Herkimer Nine returns from spring trip
Herkimer, NY – Herkimer came back to New York with a 1-8 record on their spring trip, but that record does not reflect the Generals' play. The first stop for Herkimer was D-III #3-NJCAA-ranked Gloucester Community College. GCC, sporting a 10-1 record and fresh off their Florida trip, jumped on the Generals early with a leadoff walk that was sacrificed over, with the runner scoring on the only base hit of the inning. Gloucester then added two runs in the second and one in the third, then held on for a 4-0 victory in game one. Sophomore RHP Joe Kuzia went four innings allowing five hits, three walks and two earned runs while striking out five. Game two was similar to game one. Gloucester scored three runs in the second inning, aided by two General errors, and would hold on for a 4-1 victory. Freshman RHP Ben Moxley took the loss in game two, going four innings allowing three hits, two walks, and two earned runs. (Photo: Joe Kuzia)
Next stop for the Generals was D-I Florence Darlington Tech. Herkimer surprised the Stingers in game one, winning their only game of the trip 5-4. Tech scored one in the first but Brent Baker tied the game in the third inning by driving in Carlos Almonte to make it 1-1. Chris Burns hit a leadoff double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Gerald Milanes-Iglesias in third inning, but Tech answered back with three runs in the fifth after a critical error opened the door for them. Herkimer got three runs back in the top of the sixth after an RBI single by Ryan Watson and a two-RBI single by Milanes-Iglesias. That would be enough for closer Denis Lyman as he relieved starter Nick Burch who went four and two-thirds strong innings allowing four hits, no walks, and only one earned run. Lyman posted two and one-third innings, allowing two hits, no walks and striking out five to earn his first win of the season. Milanes-Iglesias was two-for-two with three RBI's in game one. The Stingers responded in game two with a strong performance in a 6-1 victory over Herkimer. Herkimer scored in the first inning when Milanes-Iglesias singled home AJ Fabrizio, but Tech answered back with two in the second, one in the third, one in the fifth and two in the sixth. Freshman Rob Hardy took the loss, working five innings. allowing five hits, four walks, and two earned runs while striking out two.
Herkimer's next test was D-II Southeastern-Whiteville in North Carolina. The 2011 regional champions jumped on freshman starter Mike DeCarlo for six runs in the first two innings. Sophomore Joey Larson kept Southeastern off the board over the final three innings but it wasn't enough as Southeastern won 7-3. Ryan Watson was two-for-four and Brandon Overstreet was two-for-three in game one. Game two had the Generals down only 3-2 after four innings, but the Rams scored two in the fifth and seven in the sixth to break the game open for a 12-3 victory. Freshman Kyle Garrison worked five innings, allowing seven hits, no walks, and four earned runs. Freshman Chris Burns went one-for-two with his first home run of the season.
Next up for Herkimer was #13-ranked D-II Brunswick CC in North Carolina. This was a battle that saw a lead change six times over nine innings. Two inning-opening singles by Hayden Caffey and AJ Fabrizio would come around and score to put the Generals up 2-1 after the first inning. Brunswick got a leadoff single and backed that with a double in the third inning. Those runners came around to score and take the lead 3-2. Herkimer responded in the fifth inning when Cody Newbigging, Carlos Almonte, and Caffey started the inning with singles, as the Generals took back the lead with three runs for a 5-3 lead. Brunswick added two in the bottom of the fifth inning and one in the sixth to take a 6-5 lead after six innings in the books. Herkimer would battle back in the top of the seventh to take a 7-6 lead after a Dan Smith base hit up the middle. Brunswick would not go away, and battled to load the bases with two outs and a full count. Closer Denis Lyman threw a full-count breaking ball that froze the hitter but the pitch just missed and the tying run walked home. Two consecutive singles opened up the game 10-7, giving Brunswick a lead that they would not give up. Ryan Watson started on the mound for Herkimer. He worked four and one-third innings, allowing seven hits, three walks, and five earned runs. Hayden Caffey was two-for-five on the day. (Photo: Hayden Caffey)
The southern trip ended with a doubleheader at Baseball Heaven on Long Island against D-III Suffolk Community College. Herkimer jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after a walk to leadoff man Hayden Caffey and a double by AJ Fabrizio. Both came around to score later in the inning. It seemed that would be enough as Joe Kuzia would retire the next nine batters in a row with five strikeouts. Suffolk made some adjustments and got three runs in the fourth inning and chased Kuzia in the fifth with five more runs to take an 8-2 lead. Herkimer would get a three-run home run from Chris Burns in the top of the sixth and add another to make the score 8-6, but Suffolk answered with a big grand slam in the bottom of the sixth to extend their led and take a 13-7 victory. Game two lasted a little longer than expected as it took 11 innings to determine a winner. Herkimer jumped out to an early lead on a two run home run by Cody Newbigging in the second and a two-run round tripper in the third by Gerald Milanes-Iglesias to take a 7-4 lead after three innings. Herkimer led 8-6 going into bottom of seventh, but Suffolk responded on a walk and couple of infield singles to tie the game. Herkimer got their run in the top of the eleventh inning, but Suffolk again responded with two runs to walk off with the sweep. (Photo Gerald Milanes-Iglesias)
Herkimer's Ryan Watson hit .409 on the southern swing. Chris Burns hit .286 with two doubles, two home runs, and 10 RBI's. Ben Moxley has a 0-2 record but threw well and holds a 3.60 ERA. Nick Burch also was impressive and holds a 3.72 ERA. Closer Denis Lyman showed why he will be a key part of locking down games this season with his five and two-thirds innings pitched with 12 strikeouts. Herkimer is scheduled to open their northern season at home on Tuesday April 2 against Onondaga CC. The first pitch is set for 2:00 p.m.