Panthers Baseball Opens Season in Maryland

Charlie Hammel
Charlie Hammel

The Tompkins Cortland Community College finally got outside onto a baseball field. The first time on a field this year, the Panthers traveled to Maryland to play a doubleheader against a Division II team that had already played 11 games. While the experience will prove beneficial for the Panthers, the end result was a pair of losses to Community College of Baltimore County-Catonsville, 9-8 and 10-4. Tompkins Cortland is now 0-2 while Catonsville is 6-7.

Game 1: CCBC-Catonsville 9, Tompkins Cortland 8

The start to the season was promising, with leadoff hitter David Crow (Newark Valley/Newark Valley H.S.) reaching on an error, moving to third on a hit by Charlie Hammel (Rochester/Rush-Henrietta H.S.), and then scoring on a groundout by Garret Hunter (Virginia Beach, Va./Cox H.S.). A single by Brandon Grant (Homer/Homer H.S.) scored Hammel, giving the Panthers an early 2-0 lead. The lead grew to 4-0 in the top of the second, with Alex Babcock (Cortland/Cortland H.S.) picking up an RBI, but the bottom of the inning saw the Cardinals plate five runs to take a 5-4 lead.

Scoreless frames followed in the third and fourth before Babcock opened the fifth inning with a double, sparking a two-run rally. Two more in the top sixth made the score 8-5, but Catonsville again rallied, this time scoring four runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 9-8 lead. Storm Grant (Homer/Homer H.S.) singled with one-out in the seventh and moved to second on a wild pitch, but the Panthers stranded the tying run in scoring position to end the game.  

Each of the Grant brothers went 2-for-4 with an RBI to pace the Panther offense. Five different Tompkins Cortland pitchers got their first time on a mound this season, with Ryan Farley (Cornwall/Cornwall H.S.) taking the loss.

Game 2: CCBC-Catonsville 10, Tompkins Cortland 4

The second game again saw the Panthers take the early lead. Crow again started things off, singling in the first and coming around to score on a two-out error. Catonsville returned the favor in the second inning, scoring a two-out run to tie the game at 1-1. The tie was broken in the third when the Cardinals took advantage of two walks and a hit batter to put six runs on the board and break the game open. The Panthers tried to get back into the game with a run in the fifth, but Catonsville answered with three in the bottom of the inning. A pair of runs for the Panthers in the sixth marked the end of the scoring.

Babcock went 2-for-3 to pace the 9-hit attack. Austin Kulas (Moravia/Moravia H.S.) had a double and two RBI in his lone at bat and Hammel also had an RBI for the Panthers. Another five pitchers got time on the mound in game two, with the loss being pinned on Ryan Hornibrook (Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada/Lee Hayes H.S.)

The Panthers and Cardinals are scheduled to play again on Sunday before Tompkins Cortland returns to New York.