For many of us, 2001 may not seem like a long time ago, but for the Oswego State baseball program, it has been ages. 2001 was the last time the team reached the SUNY Athletic Conference playoffs. That is, until this season.
Second year head coach Scott Landers is proud of his team, but has bigger goals in sight.
“We’re excited and I’m excited. It was one of our goals at the beginning of the year to get to the SUNYAC tournament but our job’s not done,” Landers said.
The Lakers have posted a 9-6 conference record with three games remaining in the regular season. With their 3-1 win over Fredonia on Sunday, April 21 at Laker field, they clinched its first SUNYAC postseason berth in over a decade. Landers is happy, of course, but he feels that making the conference postseason should be the rule, rather than the exception.
“It’s not just getting there but it’s actually winning it,” Landers said. “Just being there and just being happy with that, that’s not good enough.”
Landers has instilled his attitude in his players too including Senior captain and outfielder Ed Charles.
“I think the whole team has bought into Coach Landers’ philosophy of not only do we want to get to the tournament but we want to push on and advance with the ultimate goal being to make the NCAA tournament,” Charles said.
[gn_pullquote align=”left”]”It was one of our goals at the beginning of the year to get to the SUNYAC tournament but our job’s not done.”
Head Coach Scott Landers[/gn_pullquote]
Junior relief pitcher Ryan Donovan says the keys to winning in the postseason are basic baseball fundamentals.
“The keys are definitely timely hitting and good pitching and we gotta play defense,” Donovan said. “If we add all those three elements together we’re gonna be a hard team to beat in the playoffs.”
The 2013 SUNYAC tournament features one of the toughest fields the conference has seen, and the Lakers know that nothing will come easy.
“There’s four teams in the tournament and their all good teams, including us,” Charles said. “They’re all there for a reason so we gotta step up and meet the challenge.”
Oswego State baseball hasn’t captured a SUNYAC title since 1996, but as they’ve proved already, all streaks must come to an end, eventually.