HORNELL, N.Y. - The Hornell Dodgers scored seven runs in the 5th inning to erase a 4-0 deficit en route to a 8-4 victory over the Niagara Power in the deciding game three of their Western Division 1st round series. The seven run inning and the dominant relief pitching of Seth Cornell propelled the Dodgers to the victory.
The Dodgers trailed 4-0 and had stranded six runners on base heading into the bottom of the 5th. Jimmy Latona walked, Brandon Sandoval doubled, and Thad Johnson reached on an infield single to load the bases. Hank Morrison hit a laser to 3rd but the throw home trying to get the lead runner was high and not in time. Spencer Scorza singled to make it 4-2 and end the night of Power starter Jonathan Knapp. Conner Lewis drove home a run by being hit by a pitch and the Dodgers tied it on a walk to Jordan Climpson.
The Power went to the pen again and Daniel Twitty induced a grounder to short which was thrown home to cut down the lead runner. The double play attempt to 1st base went high and allowed two runners to score to give the Dodgers their first lead 6-4. Latona closed out the big inning with a sac fly to play Jake Marinelli (Mercyhurst)
In the 6th, Marinelli added an insurance with a two-out RBI single to center that scored Lewis.
Niagara jumped out to a 4-0 lead by batting around in the 2nd inning. After a fly out to lead off the inning, John Mulhern singled and went to 2nd when Gabriel Sevigny was hit by a pitch. Michael Crowley hit a RBI single to plate the first run. After an infield single by Jack Trotman loaded the bases Jarrett James connected on a 2-RBI single. An infield bunt by Ivan Acuna followed by a throwing error made it 4-0.
Cornell was key in the Dodger victory entering the game in the 2nd inning with his team trailing 4-0 and with Power base runners on the corner. He picked off the runner at first and then recorded the final out with his first of 13 strikeouts in the contest. Cornell pitched the final 7.2 innings of the game and allowed six hits and one walk while striking out 13 batters.
Climpson finished the day 2 for 3 with a RBI while Johnson was 2 for 4. The Dodgers collected eight walks on the day and were hit two pitches.
Acuna was 3 for 5 on the day while James was 2 for 5 with 2 RBI. The Power were struck out 16 times in the contest.
The Dodgers, 40-9 overall on the year, will now battle the Geneva Twins in the Western Division Finals starting on Friday evening. Game one is slated for 7 p.m. at Maple City Park. The Dodgers won 4 of the 7 meetings between the two teams this year including the last three.
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