AMSTERDAM, N.Y.—The Union College baseball team claimed its second Liberty League conference championship in three seasons with an 8-6 win against crosstown rival Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) Sunday afternoon at Shuttleworth Park.
The Dutchmen, who extended their win streak to nine and tied a program single season record with their 26th win (26-12), will represent the Liberty League in the NCAA Division III Baseball Regionals May 18-21 at Falcon Park in Auburn, N.Y. It will be Union's second appearance in the regionals since 1965. The NCAA Division III Tournament will be announced Monday, May 16.
The Engineers finish the season with an overall record of 18-26.
Jake Fishman, who was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, led Union, going a perfect 3-for-3 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI. Eric Egan, who was also selected to the Liberty League All-Tournament Team, finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.
Matt Yonta improved to 2-0 on the mound, allowing two runs (none earned) on three hits in one inning. Jamie Faber gave up one earned run on three hits with earned his third save of the season. Union starter Adam Ashenfarb tossed six innings, surrendering three runs (none earned) on three hits with six strikeouts and two walks.
Egan gave Union a 1-0 lead in the first with his team-leading 29th RBI and his fifth in the last four games, scoring Fishman with a sacrifice fly to left.
The Dutchmen added to their lead in the fifth with a bit of trickery on a double-steal. Jake Vesling drew walk and broke for second before Fishman stepped into the batter's box. RPI tried to make the play at second, allowing Ganim to scamper home. Fishman made it 3-0 with a bloop double to center field.
RPI fought its way back in the sixth, tying the game at 3-3. A throwing error gave the Engineers their first run of the day before Sam Lawrence drove in two runs with a single to right.
Ganim pushed Union back in front in the bottom half of the inning with an RBI groundout, but RPI answered in the seventh, taking its first lead on back-to-back RBI singles by Weston Hawkins and Thomas Desmond.
The back-and-forth game continued in the bottom of the seventh when Kent Curran plated Vesling with a single and advanced to third on a fielding error on the play, which also allowed Fishman to score from first. Curran reached home in Union's next at-bat on a throwing error to make it 8-5.
Desmond pulled one back for RPI in the top of the ninth with a two-out infield single, but Faber got Sam Lawrence to strike out swinging, giving Union its second Liberty league title.
Charles Parslow took the loss for the Engineers, allowing two runs (one earned) on two hits.
Liberty League All-Tournament Team
Greg Jasek – Clarkson
Ethan Meister – RPI
J.T. Sawyer – RPI
Stephen Schiavone – RPI
Sam Lawrence – RPI
Jake Vesling – Union
Jamie Faber – Union
Eric Egan – Union
Jake Fishman – Union
Most Outstanding Player
Jake Fishman - Union