Generals’ baseball finishes third in nation
TYLER, TEXAS – Jumping out to an early 3-0 lead against Cumberland County College Tuesday (5/27) evening at Mike Carter Field in the NJCAA DIII World Series Semifinal wasn’t enough for the Herkimer Generals baseball team to advance to the national championship, losing to the Duke 7-5 in nine innings, finishing third in the nation.
Herkimer (40-11) was playing in essence a doubleheader on Tuesday, defeating Waubonsee Community College 13-9 before facing the Duke. It was the team’s first doubleheader since the regular season, going through sub-regionals and regionals without a loss. Herkimer lost their first game of the World Series to Northern Essex 8-5, causing the team to play seven total games to win a national championship unlike Tyler Community College who’d have to win four games since the Apaches hadn’t lost in the tournament.
The team’s fifth game in four days didn’t faze the offense however, scoring first in the semifinal thanks to two walks, two errors and two hits. Freshman Eric Downey (Colonie, NY) reached base first via a walk. Then Taishi Terashima (Hiranai, Aomori, Japan) and Carlos Almonte (Brooklyn, NY) helped load the bases on fielding errors by Cumberland. A walk by freshman Matthew Lichtman (Smithtown, NY) scored the first run of the game (1-0), then a Tyler Phillips (Hancock, NY) single to left scored Terashima, making it 2-0. Freshman Shinnosuke Takahashi (Chiba, Japan) made it 3-0 on a single, scoring Almonte. It was Takahashi’s 43rd RBI of the season, giving the first baseman an RBI in his last eight games, totaling 15 overall and seven in the World Series.
The Duke answered Herkimer right back after the second inning, scoring three in the bottom of the third to tie the game (3-3), but took the lead after the sixth, totaling four runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth against Generals starter Robert Hardy (Clark Mills, NY). The sophomore didn’t allow a run in his first two innings of work, but Cumberland managed to score six runs off six hits, two walks and two errors in the field. Hardy pitched five innings for Herkimer in the elimination game, finishing the season throwing 43 innings with a 3.02 ERA and 4-2 record.
Herkimer managed to cross two more runs across the plate in the sixth and eighth innings from an A.J. Fabrizio (Palm City, FL) sacrifice to centerfield and a Takahashi opposite field home run, making it 7-4 and 7-5. It was Fabrizio’s second consecutive game with an RBI, finishing with the team-lead this season in RBIs, accumulating 45. Takahashi’s home run was his third of the season, all of which have been hit in the last 10 games. The freshman finished second on the team in home runs (3) and RBIs (44).
Coming in relief after Hardy was Will Apps (Cicero, NY). The freshman had been Herkimer’s best arm from the pen, not allowing a run his last 10 innings pitched. Additionally, when looking at earned runs, Apps hadn’t allowed any in his last 15 1/3 innings pitched, spanning six appearances. On Tuesday, Cumberland broke the streak, scoring one run off of three hits. It was unearned, giving the Duke a 7-4 lead. Apps finished the season with a 3-0 record and 2.19 ERA.
The loss to the Duke ends Herkimer’s season, finishing third in the nation behind Cumberland and Tyler. The NJCAA DIII World Series continues today (5/28). The national championship game will be played at 7 p.m. CST.
Herkimer (40-11) 5
Cumberland (47-10) 7
HERK 030 001 010 | 5
CUMB 003 121 000 | 7
Matthew Lichtman 1-for-4 2BB 1RBI
Tyler Phillips 1-for-5 1RBI
Shinnosuke Takahashi 3-for-4 1R 1BB 1HR 2RBI
A.J. Fabrizio 0-for-2 1RBI
Anthony Lopez 1-for-4 3RBI
Jordan Glover 1-for-5 1RBI
Jose Martinez 2-for-4 1RBI
Robert Hardy (L, 4-2) 5IP 6R 4ER 6H 2BB 1K
Will Apps 3IP 1R 0ER 3H 2K
Ridge Herrman 3 2/3IP 3R 0ER 3H 6BB 5K
Chris Seibert (W, 6-1) 5 1/3IP 2R 2ER 4H 1BB 3K