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Lakers Baseball Advances To Region III Final Four

Lakers Baseball Advances To Region III Final Four

CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. – The Finger Lakes Community College Baseball team participated in the NJCAA Region III Sub-Regionals this weekend. The Lakers finished out the regular season seeded second in the Western Section so they hosted the number three seed, SUNY Adirondack Community College. After a three game series, the Lakers came out on top winning two of the three games.

Game One

Game one started on Saturday. There were only 11 hits between both teams in nine innings. Scoring did not start until the bottom of the third inning. Nick Stein drew a walk with two outs to start off the inning. He would then steal second to put him in scoring position. Tanner Cooper made it to first due to an error by the short stop, which would move Stein to third. Al Xapsos was up next, and hit a single between the first and second basemen to score Stein. This would put the Lakers in the lead, 1-0.

The SUNY Adirondack Timberwolves decided to answer back in their next at bat. They started the fourth inning with a single from Joe Battista after one out. Zach Malek drew a walk, and this put runners on first and second. Josh Myers would then come up, and hit a double to score Battista from second, and advance Malek to third. Ramón Acosta grounded out to second, but would score Malek from third, and advanced Myers. Jared Winkle took his turn, and hit a single to score Myers. The Timberwolves put themselves in a 3-1 lead.

It took until the bottom of the seventh for any more scoring to happen. Lukas Haefner led off the inning with a single. He would then steal second. Anderson Xapsos was up next, and drew a walk. Runners were now on first and second. On a wild pitch, both runners advanced, putting them both in scoring position. After, another wild pitch, Haefner scored, and Xapsos advanced to third. This would finish out the scoring for the game.

The Timberwolves took the first game of the series, winning 3-2.

Game leaders for the Lakers were Al Xapsos going 2-3 with one RBI, and Cooper who went 1-4 with a double. Cooper also pitched the loss, allowing six hits, and had 18 strikeouts.

Game Two

Game two of the series was also a low scoring game. Scoring started in the bottom of the third inning again. Omar Rosa drew a walk to get the inning started after two outs. He would then steal second. Stein was up next, and also drew a walk. Cooper would hit into a fielder's choice, that loaded the bases. Al Xapsos drew walk to score Rosa from third. This would finish out the scoring for the inning, putting the Lakers in the lead, 1-0.

The Lakers would hold the lead until the top of the sixth inning. Evan Bowers started off the inning with a walk. Eric Corhouse laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Bowers to second. Battista hit into an error by Haefner at second base, and scored Bowers from second. The Timberwolves tied up the game, 1-1.

Both teams could not find a way to score in the regulation nine innings, so they were forced to play a tenth. The Timberwolves started out the scoring. Corhouse drew a walk after one out. Brent McGhee was up next, and got hit by a pitch, so this put runners on first and second. Battista hit into a fielder's choice that advanced Corhouse to third, and got McGhee out at second. On a double steal play, Corhouse scored from third, and Battista made it to second on the throw home. This would put the Timberwolves in the lead.

The Lakers needed to answer back to stay in it. The bottom of the tenth started with a walk from Aaron Shoemaker. Bryan Santiago-Speranza came in to pinch run for him. Rosa singled to put runners on first and second. Cooper was up with one out, and ripped a deep triple to right-center. He scored both Santiago-Speranza and Rosa to win the game.

This would force the series to go to game three on Sunday. Whoever wins the game on Sunday advances to the NJCAA Region III Final Four.

Game leaders for the Lakers were Cooper going 2-5 with a triple and two RBI's, and Al Xapsos with an RBI.

Alex Fetter pitched the win allowing three hits, and had 13 strikeouts.

Game Three

Both teams came back to Finger Lakes Community College on Sunday for their final game of the series. It was a cold and rainy day, but the teams toughed it out and played all nine innings.

The Lakers were the first to cross the plate at the bottom of the second inning. Al Xapsos started it off with a walk. After an out, John Genau found his way to first on a walk. Runners were now on first and second. Both would advance bases on a wild pitch. All baserunners were now in scoring position. Haefner struck out, but it was on a dropped third strike. On the throw to first, Al Xapsos took his opportunity to steal home, and was safe. Genau advanced to third as well. This put the first run of the game on the board.

The Lakers weren't done yet. Anderson Xapsos drew a walk. On Xapsos's attempt to steal second, Genau took off from third, and scored. Xapsos was also safe at second. The Lakers were up 2-0 at the end of the inning.

In the top of the third inning, the Timberwolves put themselves on the board. Bowers made his way to first on a dropped ball by the short stop. He would then steal second, putting him in scoring position. Corhouse singled, and advanced Bowers to third. Battista then singled to score Bowers. This would finish off the scoring for the inning. The Timberwolves were only down 2-1.

The Lakers answered right back in their next at bat. Rosa started off the inning with a single. He then stole second, and put himself into scoring position. Stein grounded out, but moved Rosa over to third. After an intentional walk, Cooper was given first base. Al Xapsos was up next, and reached first on a fielder's choice, that would get Cooper out at second, but score Rosa from third. The Lakers grabbed the run they allowed back, putting them in the lead 3-1.

The Timberwolves were eager to get back in the game. In the top of the fifth inning, they score some more. Blake Wiegert led off the inning with a walk. Bowers laid down a sacrifice bunt, and moved Wiegert to second. Corhouse was up next, and was hit by a pitch. McGhee singled, which loaded the bases. Battista came up and hit a big single that scored the runners from second and third, and put McGhee on third. The Timberwolves ended their scoring that inning on a wild pitch, which brought McGhee in. This put them in the lead 4-3.

The Lakers would come up and tie the score at the bottom of the fifth inning. Rosa led off the inning with a single. Stein came up next and hit into a fielder's choice, that got Rosa out at second. Stein would then steal second. Cooper came up next and hit a single to score Stein from second. The game was tied 4-4.

The Lakers put up a bigger lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. Jarrod Williams started the inning with a walk after a pitching change. After a strikeout, Haefner found his way on with a walk. Runners were now on first and second. Anderson Xapsos grounded out to the pitcher, but moved the runners to scoring position. Devin Kelly came up big with a double to right center, which scored both Williams and Haefner. After Rosa drew a walk, there was another pitching change for the Timberwolves. While the new pitcher was warming up, Fetter came in to run for Kelly. Stein was up to bat next, and he was hit by a pitch. The bases were now loaded. Cooper was also hit by a pitch, and this would score Fetter from third. Santiago-Speranza hit the second double of the inning. This scored Rosa and Stein. The Lakers were now ahead, 9-4.

The Timberwolves had themselves a small comeback in the eighth inning. After one out, Myers walked. After two wild pitches, Myers found himself on third. Mike Vellucci also drew a walk, so now there were runners on first and third. This would spark a pitching change from the Lakers. Chris Wagner would relieve Jake Dunn. Winkle was up next, and grounded out to Genau at third. Focused on getting the out, this allowed Myers to score. Alec Burchhardt came in to pinch run for Vellucci who was at second. Wiegert was up next, and drew a walk. Bowers singled, and loaded the bases. Corhouse drew a walk, and this scored Burchhardt. McGhee drew another walk, and scored Wiegert. This would spark the second pitching change for the Lakers. Lewis Pettit relieved Wagner. Lewis threw to one batter, forcing a fly ball to right field to end the inning.

This would end all of the scoring of game three. The Lakers will now be moving on to the NJCAA Region III Final Four.

Game leaders for the Lakers were Santiago-Speranza going 1-3 with a double, and two RBI's, Kelly going 1-3 with a double and 2 RBI's and Cooper going 1-2 with 2 RBI's.

Dunn pitched the win allowing five hits, and had three strikeouts.

The Lakers will now travel to Little Falls, NY for the NJCAA Region III Final Four. This will be a double elimination tournament. Their first game will be on Friday, May 17. They will face the Niagara County Community College Thunder Wolves at 5:00pm. Look for live stats on our website to follow along.

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