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Democrat Photo by Rob Potter

SCCC PITCHER FERNANDO Nunez winds up and throws a strike during Friday’s Region XV game against SUNY Ulster at Baxter Stadium in Mountaindale.

Baxter Stadium
Comes Alive Again

By Rob Potter
MOUNTAINDALE — May 2, 2006 – The SUNY Ulster Senators remembered to bring their bats to Friday’s Region XV baseball game versus the host Sullivan County Community College Generals.
And that was bad news for the Generals.
SUNY Ulster (25-9, 12-4 Region XV) pounded out several hits on its way to scoring at least two runs in five of the nine innings. As a result, the Senators recorded a 19-11 victory over SCCC (6-19-1, 4-12 Region XV) at Baxter Stadium in Mountaindale.
The key frames for the Senators were the fourth, fifth and ninth. In the top of the fourth, SUNY Ulster held a 5-2 advantage with two outs and Phil Merrill on base. Freshman third baseman Steve Mucci crushed a pitch from Generals’ starter Lucas Garcia. The baseball cleared the fence in left center field and Mucci trotted around the bases and was met at the plate by his teammates after the two-run homer.
After a two-run single by SCCC’s Randy Ramirez in the bottom of the fourth cut the Generals’ deficit to 7-4, the Senators answered during the top of the fifth. Merrill and Evan D’Angelo had RBI singles in the frame and Sean Fagan ripped an RBI double to left center field to help SUNY Ulster build its lead to eight runs at 12-4.
In the ninth, Merrill stroked a two-run double into center field and D’Angelo followed with a two-run single to left field to push the Senators’ lead to 18-10.
Although they lost the game by eight runs, the Generals kept playing hard the entire afternoon. A prime example of SCCC’s tenacity was the bottom of the sixth inning, when the team sent 11 batters to the plate and scored six runs.
Garcia, Randy Ramirez and Ron Phippen led off the frame with back-to-back-to back singles. After SUNY Ulster pitcher Kenny Miller recorded a strikeout, Jonathan Valerio ripped a single to left field, which allowed Garcia and Ramirez to cross home plate.
Moments later, Edwin Melendez smacked a double to left center field. Phippen scored on the hit, cutting the SUNY Ulster advantage to 12-7.
The next hitter, Alex Gil, singled to left field. Both Valerio and Melendez scored on the base hit to bring the Generals to within two runs. Three batters later, Garcia ripped a single to right field, which made the score 12-10.
However, that was as close as the Generals would get. SUNY Ulster scored a run in seventh, another in the eighth and sealed its victory with the aforementioned five runs in the top of the ninth.
“We got the timely hits when we needed them,” SUNY Ulster Coach Ryan Snair said. “We definitely played well offensively today.
“Actually, our offense has been good just about every game this season,” Snair added. “It just seems like whenever we have needed to, these guys have been able to get some hits and score runs.”
SCCC Coach Mike Marra said that Mucci’s fourth inning homer “changed the momentum of the game.”
Marra noted that the Generals’ defensive performance hurt them.
“We made a lot of mental mistakes out there,” he said. “By making those errors, we gave Ulster extra outs. You can’t win when you give a quality team like that five outs in an inning.”
Generals Win Three
Games On Weekend
Following Friday’s loss to SUNY Ulster, the Generals got back on the wining track over weekend. On Saturday, SCCC defeated the Senators, who were in first place in Region XV at the time, by a final score of 7-6.
SCCC scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning to earn the victory.
The Generals banged out nine hits led by Valerio, who went 2-for-3, Gil (2-for-3) and Edwin Melendez (2-for-4).
Joelvis Reyes pitched a complete game allowing only four hits, but struggled with his control in the fifth inning. Reyes walked four batters in the frame, as the Senators scored five runs to take a 6-4 lead going into the sixth.
The Generals continued their hot hitting into Sunday with a Region XV sweep of Westchester CC at Baxter Stadium. Sullivan banged out 18 hits in the first game and posted a 16-9 win. The offensive highlight was Jonathan Valerio’s sixth-inning grand slam home run over the left field wall at Baxter Stadium.
Valerio went 4-for-5 and had eight RBIs. Ramirez (5-for-5) and Ron Phippen (3-for-5) also had big days at the plate for the Generals.
In Sunday’s second game, SCCC’s Fernando Nunez pitched a complete game five-hitter. He struck out 10 as the Generals recorded a 10-2 victory.
The Generals were led offensively by Yensy Carty (3-for-4, two RBIs), Valerio (3-for-3, two RBIs) and Melendez (3-for-4, three RBIs).
“We are peaking at the right time as we head into the Region XV tournament this week,” Marra said. “We finished 7-13 in the Region and we beat every team at least once – except for Rockland, who we had a 10-5 lead against in the eighth inning down at their place and ended up losing 13-11. So we know we can compete with everyone in for a chance to win the tournament.”
Region XV Tourney Begins
SCCC, which finished fifth in the Region XV final standings with a 7-13 record, will face fourth-place Dutchess Community College today in the opening round of the Region XV Tournament. Dutchess, which posted a 9-11 mark in the region, will host the Generals at 3:30 p.m.
Sixth-seeded Westchester Community College plays at third-seeded SUNY Ulster at 3:30 p.m. today.
The winners of the two contests will join top seed SUNY Orange and number two Rockland Community College in the double-elimination finals series, which is slated to begin on Friday afternoon at Rockland CC.

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