Baseball Keeps Playoff Hopes Alive with Sweep of Corning

Ethan Buckley (Photo credit: Darl Zehr Photography)
Ethan Buckley (Photo credit: Darl Zehr Photography)

The Panthers baseball team picked up a much-needed doubleheader sweep of Corning Community College Tuesday, winning by scores of 10-5 and 7-0. The wins move the Panthers into fifth place in the West Division. With just over a week left in the regular season, Tompkins Cortland is still in contention for one of the playoff spots given to the top four teams in the West Division. Tompkins Cortland's record is now 10-9 in the West Division and 14-15 overall. Corning is 11-23 overall and 8-18 in division.

Tompkins Cortland 10, Corning 5

A wild first inning started the day on a positive note for the Panthers. After the first two batters reached on a hit and a walk, the next two made outs. What followed was a nine-run outburst, all with two outs, highlighted a by a three-run home run by Ryan Ballard (Rochester/Greece Athena H.S.), a three-run double by Joseph Tummino (Homer/Homer H.S.), and a two-run single by Austin Kulas (Moravia/Moravia H.S.).

The explosion of runs was all the Panthers would need as Ethan Buckley (Bath/Haverling H.S.) kept the lead secure with six strong innings on the mound. Buckley allowed four runs and five hits while striking out 10. Joey Kench (West Henrietta/Rush-Henrietta H.S.) closed it out by working the seventh, allowing one run on two hits.

Tummino, Alex Babcock (Cortland/Cortland H.S.), and Daniel Santiago (Newburgh/Newburgh Academy) each had a pair of hits as the Panthers racked up 11, including six in the first inning.


Tompkins Cortland 7, Corning 0

The story in game two was pitcher Hyeon Ho Cho (Asan-si, South Korea/Sekwang). The freshman kept the Red Barons off balance the entire game, allowing just three hits while tossing the complete game. In addition to five strikeouts, Cho induced ten outs via ground balls and allowed just five fly balls while picking up his third win of the year.

While Cho was dealing, the Panthers gave him all the runs he needed in the first inning. Leadoff batter Isaiah Reyes (Tonawanda/Kenmore East H.S.) opened the game with a walk, stole second, moved to third on a single by Babcock, and then came in to score on a single by Tummino. A sacrifice fly by Kulas scored Babcock later in the inning, giving Cho a lead he would not relinquish. Babcock drove in two more runs in the second inning with a two-out single, and the Kulas blew it open with a two-run home run as part of a three-run fifth inning.

Tummino had a day at the plate, going 4-for-4. Babcock went 3-for-4 and Ballard and Buckley each had two hits in game two.

Looking ahead

The Panthers and Red Barons are scheduled to play again on Thursday in Dryden.