by Win Hadley
After sounding their message loud and clear throughout the early innings, SUNY Sullivan’s General saw their bats go silent at the end, resulting in a 25-22 loss to homestanding Westchester in the Region XV Division II championship game on May 15.
The Generals had scored seven runs in the third inning, three in the fourth, five in the fifth and six in the sixth before pushing across just one more in the final three innings. Westchester, meanwhile, struck for six runs in the seventh and four in the eighth to seal the victory, and their fourth straight conference title. Each team used seven pitchers in the contest, with no hurler on either side retiring more than 11 batters.
Sullivan finished the year with a 29-16-1 record overall, including a 12-8 conference slate. The 29 victories are the most ever recorded by a Generals baseball team.
The offense carried the Generals throughout the year, with Johann Paniagua, Ronald Medina and David Martinez swinging the hottest bats.
Mr. Medina led the team in batting average, with a .439 mark in conference play, fourth best in Region XV. He also posted a slugging average of .739, the Region’s fifth best mark, and blasted seven home runs while driving in 43 runs.
Mr. Martinez drove in 45 runs, while connecting for 14 doubles and eight home runs.
In addition to setting the SUNY Sullivan career mark in home runs at 15, Mr. Paniagua posted stellar numbers on the year in several categories. He was second in the conference in slugging percentage with a .762 mark, fourth in runs scored with 46, first in home runs and runs batted in with nine and 54, and eighth in doubles with 12. His 56 hits were tied for third place in the conference, as well as third best on the team, behind the 57 garnered by both Edwin Feliciano and Mr. Medina.
In recognition of his record breaking season, Mr. Paniagua was named the Region’s co-Player of the Year, sharing the award with Westchester’s Scottie Giordano.
Mr. Panigua, Mr. Martinez and Mr. Feliciano were named to the All-Region XV first team for the season, while Mr. Medina was selected for the second team. In addition, the Generals’ David Diaz was named the pitcher on the Region’s Gold Glove Defensive Team.