Rams Advance to Championship Game in Regionals
#4 Farmingdale State - 13, #3 Rensselaer - 9
Farmingdale, N.Y. - The Farmingdale State baseball team forced a Championship game of the NCAA Division III New York Regionals tomorrow afternoon, Sunday, May 17th at 3pm, after defeating Rensselaer 13-9 today. The Rams (29-15) handed the Red Hawks (37-12) their first loss of the Tournament with the win, forcing a second game for the New York Region Title in the double-elimination tournament. The winner advances to the NCAA Division III World Series from May 22-26 at Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton, Wisconsin.
RPI got on the board first with a three-run first inning after sophomore Josh Brooks (Lake Katrine, N.Y.) hit a triple to right. Patrick Reardon doubled to right center to send Brooks home for the 1-0 lead, before Camden Mamigonian (Dover, N.H.) hit the games first homerun to make it 3-0 Red Hawks after one.
Junior Mike Labrozzi (Sag Harbor, N.Y.) led off the second inning with a homerun over the left field fence to get a run back for Farmingdale State. The next three batters reached on hits to load the bases and a walk by senior Rich Gili (Manorville, N.Y.) brought a run in for the 3-2 score.
After a pitching change, the Rams' next batter, junior Frank Yera (Manhattan, N.Y.) hit the third homer of the game, a go-ahead opposite field grand slam, to give the Rams the 6-3 lead.
The Red Hawks scored one in the second to come within two runs, 6-4, but Farmingdale scored four more in the top of the fourth, one run in the sixth and two in the ninth to build up the 13-4 cushion.
In the bottom of the ninth, RPI made a rally with five runs on three hits and one error, but Farmingdale sophomore Gary Troy (Rocky Point, N.Y.) and junior Billy Garofalo (Patchogue, N.Y.) closed the final inning, to preserve the win and force a Championship-deciding second game on Sunday afternoon.
Freshman right hander Chris Phelan (Patchogue, N.Y.) got the win on the mound to improve to 5-1 this season, striking out five batters in seven innings.
This will be the first-ever Regional Championship game for Farmingdale State, while RPI faced Cortland in the Championship game in 2008.
The win also marks the 4th win this season over a Nationally ranked team for the Rams, as they defeated Cortland and Southern Maine during the regular-season and then defeated #19 Cortland on Friday in the Regionals and then today #22 RPI.