After the endless hours of practice and hard work the Plattsburgh State baseball team has put in over these past months, the fate of their playoff hopes lie in the upcoming battles against Cortland.

The Cardinals are scheduled to play the Red Dragons April 25 and 26. If they are able to win at least one of these games against their conference foes, their playoff hopes have a chance to be ignited.

Head coach Kris Doorey has preached throughout the season that he wants his team to be prepared fundamentally, which he believes will lead them to success on the diamond.

“We just need to focus on the little things,” Doorey said. “If we can play good fundamental baseball, then that should get the job done.”

Right now, PSUC is sitting in fourth place in the SUNYAC standings with a 6-9 conference record. They are facing off against an experienced 14-1 Cortland team, who is currently in second. Although an underdog story is in the works, members of the team are confident with their ability to be the next Cinderella story.

“We know what we’re coming into,” senior pitcher Mike Vargues said. “Our mindset for the rest of the games is ‘do or die.’ We have to play every game like it could be our last, and that’s all we’re concerned about.”

At this point in the season, Vargues is tied for second on the team in RBI’s with a total of 16 and has been a big factor in the Cards staying in the race.

The Cards hope to receive help from the success of junior left-handed pitcher Scott Orr, who has shown a strong presence on the hill, which contributed to his receiving of the ECAC DIII Co- Pitcher of the Week.

They also hope that the bat of Frank Buksa, who is leading the team with 10 doubles, will help lead them to wins and the SUNYACs.

Senior outfielder Nick Lupo expressed his preparedness for this type of playoff run. Even early in the season, he was aware of how important conference games are when it comes to making a playoff push.

“We pride ourselves in battling through adversity,” Lupo said. “All we have to do is play the best baseball that we can.”

Another important aspect that the upperclassmen of the team are having their team focus on is take each game one at a time. The only way that they are going to get to the playoffs is if they focus on this weekend first and worry about the playoffs later.

The Cards have, over the course of their intense season, battled through adversity. Whether it was being confined to the gym for practices during the harsh winter experienced by the North Country or losing key players from last year, the Cards have been able to overcome every challenge they have faced. The remaining games are only another challenge the team will take in stride, just as every other complication.

Email Kevin Morley at kevin.morley@cardinalpointsonline.com

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