The Erie Community College baseball team's 2017 season came to an end with an 8-3 loss to Hudson Valley Community College at Colburn Park in Newark May 20.
The Kats took an early 1-0 lead, but the Vikings got the next six for a 6-1 lead after six innings. Both teams added a pair in the last two innings for the 8-3 final with the Vikings out-hitting the Kats 13-10.
Four Kats accounted for eight of the team's 10 hits with a pair of hits each. Eric Marriott, Dylan Bucholtz, Ken Ruggiero and Alex Lopez all recorded two singles apiece. Ruggiero had a stolen base and RBI, while Lopez had a pair of stolen bases and one RBI. Marriott and Bucholtz each scored once and accounted for two of the Kats' three runs.
Luke Bowser took the loss from the mound after giving up five hits in seven innings.
Erie finishes the 2017 playoffs 2-3 after an impressive upset series win over Herkimer College 2-1 in the sub-region playoffs as the Generals were the top-seed from the East. Erie began the Final Four against another top seed – Niagara County Community College of the West - and battled the nationally-ranked Thunderwolves to a 2-2 tie late in the game before Niagara pulled ahead in the eighth for the win.
The loss to Hudson Valley left the Kats' overall season record 27-28, but improved their record with eight additional wins and one less loss than last season when Erie finished 19-29. The additional wins and playoff appearance marked substantial improvement from the previous season as the future bolds well for one of the nation's best baseball programs in the NJCAA during the last quarter-century.