The Spartans' season ended in a home playoff loss to Genesee CC on Sunday, 8-6.
The Spartans' season ended in a home playoff loss to Genesee CC on Sunday, 8-6.

Spartans’ Comeback Falls Short to Cougars

Cayuga Community College Baseball's late-innings comeback fell short to Genesee Community College on Sunday, ending the Spartans' season in the opening round of the Region III playoffs.

In the deciding game of the best-of-three series, the Spartans fell behind early but fought back to put the tying run in scoring position in the ninth inning before losing to the Cougars, 8-6. Cayuga ends the season with a record of 24-15.

Cayuga Coach John Rizzo applauded his team's effort this season, specifically recognizing a strong sophomore group for their contributions. 

"I'd like to thank our sophomores for everything they've done for their teammates and the program over the past two years. Everything they've done is appreciated," said Rizzo. "We'll go back to work and look forward to next season."

The Spartans trailed 1-0 in the first but briefly took the lead when they plated two in the bottom half of the inning. Alex Gaudet scored on a fielder's choice, then a sacrifice fly by Juan Perez scored Bradley Soto-Diaz. The Cougars quickly reclaimed the lead in the second inning with four runs, then added two more in the fourth to make it 7-2.

Cayuga started its comeback in the sixth, trailing 8-2. Jacob Laird scored Soto-Diaz on a sacrifice fly, then in the seventh inning Mike DeRosa scored on a Soto-Diaz single, cutting the lead to 8-4. The Spartans scored twice in the eighth, with Perez scoring on a triple by Brandon Hoftijzer, who ran home later in the inning on a sacrifice fly by DeRosa. Cayuga threatened with two runners in scoring position in the ninth, but didn't score again.

Soto-Diaz finished the game with four hits, scoring twice and knocking in one. Perez went one-for-four with a double, run and RBI, and Hoftijzer was one-for-four with a triple, run and RBI. Brantley Griggs had another strong relief outing for Cayuga, throwing 5 2/3 innings and allowing one earned run.

The Cougars advance to the NJCAA Region III Tournament, which starts Thursday, May 16, at Falcon Park. They'll be joined in the final four by SUNY Niagara, Erie Community College and Herkimer College.