Baseball wins their second ever Liberty League championship

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The Dutchmen celebrate their second ever Liberty League championship. Union defeated RPI in the Liberty Leauge Championship game 8-6 on May 15, going 3-0 overall in the tournament. (Courtesy of Union Athletics)

On May 15, the baseball team was crowned Liberty League Champions with their 8-6 defeat of RPI.

Before the season, head coach Paul Mound proclaimed that this year’s team would be, “the most talented baseball team to ever step foot on this campus,”

The Dutchmen entered the three-day double-elimination Liberty League Tournament as regular season champions of the conference for the third time in four years, and as winners of their last six regular season games.

In round one, Union took on the fourth-seeded RPI Engineers, who despite being the defending champions of the Liberty League, were the final team to earn a berth in the tournament, going just 14-26 in the regular season.

The Dutchmen sent their ace Jake Fishman ’17 to the mound in game one, and Fishman came up huge with a complete-game four-hit shutout, striking 10 over nine innings of work. Fishman was simply dominant and got stronger as the game went on, retiring the final 11 batters he faced. The junior standout improved to 7-0 on the season and lowered his ERA to a ridiculous 0.31.

Anthony Amoroso ’19 provided offense early when he singled home Harrison Glatt ’18 in the bottom of the second to give Union a 1-0 lead.

The Dutchmen added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth when Eric Egan ’16 plated Fishman, who led off the inning with a double, on a fielder’s choice before scoring on an RBI single from Glatt to make it 3-0.

In round two, it was Jake Vesling ’18 who took the ball, picking up right where Fishman left off by tossing a five-hit complete game in Union’s 3-1 defeat of Clarkson. The win was Vesling’s first of the year.

It was the Golden Knights who struck first when Greg Jasek drove home Anthony Padrazo to give Clarkson a 1-0 lead in the top of the first.

Vesling settled in from there, and Egan got the offense going with two-run double in the fourth that plated Fishman and Kent Curran ’16 to give the Dutchmen the lead once and for all. Jamie Faber ’16 later padded the margin when he plated Egan with a sixth-inning RBI single, making it 3-1.

In the championship round, Union once again found themselves matched up with RPI, who bounced back from its day one loss thanks to the double-elimination format.

Matt Yonta ’16 earned the win in relief, tossing two innings and allowing two runs (none earned).

Adam Ashenfarb ’17 started for the Dutchmen and lasted six frames, giving up three unearned runs before being pulled after 98 pitches.

Faber gave up a run in relief in the ninth but earned his third save of the season, closing out the 8-6 win.

Egan drove in his team-leading 29th run of the season in the first before Joe Ganim ’19 scored on a double-steal off of a Vesling walk in the fifth. Fishman blooped home Vesling with a double to center to make it 3-0 Dutchmen.

RPI fought back with three runs in the sixth to some sloppy Dutchmen defense.

Ganim collected an RBI in the bottom half before the Engineers scored two in the seventh on back-to-back RBI singles from Weston Hawkins and Thomas Desmond.

In bottom of the seventh, Curran drove in Vesling with an RBI single before RPI repaid the favor to Union, allowing two more runs to score on a pair of errors to make it 8-5 Dutchmen.

A two-out ninth-inning RBI infield single from Desmond gave the Engineers their sixth run of the afternoon before Faber struck out Sam Lawrence to give Union its second ever Liberty League Baseball Championship.

The Dutchmen extended their winning to nine and tied a single season record with their twenty-sixth win.

The next action for Union will come when the Dutchmen represent the Liberty League in the NCAA Division III Baseball Regionals May 18-21, the team’s second regionals appearance since 1965, the other coming in 2014.

Fishman capped his dominant season in the Liberty League by being named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player while making the All-Tournament Team along with Vesling, Faber and Egan.

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