Ithaca comes back around to win 1980 title

The Bombers suffered a 7-4 loss to Upsala in the first game of the World Series. Up against the wall in the double-elimination format, the Bombers scored 13 runs in the first three innings of their next outing, a 23-7 victory over UW-Oshkosh. Freshman designated hitter Mark Fagan had two home runs and two doubles, along with seven RBIs, in the victory. Junior Doug DeCarr then tossed a complete-game eight-hitter as Ithaca earned revenge over Upsala, 7-1.

To win the national championship, the Bombers needed to defeat host Marietta twice in the same afternoon. Ithaca fell behind 4-1, but thanks in part to some stellar relief work from freshman Dave Axenfeld, the Bombers climbed back into the game and won 5-4 on senior outfielder Ted French's eighth-inning home run.

The Ithaca bats exploded again in the title game as the Bombers came away with a 12-5 win. Junior third baseman Jim Barletto hit two solo home runs, junior outfielder Rick Watts added a solo shot and scored four times, and senior captain John Nicolo, the team's shortstop, was 5-for-6 with three RBIs. Marty Olmstead earned the complete-game victory on the mound after just one day's rest.

Nicolo was named World Series most valuable player after setting records for most runs (9) and hits (12) in the tournament.

Five members of that championship team were also teammates on Ithaca's 1979 national champion football team: sophomore Bob Campese, senior John Bertino, DeCarr, Nicolo, and sophomore Fred Yaple.

Story from Ithaca College Sports Information.

1980 All Tournament Team
MVP - John Nicolo, Ithaca

Catcher - Steve DeMatties, Ithaca
First Base - Brian Lee, Marietta
Second Base - Bruno Giordano, Upsala
Third Base - Jim Barletto, Ithaca
Shortstop - John Nicolo, Ithaca
Outfield - Dave Algrem, UW-Oshkosh; Carl Vasquez, Marietta; Ted French, Ithaca
Designated Hitter - Steve Yurchak, Marietta
Pitcher - Craig Henderson, UW-Oshkosh; Dave Axenfeld, Ithaca.