Baseball repeats as Region III Champions
(Herkimer's Patrick Merryweather gets the final out of Sunday's game to pop out to short stop Tyler Phillips).
(Herkimer's Chris Rave went 3-for-6 with five runs batted in on Sunday against Erie).
(Herkimer's Patrick Dorrian went 5-for-6 with four runs batted in against the Kats on Sunday).
LITTLE FALLS, NY – Recording a season-high 22 hits Sunday (5/17), the Herkimer Generals came one run away from matching their season-high of 20 runs in a game, doing it this time in the Region III Championship game, defeating Erie Community College 19-7 for the program’s second consecutive regional championship under Head Baseball Coach Jason Rathbun.
Herkimer (45-4) managed to score a run in every inning but one against the Kats, helping the team never trail in the game. The closest it ever got was 6-4 in the third after starter Chad Sinko (Cohoes, NY) allowed a three-run home run to Erie’s Matt Lahn who totaled two round trippers on the day and four in the tournament for 14 runs batted in four days at Veterans Memorial Park. Sinko would only see one more batter in the inning after getting thrown out of the game, needing Patrick Merryweather (Baldwinsville, NY) to come in relief. Merryweather got the Generals out of the inning with a fly ball to right and strike out to end the Kats rally, still holding the 6-4 lead.
Herkimer’s two-run lead quickly became six after the fifth (11-5), seven after the sixth (12-5), nine after the seventh (14-5) and 12 after the eighth (17-5), gathering two home runs and multiple hits to put the game out of reach. The lead ballooned to 19-4 after Patrick Dorrian (Kingston, NY) hit the team’s third home run of the game in the top of the ninth, but Erie’s Lahn hit his second home run of the game in the bottom of the inning to decrease the lead back to 12 (19-7).
Dorrian wasn’t the only General on Sunday to go yard however, Christian Malave (Milford, CT) doubled Dorrian’s output, helping the freshman to his ninth home run of the season which is seventh best in the nation currently. Both home runs for Malave were his only hits of the game, helping the infielder to five runs batted in. Designated hitter Chris Rave (Middletown, NY) tied Malave with a game-high five RBI in the deciding game, going 3-for-6 at the plate and 9-for-20 (.450) in the tournament with nine runs batted in. It helped Rave to his 54th RBI of the season which is seventh best in the nation.
One RBI behind both Malave and Rave was Dorrian. The infielder collected four runs batted in, going 5-for-6 at the plate from the two spot in the lineup. It broke a 0-for-15 skid the freshman had been in during the regional tournament from the three spot in the batting order.
Back to Merryweather. With the offense building a wider cushion each inning, the left hander held the Kats lineup in check, holding them to seven hits in 6 2/3 innings pitched for his eighth win of the season (8-2). Through 6 1/3 innings pitched Merryweather had a shutout and eight strikeouts, but Lahn’s previously mentioned home run tallied the only earned runs off of Meryweather in the game, but the sophomore regrouped and got the next Erie batter to fly out to Tyler Phillips (Hancock, NY) at short to end the game. From there, Herkimer’s entire bench cleared and mobbed Merryweather, along with other teammates, in front of the pitcher’s mound to celebrate the team’s improbable quest for a consecutive regional championship, winning their last four games of the tournament after losing in the opening round to Schenectady Community College.
With the win, Herkimer will travel to Kingston, NC to play in the 2015 NJCAA DIII National Championship Tournament at Grainger Stadium from May 23rd to May 28th. The Generals will face Century College in the opening round on Saturday, May 23rd at 7 p.m. EST. The Wood Ducks come into the tournament 38-7. Two of those loses came to Herkimer, 6-5 and 12-2, in the Generals first two games of the season.
Herkimer Generals 19, Erie Kats 7
Generals 141 051 232 – 19 22 0
Kats 004 000 003 – 7 11 6
WP: Patrick Merryweather (8-2) LP: Dan Todoschuk (5-6) HR: Herkimer 3 (Malave 2, Dorrian) Erie 2 (Lahn); 2B: Generals 4 (Dorrian, Phillips, Rouse, Lichtman) Kats 1 (Douse); RBI: Herkimer 18 (Rave 5, Malave 5, Dorrian 4, Terashima 2, Boland, Carrigan) Erie 7 (Lahn 6, Hansen); Records: Herkimer 27-1, 45-4 Erie 38-17