. He walked two and struck out 11. Senior Tom Nagy (Greenville, N.Y./Minisink Valley) picked up the win as he fanned both batters he faced in the ninth.
Sophomore Ryan Grant (Easton, Mass./Oliver Ames) took the loss for Wheaton, allowing three walks and three earned runs in 0.1 inning of work.
The Lyons return to action Sunday when they face Webster University at 6 p.m. Cortland State faces State Island on Staten Island Friday at 3:30 p.m.