(Kyle Garrison gets the final out of the Region III Championship Sunday at Vets Park).
(Shinnosuke Takahashi gives Herkimer a 5-1 lead after this three-run homer in the third inning).
(Tyler Phillips hits his second home run of the tournament, giving Herkimer a 7-2 lead in the fifth inning).
LITTLE FALLS, NY – Aided by three home runs and another solid pitching performance on Sunday in the Region III DIII Championship at Veterans Memorial Park, the Herkimer Generals baseball team defeated Onondaga Community College 9-3 to capture the 2014 Region III Championship.
Herkimer (38-9) coming into Sunday’s game mercy ruled both Niagara and Erie, outscoring both opponents 24-to-8. Aiding those run totals were home runs, hitting one in each game, coming one short of the team’s regular season output in 43 games. Much of the same occurred against Onondaga, outscoring the Lazers by six runs, but this time the team hit a season-high three home runs, all from players who hadn’t homered until the Region III Tournament.
Freshman Shinnosuke Takahashi (Chiba, Japan) gave Herkimer a four run lead (5-1) in the third inning after hitting his first home run of the season - driving in three runs - to deep centerfield. Takahashi finished the game 2-for-4, collecting his 36th RBI of the season in the process.
Another freshman, Tyler Phillips (Hancock, NY) added a solo home run to lead off the fifth inning, helping Herkimer get hits in their first at-bat in six of the nine innings played Sunday. It was Phillips second home run of the tournament and season, finishing the game 1-for-4 with two RBIs, adding to the lead which stood at 7-2.
The final home run came from freshman Eric Downey (Colonie, NY) in the sixth. It was another leadoff shot to give Herkimer an 8-2 lead. It was Downey’s first home run as a General, giving the designated hitter 28 RBIs on the season. He finished 2-for-4.
Infielders John Boland (Rhinebeck, NY), Carlos Almonte (Brooklyn, NY) and Matthew Lichtman (Smithtown, NY) were the other Generals to accumulate RBIs in the championship game. Boland’s single to short centerfield in the second scored Fabrizio to give Herkimer to first lead of the game 1-0. Boland finished the game 1-for-5. Almonte got his 26th RBI of the season by grounding into a double play in the fourth, scoring Brandon Martinez (River Edge, NJ) from third. Martinez led off the inning with a double. Both Almonte and Martinez finished the game with two hits. Lichtman’s single in the sixth scored the Generals ninth run of the game, giving Herkimer a 9-2 lead. It scored Almonte, giving Lichtman his 17th RBI of the season, finishing the game 2-for-4.
Starting the game for Herkimer was sophomore Ben Moxley (Oneonta, NY). The sophomore threw the most innings of any General this season, racking up seven against the third ranked team in the nation. Moxley allowed three runs on eight hits, giving up a run in the second on a single, in the fourth on a passed ball and eighth after Kyle Garrison (Schenectady, NY) came in with two runners on first and third with no outs. It helped Moxley get his fourth win of the season, tied for fourth best on the team.
As mentioned previously, Garrison came in the eighth inning for the Generals. The sophomore got out of a first and third jam with no outs, allowing only one run. A fly out to Almonte got the first out, fielder’s choice to Takahashi got the second out and fly out to Martinez got the third out.
In the ninth, Garrison took care of business, facing four batters, striking out the final one on an off-speed pitch to give his team their first regional championship since 2010. Herkimer will now move on to the NJCAA DIII World Series in Tyler, Texas. Games will be played from May 24th to the 29th.
HERKIMER 9 (38-9)
ONONDAGA 3 (39-11)
GENERALS 014 112 000 | 9
LAZERS 010 100 010 | 3
Ben Moxley 7IP 3R 3ER 8H 2BB 5K
Kyle Garrison 2IP 0R 0ER 1H 1K
Reid VanWoert 3IP 6R 6ER 8H
Brandon Nylin 6IP 3R 3ER 8H 10K
Tyler Phillips 1-for-4 2RBI 1HR
Shinnosuke Takahashi 2-for-4 3RBI 1HR
John Boland 1-for-5 1RBI
Eric Downey 2-for-4 1RBI 1HR
Carlos Almonte 2-for-3 1RBI
Matthew Lichtman 2-for-4 1RBI
Brandon Kapcinski 3-for-3 1 RBI
David Nuzzo 1-for-4 1RBIs
Chris Rave 2-for-2 2 runs scored