Each of the top seeds from both the eastern and western section of Region III advanced with series sweeps in the opening weekend of the Region III Baseball Championship Tournament. The tournament continues Friday, May 18th at Veterans Memorial Park in Little Falls, NY as the four remaining teams compete in a double elimination tournament concluding Sunday afternoon with the Region III Championship Game. Top seeded Herkimer College will take on fourth seed Erie Community College at 2:00 pm Friday afternoon followed by a matchup between #2 Niagara County Community College and #3 Hudson Valley Community College at 5:00 pm.
Herkimer advanced to the final four defeating Onondaga Community College in a pair of close contests, winning game one 5-4 and game two 6-3. The Herkimer bats were hot at the start of game one scoring four runs in the bottom on the first inning giving the Generals an early 4-0 lead. Onondaga would get back into the game holding the Herkimer offense at bay while the offense got things going with a run in the third, two in the seventh and one in the eighth to tie the game at 4-4. Herkimer would walk off in the bottom of the ninth earning a 5-4 victory in the opening game of the series. Onondaga would strike first in game two scoring a run in the top of fourth inning but Herkimer came back with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning to tie the score at 1-1. The Lazers would take their second lead of the game with a pair of runs in the top of the seventh looking to hold on to the 3-1 lead and even up the series but the Generals' offense responded once again. Herkimer would score three runs in the seventh to take a 4-3 three lead and add two more insurance runs in the eighth to earn a 6-3 victory and advance in the tournament.
Erie Community College hosted Fulton-Montgomery CC in their cross-sectional matchup showing they could win in multiple ways, dominating the opener from the start and coming from behind for the victory in game 2. The Kats scored early and often in game one as they put up two runs in the first, seven in the second, and another pair of runs in the third building an 11-0 lead after three innings. The Raiders would score a run in the top of the fourth but were unable to get any closer as Erie took game one 11-1 in five innings. In the nightcap, FMCC took an early lead scoring in the top of first but Erie responded in the bottom of the second win two runs to take a 2-1 lead. Fulton-Montgomery would retake the lead 3-2 in the top of the fourth and extended the lead to 4-2 with another run in the top of the sixth. The Kats plated three runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 5-4 lead and held FMCC scoreless over the final three innings to earn the series sweep and move on.
Niagara County Community College adavnced in part due to a pair of impressive offensive performances in their series with SUNY Adirondack. After a scoreless first inning NCCC plated a single run in the second to take a 1-0 lead over the Timberwolves. Niagara would use a six run bottom of the third building a 7-0 lead before Adirondack plated a pair of runs in the top of the fourth. The Thunderwolves put up another six runs in the bottom of the fourth and then shut down Adirondack in the top of the fifth for a 13-2 win in game one. Niagara would again take an early lead in game two with two runs in the first and a single run in third building a 3-0 lead. Adirondack would plate two runs of their own in the top of third cutting the lead to 3-2 after three innings of play. The middle innings belonged to NCCC as the pitching and defense held the Timberwolves scoreless while the offense scored in every inning stretching the lead to 9-2 heading into the seventh. SUNY Adirondack would not go quietly scoring a run in the seventh and two more in the eighth cutting the lead to 9-5 heading to the ninth. Adirondack would only mange one run in the final innning as Niagara would take game two 9-6 and advance the the next round.
Offense was plentiful in the series between Hudson Valley Community College and Tompkins Cortland Community College. The two teams combined to score 38 runs on 51 hits in the double header as HVCC took the opener 11-5 and the night cap 15-7. In game one the Vikings used a six run second inning to take control early on leading 6-1 heading to the third inning. Hudson Valley would tack on another pair of runs to increase the lead to 8-1 before Tompkins Cortland would plate three runs in the sixth and another run in the seventh to cut the lead to 8-5. The Panthers would get no closer as the Vikings would score two in the bottom of the seventh and add another run in the eighth for the 11-5 win. Tompkins Cortland came out of the gates swinging in game two taking an early lead with four runs in the top of the first but the Viking battled back with one run in the first, another in the third and three in the fourth to take a 5-4 lead. After a scoreless top of the fifth the HVCC offense would use another big inning to extend their lead, scoring seven runs in the bottom of the frame to take a 12-4 lead. The TCCC offense would fight back in the top of the sixth with three runs as the Panthers cut the lead to 12-7 but they would get no closer as HVCC would score a run in each of the next three innings to earn the victory 15-7.
Tournament updates, including a schedule of the livestream video, results, and an updated schedule can be found at www.herkimergenerals.com.