LITTLE FALLS, N.Y. – May 19 – The Erie Community College baseball team suffered a 5-1 loss to fifth-ranked Niagara County CC Sunday in the Region III Tournament championship game at Veterans Memorial Park.
The Kats, who close the season 39-20, have competed in the past three Region III Tournament championship games, winning the 2011 title. The 39 wins tie the 2005 team for most wins.
On Sunday, ECC trailed 3-0 after seven innings. Austin Zakroczemski (Lancaster, N.Y./St. Francis) led off the eighth with a single before Nick Caboot (Derby, N.Y./Lake Shore) reached on a one-out single. After a fielder’s choice put runners on the corners, Zakroczemski scored on a wild pitch before the Kats were retired.
Ricky Mendiola (Williamsville, N.Y./Williamsville South) led off the ninth and reached on an error before Tyler Hoffhines (Depew, N.Y./Lancaster) singled. However, ECC could not advance either player. Hoffhines led the Kats with two hits.
The Kats also had two baserunners on in the seventh inning with one out but were unable to score.
NCCC used a single, a walk and double – all with two outs – to score twice in the eighth and push its lead to 5-1.
NCCC repeated as Region III Tournament champions and will compete in the upcoming NJCAA Division III World Series in Texas later this month.