Generals win first World Series game with great pitching
TYLER, TEXAS – With no more room for error after losing to Northern Essex on Saturday (5/24), the Herkimer Generals baseball team handled business Sunday (5/25), defeating Suffolk County Community College 7-2 in nine innings at Mike Carter Field to advance in the NJCAA DIII World Series.
Herkimer (38-10) had a much better pitching performance against the Sharks with sophomore Nicholas Burch (Salem, NY) getting the start, helping the bullpen which went through four pitchers in the opening round. Burch threw 4 2/3 innings, not allowing a run until the fourth. It helped Herkimer build a 3-0 lead until the fourth when the only two runs scored by Suffolk made it 3-2. Burch ended his day allowing two earned runs off of two hits, six walks and five strike outs. Additionally, he captured his sixth win of the season, staying undefeated through seven starts with a 2.27 ERA.
Getting Herkimer on the board in the first inning was the heart of the lineup, all with two outs. After sophomore Christopher Burns III (Endicott, NY) singled to right and centerfielder A.J. Fabrizio (Palm City, FL) was hit by a pitch, freshman Shinnosuke Takahashi (Chiba, Japan) doubled to centerfield scoring both Burns III and Fabrizio to make it 2-0. Takahashi finished the game 1-for-3 with 2 RBIs, one walk and two runs scored. The third run of the inning came from the very next at-bat when catcher John Boland (Rhinebeck, NY) singled to left field to score Takahashi, making it 3-0. Boland finished with game 2-for-3 with three RBIs.
As mentioned previously, the Sharks cut the lead to one run (3-2) after scoring their only runs of the game in the fourth inning. Herkimer answered right back in the bottom half of the inning, scoring two runs of their own on hits by Carlos Almonte (Brooklyn, NY) and Matthew Lichtman (Smithtown, NY). With Eric Downey (Colonie, NY) and Brandon Martinez (River Edge, NJ) manning first and second from a single and hit-by-pitch, Almonte’s single to centerfield scored Downey to bump the lead back to two runs (4-2). From there, a sacrifice fly by Lichtman scored Martinez to give Herkimer their second three-run lead of the game.
Giving the team a five-run lead in the fifth inning was Boland. The freshman got two RBIs on a deep drive to right-center, scoring Burns III and Takahashi who reached base via a single and walk. Burns III went 2-for-4 with two runs scored in the game.
Finishing out the game for the Generals in relief was Will Apps (Cicero, NY) and Alexander Lynch (Newport, NY). Both freshman didn’t allow a run or hit in four innings. Apps threw 3 1/3 innings and Lynch threw one, holding the lead for Herkimer. Aiding all the pitchers throughout the game was superb fielding, getting four double plays in the game. In the final inning of play after Lynch hit the first batter he faced, the fourth double play emptied the bases. From there, the game ended on a fly out in foul territory.
Herkimer will play their next game tomorrow (5/26). The Generals will play St. Cloud Technical & Community College at 4 p.m. CST. The cyclones lost to Cumberland 7-1 on Sunday.
Suffolk (22-11) 2
Herkimer (38-10) 7
SCCC 000 200 000 | 2
HERK 300 220 000 | 7
Jorge Ruiz 1-for-3
Michael Carson 1-for-3 2RBI
John Boland 2-for-3 12B 3RBI
Shinnosuke Takahashi 1-for-3 2R 1BB 1BB 2RBI
Carlos Almonte 2-for-3 1RBI 1BB
Matthew Lichtman 0-for-4 1RBI
Christopher Burns III 2-for-4 2R
A.J. Fabrizio 1-for-3 1R
Frank Valentino (L, 4-2) 4IP 5R 5ER 5H 4K 1BB
Richard Motta 1IP 2R 2ER 2H 1BB 1K
Ryan Dollop 3IP 0R 0ER 2H 1BB 1K
Nicholas Burch (W, 6-0) 4.2IP 2R 2ER 2H 6BB 5K
Will Apps 3.1IP 0R 0ER 0H 0BB 0K
Alexander Lynch 1IP 0R 0ER 0H 0BB 0K