Baseball Wins First NCAA Game, Ties Program Record for Victories

5/16/2014

The Stevens Institute of Technology baseball team stayed alive in the NCAA Division III New York Regional with a 10-3 victory over Union College on Thursday at Colburn Park in Newark, N.Y. It is the first NCAA victory in program history for Stevens and the 27 win on the season ties a program record.

The Ducks put together a near perfect contest against Union (26-12-1) on Thursday with 15 base hits and seven stolen bases. Stevens’ bottom third of the lineup went 7-for-14 at the plate with four runs scored, four runs batted in and four stolen bases.

Senior Dan Allen singled in the first at bat for Stevens but that was the only runner to reach for the Ducks to start the contest.

Union led off its half of the first with a base hit, only to watch an attempted sacrifice bunt turn into a fielder’s choice at second base. After another out was recorded, junior Gregg Nickels threw out a Dutchmen trying to steal second to end the inning.

Nickels then put the Ducks up, 1-0, on a single through the left side with one out in the second. Sophomore Tyler Bush scored on the play after he reached on a walk and stole second to move into scoring position. Junior Marc Calleo stepped up next and lined a base hit to left to drive in Nickels to give Stevens a 2-0 edge. Nickels advanced to second on a throw home on his base hit.

The Dutchmen once again placed a runner on by way of a single in the bottom of the second, but ran into some bad luck with a line drive double play which concluded the frame.

Stevens crossed another one over the plate in the third on a sacrifice fly from Allen that brought in sophomore Jonathan Toro. Toro was hit by a pitch and stole second before moving to third on a bloop single by junior Brian Hennelly. Allen remained on the bases on a dropped fly ball during his sacrifice fly and advanced to second.

The Ducks looked destined to score at least one more in the frame, but a fielder’s choice at home negated Hennelly from scoring and Allen was picked off at second to erase the threat.

Nickels dropped a one-out double just inside the right field line and came home on a base hit to center off the bat of freshman Harrison Kaye to stake Stevens to a 4-0 lead through four innings.

In the fifth, Stevens tacked on three runs on three hits to build its advantage to 7-0. Hennelly started the rally with a single and then Allen was hit by a pitch. Yano was up next and bunted for a base hit before sophomore Nicholas Sieber singled through the left side to drive in Hennelly. Bush brought Allen in on a sac fly and Nickels followed with another sac fly to push Yano across.

Union answered with two runs in the bottom half on a pair of wild pitches. The Dutchmen scored both runs with two outs after back-to-back base hits and a balk put both runners in scoring position.

That was the only time Union got to Yano, who tossed five innings and gave up five hits with two strikeouts in a winning effort. Yano also went 3-for-5 at the plate with a run scored, RBI and stolen base.

The Ducks got one back in the sixth on an RBI single by Yano that plated Toro. Stevens loaded the bases with no outs after Kaye led off with a single, Toro was hit by a pitch and Hennelly walked. After a fielder’s choice retired Kaye at home, Yano stroked his base hit to center. The bases remained full, but Sieber grounded into a double play which halted anything else for the Ducks.

Stevens continued its torrid offensive outburst in the seventh with a two-out rally. Calleo and Kaye each singled to start the rally and then Toro dropped a base hit in over the head of Union’s shortstop to drive in Toro. Kaye then advanced to third on a stolen base and swiped home on an attempted pick off of Toro at first to put the Ducks ahead, 10-2.

In the seven-thru-nine slots in the order, Nickels went 2-for-4 with two runs scored an RBI and double. Calleo batted 2-for-5 with a run and RBI, while Kaye stole four bases and went 3-for-5 with a run scored and RBI.

Tomorrow’s opponent at 10 a.m. is still to be determined. The Ducks will play the loser of No. 1 SUNY Cortland and No. 5 Farmingdale State College.