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The Times
  • Little Falls hosts Region III baseball final Sunday

  • MAY 12 COLLEGE BASEBALL



    An impressive run has put Niagara County Community College in Region III’s championship game Sunday at Veterans Memorial Park. The Thunderwolves meet Erie Community College’s Kats at noon with a second game to follow if Erie, the finalist from the losers bracket, wins the first.

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  • An impressive run has put Niagara County Community College in Region III’s championship game Sunday at Veterans Memorial Park. The Thunderwolves meet Erie Community College’s Kats at noon with a second game to follow if Erie, the finalist from the losers bracket, wins the first.
    Niagara, the fourth seed from the west, swept a doubleheader at Herkimer County Community College in last weekend’s best-of-three playoff series. Herkimer, the top seed from the east, had been ranked third in the nation in Division III.
    The Thunderwolves arrived in Little Falls Friday and defeated second-ranked Onondaga Community College, the top seed from the west, 10-9 in the first round of double-elimination play. With wins over two No. 1 seed under their collective belt, the Thunderwolves then pummeled defending regional champion Erie 10-1 in Saturday’s semifinal from the winners bracket.
    Brandon Bielecki allowed 10 hits in the game which was shortened to seven innings but walked only one batter and struck out six as the Kats stranded 10 runners on base. Leadoff hitter Cal Sluberski and Kyle Craig each had three hits and three runs batted in for Niagara (34-20-1) while Ernie Kirkwood had two hits and scored three runs.
    Adam Urschel drove in the lone run for Erie in the first inning with the first of his two hits. Niagara came back with three runs in the top of the second to take the lead and Erie never scored again.
    The loss pushed Erie (32-18), a 5-1 winner Friday against Jamestown Community College, into a rematch later Saturday against Jamestown which had eliminated Onondaga with a 14-4 win earlier in  the day. The Kats outlasted the Jayhawks, winning 11-10 when the tying run was left at third base in the top of the ninth inning.
    Leading 11-8, Erie’s Joe DiLeo hit Connor Borowski with a pitch with one out in the ninth and Austin Zakroczemski singled to bring the tying run to the plate. Mark Andrews doubled to the fence in left field, sending Borowski home and putting the tying runs in scoring position.
    Left-hander Mike Tolsma relieved DiLeo and got the final two outs for the save. One run scored when Jose Hernandez flew out to right field before Cody Kane grounded out to second base.
    Tolsma, a sophomore, pitched a complete game when Erie defeated Niagara 5-2 in last year’s regional championship game.
    Jamestown’s Andrew Honey pitched a complete game and struck out nine batters against Onondaga. Hernandez had three hits and five runs batted in, Bo Westling homered and scored four times, Kane drove in three runs and Anthony Polvino had a two-run home run. Bryant Moore went 3-for-4 with a double and scored a run for Onondaga.
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