The Panthers baseball team picked up a pair of crucial wins Sunday, sweeping a doubleheader at Jamestown Community College by the score of 8-7 in each game. The wins improve the Panthers to 19-16 overall and 15-10 in the West Division, and keeps the team alive in the race for the final playoff spot. Jamestown is 7-18 overall and 6-16 in the division.
Tompkins Cortland 8, Jamestown 7
Both games were tight right from the start. The Panthers scored three times in the top of the first inning, but Jamestown answered with four in the bottom of the frame. Tompkins Cortland reclaimed the lead with two runs in the top of the third but Jamestown again responded, this time scoring two in the bottom of the third to lead 6-5. The lead held until the sixth when the Panthers scored three runs in the top of the inning to move in front 8-6. The Jayhawks put a run across in the bottom of the last inning, but the game ended with the Panthers still in front.
Ray Mineo (Rochester/Greece Acadia H.S.) earned the win on the mound, pitching two and a third of scoreless innings in relief. Joey Kench (West Henrietta/Rush-Henrietta H.S.) picked up his fifth save of the year by working the seventh inning.
Shane Cuevas (Montgomery/Valley H.S.) was on base three times in four plate appearances, scoring twice and driving in two more. Jinwoo Baek (Osan-si, South Korea/Yatap H.S.) also reached base three times and drove in two runs for the winners.
Tompkins Cortland 8, Jamestown 7
Like the opener, the scoring started early in game two. Joseph Tummino (Homer/Homer H.S.) got the Panthers on the board in the top of the first inning by blasting his third home run of the year. The two-run shot gave the Panthers a 2-0 lead, but Jamestown put four runs on the board in the bottom of the inning to lead 4-2. The second inning saw the teams swap the scoring line, with Tompkins Cortland scoring four and Jamestown putting up two, leaving the score tied at 6-6 after two innings. A single run in the top of the third for the Panthers and a single run in the bottom of the fourth for the Jayhawks left the score tied at 7-7. Neither team would score in fifth or sixth, sending the game to the final inning all tied. Leading off the seventh, Tummino roped a double, stole third, and then came in to score the go-ahead run. Kench made the run stand in the bottom of the seventh, working his second scoreless inning of the game to secure the 8-7 win.
Tummino and Alex Babcock (Cortland/Cortland H.S.) each went 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored. Brandon Grant (Homer/Homer H.S.) and Daniel Santiago (Newburgh/Newburgh Academy) also had two hits as part of the attack. Christian Maloney (Fayetteville/Fayetteville-Manlius H.S.) had a strong outing in middle relief, working three innings and allowing just one run before Kench came in for the final two innings and the win.
The Panthers close out the regular season Tuesday against division-leading Niagara County Community College. The doubleheader will be played at Cornell University's Hoy Field. The Panthers are chasing Genesee Community College for the final playoff spot. The Cougars are scheduled to play a doubleheader on Tuesday and another on Thursday. The Panthers are currently 15-10 in division and Genesee is 14-9. The Cougars hold the tiebreaker against the Panthers, meaning Tompkins Cortland needs to finish the regular season with a better record than Genesee to win the playoff spot.