The Tompkins Cortland Community College baseball team's season-best five game winning streak came to an end Saturday as the Panthers lost to Niagara County Community College 8-3 in the opener of a scheduled doubleheader. The second was called due to rain, but the result of the first game leaves the Panthers with a record of 13-11 overall and 6-7 in the West Division. Niagara, ranked fifth in the current NJCAA National Poll, is now 20-4 overall and 8-2 in the West Division.
Game 1: Niagara 8, Tompkins Cortland 3
In a game that featured a 30-minute delay due to lightning, the Panthers couldn't overcome a big inning by Niagara. The game was tied at 1-1 after two innings, but the Thunderwolves scored four times in the third, including two with two outs, to take a 5-1 lead before the lightning delay. When play resumed, the Panthers plated one, but missed out on a bigger inning by stranding two runners. Niagara tacked on two more in the fourth and another in the sixth, while Tompkins Cortland added one in the fourth, again missing an opportunity by stranding a runner in scoring position. By the end of the game, the Panthers had put runner on base in five of the seven innings, and left five on base,
Garret Hunter (Virginia Beach, Va./Cox H.S.) and Johnny Wike (Syracuse/Bishop Grimes H.S.) each had a pair of hits and an RBI. Charlie Hammel (Rochester/Rush-Henrietta H.S.) and Austin Kulas (Moravia/Moravia H.S.) had the other hits for the Panthers, with Hammel taking the loss on the mound.
Game 2: Tompkins Cortland 0, Niagara 0 – called due to rain in the 4th inning
The game was scoreless in the top of the fourth when the umpires stopped play due to rain and deteriorating field conditions. Starting pitcher Curtis Wilk (Cortland/Cortland H.S.) pitched well before the game was called, striking out four over the first three innings of the game.
The Panthers and Thunderwolves will try again Sunday for a doubleheader, this time in Niagara Falls.