Vikings Headed To World Series Hudson Valley Downs Columbia-Greene, 7-4, To Earn Berth

CONTACT: Jeff Foley (518) 629-8085 or (518) 373-1262
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Sunday, May 13, 2001

Utica, May 13 – Hudson Valley Community College's baseball team had two opportunities to earn a berth in the NJCAA Division III World Series, but lefthander Bobby Krogh (Troy) made sure the Vikings continued their winning ways and wrapped up the trip with one victory today. Krogh, a lefthander, tossed a complete-game gem, allowing no earned runs, and No. 3 seed Hudson Valley knocked off No. 2 seed Columbia-Greene Community College, 7-4, for the second time in the NJCAA Division III Region III double-elimination tournament. Had the Vikings lost, they would have played Columbia-Greene again Monday for the Region III crown.

The Vikings (32-8) won all three games they played in the tournament at Murnane Field. Columbia-Greene's (30-12) two losses came at the hands of Hudson Valley. Ironically, Columbia-Greene defeated Hudson Valley both times the two teams met during the regular season. Hudson Valley will compete next in the NJCAA Division III World Series for the first time since 1982. The World Series will be played May 19-25 at Dwyer Stadium in Batavia.

"It's unbelievable to know we've come this far," said Krogh, who recorded eight strikeouts to pick up his sixth and most significant victory of the season. "We definitely play as a team."

Krogh was so relaxed before the start of the title game that, 10 minutes before throwing the contest's first pitch, he joked with teammates about his potential to become the world's leading cracker eater. Earlier this season, Krogh chewed and swallowed six Saltines in 60 seconds, falling, according to him, just one shy of the world standard according to Guinness World Records.

"It's harder than you think," Krogh said. "Saltines stick to your mouth and throat. I almost threw up."

Krogh was not relaxed for long, though; Columbia-Greene jumped out a 4-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Krogh gave up three of the eights hits he would surrender during the game, but the Vikings also had a rare sloppy frame defensively, committing four errors and allowing four unearned runs. It was a particularly significant moment, marking the first time Hudson Valley trailed during the tournament.

"We lost our composure," said Tom Reinisch, Hudson Valley's head coach. "We let down a little bit. That was a concern, but we've been putting runs on the board the whole tournament. And we knew Bobby was going to keep us in the game and give us a chance. So I was confident that we were going to score."

"If someone makes an error, we say, ‘Hey, get it next time,'" Krogh said. "We're not afraid to make mistakes. When you start thinking about it too much, that's when you really make mistakes."

Justin Meagher (Colonie), who contributed much of Hudson Valley's offense – he had two hits, including a triple, three RBI and two runs – picked his teammates up in the dugout after Columbia-Greene's minor offensive explosion.

Meagher said, "I just said, ‘Come on, we have eight innings left. There's still a lot of game left. We just have to start putting hits together.' I knew we weren't going to quit."

The Vikings responded immediately, scoring in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings. Meagher's two-run triple highlighted a three-run third inning. Meagher then came home on Nick Esopi's (Stillwater) grounder, which Columbia-Greene bobbled, tying the game at four runs apiece. Then, in the fourth inning, with Hamlet Abreu (Norman Thomas) on third base, Krogh helped himself by belting a ground ball to second base, which Columbia-Greene again bobbled, allowing Abreu to tally the go-ahead run.

"You've got to know how to win," Reinisch said. "Baseball's like a roller coaster, with highs and lows. When you get into the lows, you've got to get out of it and know you'll be OK. These guys always think they can win."

While Hudson Valley's offense clicked in the middle of the game, Krogh shut down Columbia-Greene. He gave up only five hits in the final seven innings.

First Team All-Region III infielder Silvestre Castro (Norman Thomas) helped Krogh out of a jam in the sixth inning. With two outs and the bases loaded for Columbia-Greene, Castro preserved the Hudson Valley win by going deep into the hole at second base and digging out a bullet of a ground ball. While falling to his stomach, Castro flipped to ball to first base and ended the Columbia-Greene threat. Castro also singled and scored twice.

"We just take it one game at a time," Castro said. "Every player's dream is to go to the World Series, and it's coming true for us."

Hudson Valley 7, Columbia-Greene 4

         1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     runs     hits     errors
CG    0     4     0     0     0     0     0     0     0     4         8         4
HV    0     1     3     2     1     0     0     0     X    7         6         4
Schafer, Eacott (6) and DelRosario; Krogh and McGinniss.

Hudson Valley Community College, located in Troy, offers more than 50 degree and certificate programs in four academic divisions; Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Liberal Arts and Sciences. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, Hudson Valley has an enrollment of more than 9,000 students each year, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and worker retraining.