Panthers Open Baseball Season in Maryland

With snow still covering the fields back home, the Tompkins Cortland Community College baseball team opened its 2019 season on the road Saturday, heading to Maryland to play a doubleheader with Community College of Baltimore County-Catonsville. While it was the first time outside for the Panthers, the Cardinals came in with seven games under their belt, and it showed as the host team won both games in convincing fashion, 16-1 and 24-0.  The Panthers are now 0-2 while CCBC-Catonsville, a Division II team, is 4-5 overall.

Game 1: CCBC-Catonsville 16, Tompkins Cortland 1

The start of game one was promising. The Panthers offense put runners on base in the each of the first two innings while starting pitcher Ray Mineo (Rochester/Greece Acadia H.S.) kept the Cardinals scoreless through the first two frames. In the third, the Panthers managed to scratch across a run as Alex Babcock (Cortland/Cortland H.S.) led off with a walk, stole second, advanced to third on a groundout, and came in to score on an RBI groundout by Brandon Grant (Homer/Homer H.S.). Heading to the bottom of the third, the Panthers held a 1-0 lead, despite not recording a hit through the first three frames.

The lead evaporated in the bottom of the third, as the Cardinals got to Mineo for four runs to move ahead 4-1. After a scoreless fourth, the Cardinals pushed the lead to 7-0 in the fifth and put it out of reach with nine runs in the sixth.

While Catonsville eventually got its offense rolling, the Panthers struggled. Catonsville pitchers combined to strike out 14 Panthers and the team's lone hit came in the sixth inning when Ethan Buckley (Bath/Haverling H.S.) reached on a single.

Game 2: CCBC-Catonsville 24, Tompkins Cortland 0

The offense was a bit better in the nightcap, but not nearly good enough. Panthers pitchers allowed 16 hits while issuing 13 walks and hitting four batters. On top of that, the defense committed five errors as the Cardinals took it to the Panthers with three runs in the second innings, eight in the third, and two more in the fourth. Catonsville put it away with 11 in the sixth.

Babcock, Buckley, Joseph Tummino (Homer/Homer H.S.), and Austin Kulas (Moravia/Moravia H.S.) each had a single for the Panthers, but no Tompkins Cortland runner was able to advance past first base.

Looking ahead

The Panthers and Cardinals will play again on Sunday. Weather permitting, the teams have another doubleheader starting at noon.