Herkimer wins Back-to-Back Region III Championships
Little Falls, NY - They did it the hard way.
After dropping the Region III Baseball Final Four opener against Erie on Friday, the Herkimer Generals were forced to play and win 4 elimination games in the span of 36 hours on Saturday and Sunday to win the Region III Baseball Championship and advance to the National Tournament. And that is exactly what they did.
After eliminating Niagara CCC and Erie CC on Saturday, Herkimer took two from Finger Lakes CC on Sunday by scores of 13-3 and 10-2 to win back-to-back Region III titles for the 3rd time under Head Coach Jason Rathbun, who now holds 7 Region III titles overall. The wins send the Generals to Greeneville, Tennessee for the 2019 NJCAA Division III Baseball Championships, which will begin on Saturday, May 25th.
Brian Forbes (Rocky Point, NY) set the tone in Game 1 against FLCC on Sunday, going 2-3 with a home run and 5 RBI's. Cedric Rose (Pittsfield, MA) also added a home run while going 2-4 with 4 runs batted in. Region III Tournament MVP Matt Parkinson (Whitesboro, NY) went 3-3 to add to the Generals 16 hit attack. Christopher Godlewski (New York Mills, NY) got the win on the mound, going 6 strong innings and scattering 6 hits while only allowing 3 runs. Keegan Leffler (Saratoga Springs, NY) threw the last 3 innings, allowing only one hit to close out the game and force a winner take all Game 7 of the tournament.
Finger Lakes jumped out to a 2-0 in Game 7 before Rose, Joe Novenche (Clifton Park, NY) and Brandon Kruzinski (Schenectady, NY) hit home runs in a 5 run third inning that gave the Generals the lead they would not relinquish. Brendyn Stillman (Waverly, NY) added his 4th home run of the tournament with a bomb to right field in the 5th inning. Masaki Furudono (Kagoshima, Japan) came on in relief in the second inning and threw 6 innings of 3 hit ball to get the win on the mound.
Joining Parkinson on the All-Tournament Team from Herkimer was Stillman and Kruzinski as the Generals offense generated 46 runs in the 4 do or die games to win the title.
The Generals now take their record of 35-4-2 to Tennessee and await their seeding and first round opponent for National Tournament, which will be held at Pioneer Park at Tusculum University starting on Saturday.