Middlebury rallied for a pair of runs in the top of the ninth inning to erase a two-run deficit, but Plattsburgh State plated the winning run in the bottom half of the inning, walking off with a 10-9 victory on Wednesday. Middlebury (8-13) is home on Friday with a 4:00 p.m. NESCAC West game against Amherst at Forbes Field.
The game was scoreless through the first two innings before the Panthers pushed three runs across in the top half of the third. Max Araya opened the scoring with a single up the middle that scored Phil Bernstein, while Jason Lock doubled down the left-field line, bringing home Jake Turtel. The final run of the inning came on a sacrifice fly to center by Raj Palekar scoring Araya.
After the Cardinals (4-25) scored on a sacrifice bunt by Jon Craft in the fourth, Middlebury recorded three more runs in the fifth to push the difference to five. Turtel scored on an error to make it a 4-1 game, while Sam Graf added a run with a single to left, driving home Lock. The Panthers made it a 6-1 score when Palekar touched home plate on a base hit to left off of the bat of Spencer Tonies.
Plattsburgh State got the three runs back in its half of the inning with Trevor Markey coming up with the key hit, a two-run double down the left-field line to close the gap to 6-4.
Noah Levine started the sixth inning with a base hit for the Panthers and eventually came around to score on a sacrifice fly to center field by Lock for a three-run lead at 7-4.
The Cardinals took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the sixth at 9-7, as they scored five times in the inning. Those runs came on five hits and were aided by a walk and a Panther error.
In the ninth, Middlebury loaded the bases with nobody out as John Luke singled, Lock was hit by a pitch and Joe MacDonald drew a base on balls. After Cardinal pitcher Ross Levison came into pitch and retired two quick outs, Garrett Werner came up with a clutch two-run single to right field and tied the game at 9-9.
The hosts walked off with the win in the bottom of the inning, when Craft singled, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a failed pick-off attempt at first base.
Middlebury pounded out 15 hits in the game with Turtel, Araya, Lock, Werner and Levine each picking up two and Lock and Werner both driving in a pair of runs.
Ben Karlin got the start on the mound for the Panthers and gave up one run on three hits in four innings of work and was followed by six different relievers. Tucker Meredith (0-2) suffered the loss facing the first three batters in the ninth.
Levison (1-2) collected the win in relief for the Cardinals by pitching the final inning. TJ Montalbano, Kilvio Garcia and Trevor Markey paced Plattsburg with two hits apiece.