HERKIMER COUNTY CC 11, ONONDAGA CC 3
Herkimer County Community College won its opening game at Region III’s Final Four tournament Friday and moves on in the winner’s bracket Saturday afternoon.
The seventh-ranked and top-seeded Generals defeated Onondaga Community College 11-3 at Veterans Memorial Park to advance in double-elimination play. Niagara County Community College was an 8-1 winner earlier against Erie Community College. Herkimer and Niagara meet in a semifinal Saturday at 3:30 p.m. following a noon elimination game between Erie and Onondaga.
The Erie/Onondaga winner meets the loser of the game between Herkimer and Niagara in Saturday’s final game. The Herkimer/Niagara winner meets the winner of Saturday’s nightcap in the championship game — or games, if necessary — starting Sunday at noon.
Herkimer and Onondaga were scoreless for four innings until the Lazers tallied their three runs in the top of the fifth. Herkimer came back with six runs in the bottom of the inning and eventually won in seven under the NJCAA’s eight-run rule.
“We’ve played that way a lot all year,” Herkimer coach Jason Rathbun said. “We’ve responded when teams come out and put a couple runs up on us. We haven’t played down a lot because of the way we’ve responded.”
A.J. Fabrizio, Brandon Overstreet and Chris Burns each had two of the 14 Herkimer hits. Ryan Watson, Dan Smith and Burns drove in two runs each. Mike DeCarlo pitched into the sixth inning for the win and struck out seven batters.
“Game 1 and Game 2 are really important” said Rathbun who has coached three regional championship teams at his alma mater, the most recent in 2010. “It puts you in a good position. You don’t want to start the tournament with a loss and have to try to play yourself back. Winning tonight is huge.”
Compiled From Times Staff Reports