Offense explodes to eliminate Royals in Final Four

(Herkimer's John Boland singles to score Tyler Phillips, tying the game at 1-1 in the first inning on Saturday).

LITTLE FALLS, NY – Managing only two runs in their last two games of the 2015 Region III Baseball Final Four, the Herkimer Generals baseball team erupted for 13 against Schenectady on Saturday (5/17), defeating the Royals 13-1 in five innings to advance to the championship game.

Herkimer (43-4) fell down early with the Royals tagging one run in the top of the first on one hit and one walk, but hits by Taishi Terashim (Hiranai, Japan), Christian Malave (Milford, CT) and John Boland (Rhinebeck, NY) in the bottom half of the inning quickly knotted the game back at 1-1.

From there, starter Jacob Shortslef (Hannibal, NY) didn’t allow a run to cross the plate in his final two innings of work, watching Marcus Failing (Fort Plain, NY) pitch the final two innings of the game after the team scored three in second, seven in the third and two in the fourth.

Helping the Generals score three in the second was a home run, two hits and a sacrifice. Jake Rouse (Milford, CT) led off the inning with a home run (2-1) to deep right center, followed by singles by Matt Lichtman (Smithtown, NY) and Terashima. Shortstop Tyler Phillips (Hancock, NY) knocked in both players with a sacrifice to deep right, scoring Lichtman and Terashima, making the score 4-1. It was Terashima’s second time in the series scoring from second on a sacrifice.

Allowing Herkimer to score seven runs in the third was seven hits, one error and one sacrifice. Chris Rave (Middletown, NY) and Boland set the Generals up first and third with no outs after Rave doubled and Boland singled via a bunt. Malave singled in the very next at-bat, after a pitching change to score Rave, increasing the lead to 5-1. Rouse followed Malave with another single to score Boland (6-1), but the big blow came from Lichtman when he doubled to score Malave and Rouse, pushing the lead to 8-1.

An error on a Terashima hit, sacrifice by Phillips and double by Rave scored the final three runs of the inning for the Generals, helping the team to a commanding 11-1 lead by the end of the third.

Two walks, an error, a sacrifice and a hit allowed Herkimer to tally two more runs in the fourth. Terashima got the sacrifice to score Malave, then Phillips scored Rouse on an error by the Schenectady short stop, making it 13-1.

Up next for the Generals is Erie Community College. The Kats have yet to lose a game in the Region III Final Four, defeating Niagara and Schenectady in the first two rounds 9-8 and 5-3. Herkimer will next to defeat Erie twice on Sunday (5/17) if they want repeat as regional champions. The first game against the Kats is scheduled for 12 p.m. If the Generals win, game two will be at 3:30 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park in Little Falls, NY. 

Score: Herkimer Generals 13, Schenectady Royals 1

-Giorgio Varlaro

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