Dryden—A two-run rally in the bottom of the eighth inning game the Tompkins Cortland Community College baseball team a 6-5 win in the opener of Saturday's doubleheader with Niagara County Community College. Niagara came back to take game two 13-6 to leave the teams with a split. TC3 is now 13-9 overall and 8-4 in the West Division. Niagara stands at 16-12-1 overall and 5-5 in the division.
TC3 pitcher Tyler Cowen (Dryden H.S./Dryden) tossed a gem in game one, going all eight innings for his first collegiate win. He allowed just three earned runs while striking out seven. His teammates gave him an early lead by scoring two in the first inning, but Niagara tied the game in the second and then took a 3-4 lead in the fourth. TC3 responded in the fifth, scoring two runs and threatening to blow the game open. The Panthers led 5-4 with the bases loaded and one out, but Niagara's pitcher induced a pair of fielder's choice groundballs to keep the home team advantage at a single run.
In the sixth, Niagara tied the game with a run, and after neither team could score in the seventh, the game went to extra frames. In the top of the eighth, Niagara plated a run to lead 6-5 heading into the bottom of the inning. Joey Flores (Dewitt Clinton H.S./Bronx) started the rally by reaching on an error. After a failed sacrifice left TC3 with a runner on first and one out, Brian Roe (Auburn H.S./Auburn) worked a walk and Manny Martinez (Satellite Academy/Harlem) reached on an infield hit to load the bases. Saul De La Cruz (George Washington H.S./Harlem) delivered, hitting a ground ball to short that led to a fielder's choice out at second and the game-tying run scoring. With two outs and runners on the corner, Tony Whitt (Cortland H.S./Cortland) came through, hitting a ball the shortstop couldn't handle, allowing Roe to cross the plate with the winning run.
Yordy Munoz (Central Park East H.S./Harlem) finished the game 3-for-4 and Tim Smith (Auburn H.S./Auburn) went 2-for-4 with an RBI to lad the offense.
In game two, both teams scored a single run in the first before Niagara exploded for seven runs in the second. The visitors added single runs in the third and fourth to take control. The score stood at 10-1 until the seventh when Niagara added three runs in the top of the frame to lead 13-1 heading into the bottom of the inning. The Panthers mounted a rally in the bottom of the inning, plating five runs, making the final 13-6.
Munoz, Kris Catino (Auburn H.S./Auburn), and Nixon Pena (George Washington H.S./Harlem) each had two hits in the loss.
The Panthers wrap up the four-game series with Niagara on the road Sunday.