Despite missing the playoffs and experiencing difficult outcomes in many games, the Plattsburgh State baseball team wants to end its season on a high note.
The Cardinals (6-27, 2-13 SUNYAC) will play the last three games of their season this weekend in Fredonia, with the first game starting today at 3 p.m. and the final two matchups being played tomorrow as part of a doubleheader beginning at noon.
The Cards know they are eliminated from playoff contention, so the season will end for PSUC on Saturday no matter the results. For the Blue Devils, however, a postseason berth can still be achieved, but if the Cards tally one victory during the three-game series, they will extinguish any playoff hopes Fredonia holds.
Last weekend, PSUC eliminated Oneonta from the SUNYAC tournament with a 7-5 victory, and as the final stretch of the season approaches, the Cards have embraced the spoiler role.
“They were pretty excited when we eliminated Oneonta, and if we can beat Fredonia, we eliminate them,” PSUC head coach Kris Doorey said. “I think that for the struggle our guys have gone through, I think that is something they would like to have other teams go through.”
Doorey acknowledged the difficulties PSUC has experienced this season, but he said the team’s frustration has triggered a spark when they compete against opponents, and the players want to use this to their advantage.
“We have been motivated now to knock other teams out of the playoffs,” senior pitcher Scott Orr said. “The season has been tough for us, so it would be nice to go out there and ruin someone else’s season. No offense to Fredonia, but since we can’t be in it, we don’t want anyone else to be in it.”
Given the struggles the Cards have dealt with this year, it would be easy to understand why there would be a lack of positivity, but Orr said he believes it’s not difficult for him or anyone on the team to maintain an upbeat attitude when they take the field.
“For me personally, it’s not that tough because you are still playing baseball,” Orr said. “You want to go out there and play your best no matter what, but it doesn’t seem tough for anyone to stay positive because we all enjoy baseball. Obviously we would love to win, but win or lose, it’s still baseball at the end of the day, which is the game we love.”
Analyzing Fredonia, PSUC knows the games will be challenging, and the long road trip needed to travel there will not be easy either, but the team plans to stay focused.
Junior catcher Trevor Markey said that while the games this weekend are not relevant for the Cards in terms of playoff contention, each game still has meaning.
“We still have to play for the name on the front of the jersey,” Markey said. “We want to win and finish the year off positively. We had so many negatives this year and a lot of things to deal with as a team, so we want to finish the year off with some wins in the books.”
Overall, the Cards know how they want to close out the season and believe this weekend’s results could serve as potential building blocks and confidence for the players returning next season.
“We want to win. There’s no doubt about that,” Doorey said. “It’s extremely important because we have such a young group of guys that we need to be able to prove to ourselves that we can compete with these teams at this level.”
Email Joey LaFranca at firstname.lastname@example.org