Generals score seven late to defeat Kats

(Herkimer's Jacob Shortslef earned his second save of the season Sunday, not allowing a run in two innings pitched).

(Herkimer's Jake Rouse cuts the deficit to 8-5 with this double to left centerfield Sunday against Erie).

LITTLE FALLS, NY – Down, but never out, the Herkimer Generals baseball team captured their first comeback win in some time, scoring seven runs in the seventh inning at Veterans Memorial Park Sunday (5/17), defeating Erie Community College 9-8 to force another game in the Region III Final Four.

Herkimer (44-4) looked all but out of it after not putting any runs on the board in their half of the sixth, despite getting the bases loaded with no outs, stranding Tyler Phillips (Hancock, NY), Patrick Dorrian (Kingston, NY) and Christian Malave (Milford, CT) who reached base via two singles and a walk.

Added to this, the Kats increased a 5-2 lead to 8-2 in the next inning, taking advantage of two walks an error and hit by Matt Lahn with Will Apps (Cicero, NY) in relief of Marcus Failing (Fort Plaing, NY) who pitched 4 1/3 when starter Joe Nellis (Johnstown, NY) couldn’t get out of the second, allowing three earned run off of six hits.

Despite all of these obstacles, the Generals lineup never quite, finally getting to Erie starter Shawn Dubin with two outs in the seventh on hits by Jake Rouse (Milford, CT), Taishi Terashima (Hiranai, Japan) and Tyler Phillips. Rouse scored Malave and John Boland (Rhinebeck, NY) on a double, cutting the lead to 8-5. Malave and Boland reached base via a walk and hit-by-pitch. Terashima also doubled, clearing the bases to tie the game (8-8) when his hit to left-field got behind the Erie defense despite a leaping attempt, scoring Rouse, Matt Lichtman (Smithtown, NY) and Eric Downey (Colonie, NY). Before that hit for Terashima, the sophomore had struck out in his last two at-bats, which was rare with the centerfielder only striking out twice in his previous 81 plate appearances. He finished the game with a team-high three runs batted in, going 1-for-5.

Scoring Terashima in Herkimer’s very next at-bat was short stop Tyler Phillips. The sophomore placed a ball five feet behind second base, for the double, scoring Terashima from second to give his team their first lead of the game. Terashima was mobbed by teammates after completing the comeback with seven runs in the seventh inning.

With the lead now intact, Herkimer turned to Jacob Shortslef (Hannibal, NY) in the final two innings for the save. The sophomore didn’t allow a hit during his appearance, looking fresh after throwing 3 1/3 innings the day before against Schenectady in a 13-1 five inning ball game which got Shortslef his fourth win of the season (4-0). The right hander got a great catch from Terashima for the first out, watching Terashima spin in circles before completing the play on the warning track. Then Phillips got the second out on a ground ball and Shortslef got the final out, assisting to Malave to draw the team’s fifth game of the tournament, needing to defeat Erie one more time to become regional champs since it was the Kats first loss of the Final Four.

Herkimer will take on Erie in the Region III Championship game today (5/17) at 3:30 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park. The Generals will look to repeat and represent their region again at nationals which is hosted by the city of Kingston, NC at Grainger Stadium.   


Herkimer Generals 9, Erie Kats 8

Kats 202 013 000 – 8 14 1

Generals 020 000 70X – 9 10 2

WP: Will Apps (3-0) LP: Matt Lahn 2B: Herkimer 4 (Phillips 2, Rouse, Terashima) Erie 3 (Hansen, Lahn, McNabb; RBI: Generals 9 (Terashima 3, Downey 2, Rouse 2, Phillips, Dorrian) Kats 6 (Lahn 5, MacCarrick) Records: Herkimer 27-1, 44-4 Erie 38-16

-Giorgio Varlaro

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