Courtesy: FLCC Athletics
The Finger Lakes Community College baseball team completed a second-straight trip to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region III Final Four May 19th.
The Lakers completed a comeback after finding themselves with their back against the wall. Early in the season, the Spartans swept the Lakers at Falcon Park, and it looked as though they would do it again, after taking game 1 by a score of 3-7.
Tyler Cerame (Hilton, N.Y./ Hilton) continued his hot hitting streak with 2 RBI in the game and a stolen base. Shortstop Tim McClare followed with a 1 RBI double to give the Lakers their only 3 runs of the game, as the Spartans would run away with game 1.
The Lakers faced a win or go home scenario in game 2, in a true test of resiliency, the team would be put in the biggest moment of the season thus far. Tanner Frank (Rochester, N.Y./ Brighton) would give the Lakers a spark they were looking for from the pitching mound. In 6 innings, Frank would hold the Spartans to 2 runs, allowing only 6 hits, and striking out 7 batters in the process.
Tyler Cerame would put together an even more stellar game 2, adding a 1 RBI single, and a 2 RBI double. However, Tim McClare (Macedon, N.Y./ Gananda) would give the Lakers an offensive spark as well, adding a 1 RBI single, followed by a monster 2 RBI home run to extend the Lakers advantage to 7-2 in game 3. Alfredo Hurtado (Davie, F.L./ Chaminade Madonna College Prep) would make contact for a sacrifice fly to give the Lakers another run on the board.
Several Lakers put their strong baserunning on display, helping put themselves in scoring position. Ryan Smith (Fairport, N.Y./ Fairport) and Tyler Cerame would each pick up 2 stolen bases in the game, while Alfredo Hurtado and Tim McClare would each grab a single bag.
Sean Peck (Dryden, N.Y./ Dryden) would pitch 2.2 innings for the Lakers, striking out 5 batters before Lukas Haefner (Rochester, N.Y./ Rush Henrietta) would pick up his second save on the season, in the final inning of play. The Lakers would move on to a decisive, win or go home situation once again at Falcon Park on Sunday, May 15th.
With the momentum on their side, the Lakers took advantage of the opportunity. Alfredo Hurtado would come up big for the Lakers in the final game, going 2 for 3 with 3 RBI in the game. Ryan Smith would enjoy a productive game, punching in 2 runs to go along with a double, while teammate Devin Kelly (Clifton Springs, N.Y./ Midlakes) would add 1 RBI himself.
Hurtado would pick up 2 stolen bases, while teammates Ryan Smith and Tyler Cerame each picked up 1 stolen base apiece. Lukas Haefner would pick up the start on the mound, pitching a complete game and earning his second win of the season (2-0). Haefner would pitch a complete game, holding the Spartans to 5 hits, 2 runs (1 earned), and striking out 6 of the 37 batters faced in the game.
The Lakers would complete the comeback after going down 0-1 in the series, winning 6-2 in game 3 to earn a position in the NJCAA Region III Final Four in Little Falls, N.Y. Now, the Lakers prepare for a matchup with the Generals of Herkimer County Community College, who completed a series sweep over the Lazers of Onondaga Community College (11-0, 10-0).
The Lakers will face off with the nationally ranked Generals at the Veterans Memorial Park in Little Falls, N.Y. In a 2 PM matchup on Thursday, May 19th, followed by a matchup between the Niagara County Community College Thunderwolves and the Erie Community College Kats at 5 PM.