By Chris Allen
The Dutchmen baseball squad has found a great time to heat up. The team is currently has a 15-6-1 record with a 9-3-1 record in conference.
Eight of the last 10 games have ended in victories, and four of those games were against Liberty League opponents.
This time of the season is crucial for the Dutchmen because they can begin to distance themselves from middle-tier teams.
If Union is able to clinch, then the team pitchers will be well-rested for playoffs.
Since their battles with St. Lawrence, the Dutchmen have taken on rival RPI and Skidmore, with two non-league games versus MCLA and Utica.
The MCLA game was not much of a nail-biter and ended with an 11-0 win.
The next game versus Utica showed the Dutchmen’s offensive presence once again, as they won 11-4, giving Andrew Beaule ’14 his first win of the season.
The RPI series began with Jake Fishman ’17 on the mound. Fishman has been a key part of Union’s success and delivered another stellar five-inning performance while also going 3-3 at bat.
Captain Dane O’Neil ’14 said, “He’s come in and filled a huge role that needed to be filled when [Jamie] Faber ’16 went down in the fall.”
O’Neil displayed his talents in the second game of the double header by throwing seven innings with six strikeouts to improve to 3-0 on the year.
The offense came from the entire lineup, with players like Anders Goetz ’15, Jeff Grasso ’16 and Kent Curran ’17 having multiple hits.
Vincent Esposito ’14 continued his hitting success by going four for five with a run in the two games.
Overall, the Dutchmen won the first two games 5-2 and then 7-6.
The Dutchmen returned to Central Park the next day for two more against RPI.
The first game did not start off well as the Dutchmen were down 5-0 going all the way into the seventh inning. But one inning was all Union needed.
The comeback began with hits by Chris Carbone ’16, Goetz and Josh Abolt ’17. Captain Dave Peretti ’14 singled and Chris Donovan ’16 added a single to make the game 5-2.
Fishman tripled to clear the bases and make the score 5-4. Grasso completed the comeback with a single to bring Fishman home.
RPI was able to get out of the inning, but the Dutchmen won in the bottom of the eighth when Peretti shot a rocket that the second baseman wasn’t able to field, allowing Goetz to score from third.
“The ending of the game was surreal. But it’s these games that show the league that they can never count us out, we have built a lot of comradery and play until the last out,” said Joe Bradlee ’14.
The next game did not go as planned for the Dutchmen, as they fell 7-2 but were still able to win the series.
The next game scheduled for the Dutchmen began the team’s series versus Skidmore.
In the first game Skidmore took an early 3-0 lead, but Bradlee hit a near home run that became a triple with two RBI’s.
The highlight of the day came in the bottom of the seventh when Sam Caruso ’14 hit a walk-off single to score Logan Schulte ’17 and Goetz. Caruso has been quite the leader of the team, as he is hitting above .400.
“He has a lot of similarities with Tyler Heck from last year. They are both genius mechanical engineers, can’t be gotten out at the plate and have cannons for arms,” said Bradlee.
The next game wasn’t close from the beginning, as it ended 17-1 in the favor of the Dutchmen.
In Sunday’s game, the Dutchmen lost the first game 4-1 but were able to take the next one with a 9-7 victory.
“We won three out of four which is always a great weekend. We were searching for four wins but it is hard to sweep a team in the Liberty League,” said Peretti.
All in all, the Dutchmen are making another statement in the Liberty League. They return to the diamond on April 22 versus Southern Vermont, and their next home game is April 26 at Central Park.