By Rob Potter
LOCH SHELDRAKE The Sullivan County Community College (SCCC) Generals split a Region XV baseball doubleheader with the visiting Dutchess Community College Falcons on Saturday afternoon at the SCCC campus in Loch Sheldrake.
SCCC won the opening game 8-4 thanks in large part to cleanup batter Argenis Salazar and No. 5 hitter Stephen Sunday. Salazar, a freshman third baseman from Barinas, Venezuela, went 2 for 3 with three runs scored and three RBIs. Sunday, a freshman first baseman from Scranton, Pa., went 2 for 3 with three runs scored and four RBIs. One of Sunday’s hits was a two-run double.
In Game 2, however, Dutchess CC jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the top of the first inning on its way to a 9-6 victory.
The Falcons added a run in the top of the second when Mark Flinn scored on a sacrifice bunt by Dan Murray.
The Generals answered with two runs in the bottom of the third inning. Salazar and Sunday hit consecutive RBI singles to make it a 7-2 game.
Dutchess CC (7-11 Region XV) added a run in the top of the fourth and another in the top of the fifth to extend its lead to 9-2. In the top of the fifth, Joe Gonzalez hit a triple to deep right center field and then scored when the next batter, Brian Buechele, hit a stand-up double to right center.
SCCC (13-20 overall, 10-6 Region XV) tried to rally and win the game in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Jossue Delgado and Pedro Mena led off the frame with back-to-back singles. Sunday then belted a double to deep left field to bring Delgado in to score. Efrain Bautista then doubled to center field, which allowed Mena and Sunday to cross the plate and cut the Falcons’ advantage to 9-5.
Bautista scored when Jerry Mena singled to left field, closing the Generals’ deficit to only three runs with still no outs in the inning.
But Murray then took over on the mound and got three outs to seal the Falcons’ win.
“We are glad to come out with a win on the day,” Dutchess CC Coach Scott DeGeorge said.
By splitting Saturday’s twinbill, SCCC won three of the four games between the teams. Last Tuesday at Dutchess CC, the Generals defeated the Falcons, 12-8. On Friday afternoon at Dutchess CC, the Generals prevailed 4-2.
“We took three of the four games this week,” SCCC Coach Ryan Snair said. “I told the guys after these games that we’ll sign up for winning three of four in every series we play.”
Note: On Sunday afternoon, the Generals hosted the Ulster Community College Senators in another Region XV doubleheader.
Ulster CC won the first game, 8-4, by scoring four runs in the top of the eighth inning.
But the Generals defeated the Senators, 5-0, in Game 2 as Idauri Peralta, a freshman right-handed pitcher from the Bronx, earned the victory with a complete game one-hitter. Peralta also recorded eight strikeouts in the shutout.
“That was a big one for us,” Snair said of rebounding from the tough extra-inning loss to defeat Ulster CC. “Idauri Peralta pitched a phenomenal game. He really made the difference.”
Salazar and Sunday provided all of the run support for Peralta in the game. Salazar was 2 for 3 with a double and a single, scored three runs and had three RBIs. Sunday went 2 for 3 with two doubles and two RBIs.
In the loss to the Senators in the first game, Sunday went 3 for 3 with a double, two singles and two RBIs.
SCCC was scheduled to wrap up the regular season yesterday afternoon by traveling to Rockland Community College in Suffern for a Region XV doubleheader. The outcome of those two games will help determine the seeding for the Region XV Tournament. The double-elimination tournament will be held this Friday, May 6 through Sunday, May 8 at Rockland CC. There are six teams in Region XV: SCCC, Dutchess CC, Rockland CC, Ulster CC, Orange County Community College and Westchester Community College.
Ulster CC and Dutchess CC are slated to meet this afternoon in the play-in game. The winner of that game will advance to the Region XV Tournament.
Depending on the outcome of yesterday’s games, the SCCC Generals have a chance to be either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in this weekend’s Region XV tourney. Those top two seeds receive a first round-bye in the event.