By Rob Potter
MOUNTAINDALE March 31, 2006 By the last inning of Tuesday afternoons Mid-Hudson Conference baseball game at Baxter Stadium, the Sullivan County Community College Generals found themselves battling the visiting Dutchess Community College Falcons as well as the fading daylight.
The game, which was the 2006 home opener for the Generals, was originally scheduled for nine innings. But the umpires and respective coaches decided to end the game after seven innings, before it became too dark and the shadows totally engulfed the field.
SCCC (0-7, 0-1 Region XV) began the bottom of the seventh inning facing an 11-5 deficit. But the Generals attempted a comeback in that final frame.
Freshman second baseman Ron Phippen walked to lead off the inning. After Dutchess CC pitcher John Shanks struck out the next two batters, the Generals responded with a two-out rally. Jason Legenos ripped a single to right field, which allowed Phippen to score.
Geovanny Melendez walked and the next batter, Phil Mason, was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Alex Gil hit a grounder to shortstop, then hustled down the line to safely reach first base and keep the SCCC rally going. Legenos crossed home plate on Gils infield single to bring the Generals to within four runs at 11-7.
But Shanks recorded another strikeout to end the game and preserve the Falcons 11-7 victory.
The win was the first for Dutchess CC this season, which now has a record of 1-5 overall and 1-0 in the Mid-Hudson Conference.
I was getting a little nervous towards the end, Dutchess CC Coach Jay Curtis said. Its nice to get that first win of the season.
Curtis noted that starting pitcher Jake Slate did a great job. The sophomore lefty struck out four batters.
He gave us six strong innings today, Curtis said.
The Dutchess CC Coach praised SCCC, which is just a few games into its first baseball season since the 1980s.
They have some great players over there, Curtis commented as he motioned towards the Generals.
Sophomore shortstop Jesse Marsh paced the Falcons offense with three hits and two RBIs.
Randy Ramirez led the Generals offensive attack with two hits and an RBI. He also scored twice.
Generals starter Dan Mills recorded 10 strikeouts before he left the game in the top of the fifth inning.
SCCC Coach Mike Marra said that early mistakes hurt his team.
We had six errors in the first couple of innings, Marra commented. You just cant give a good team like Dutchess five and six outs an inning.
Despite those miscues, Marra noted that he was pleased with the way the Generals played in the last few innings.
Im proud of these guys, he said. They settled down and kept playing hard. They didnt give up and made a nice comeback in the seventh [inning].
Notes: SCCC was scheduled to play Morris (NJ) Community College in a non-league game yesterday at Baxter Stadium.
The Generals will host Dutchess CC at 3 p.m. today in Mountaindale in a Mid-Hudson Conference contest.
The Generals and Falcons will meet again in a doubleheader tomorrow in Poughkeepsie. The first game is slated to begin at noon.