Vikings Defeat Broome, 10-2, To Advance To Region III Championship Game
CONTACT: Jeff Foley (518) 629-8085 or (518) 373-1262
Hudson Valley One Win Away From World Series
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Saturday, May 12, 2001
Utica, May 12 – Hudson Valley Community
College's Chris Cooper (Shenendehowa) planted both feet in the batter's
box and thought, "Man, a grand slam would be nice here." It was the bottom
of the sixth inning in Hudson Valley's NJCAA Division III Region III playoff
game with Broome Community College at Utica's Murnane Field, and the Vikings
were leading 6-1. With the bases loaded, Cooper had a chance to put the
game out of reach and advance Hudson Valley to the tournament's championship
Broome quickly got two strikes on Cooper; the
180-pound infielder hadn't connected for a grand slam since Little League;
and he hadn't gotten a hit in roughly his last 10 at-bats. Suddenly he
was thinking, "Just make contact, get the bat on the ball." Any visions
of heroics vanished with the two-strike count.
But Broome's pitcher then delivered a fastball
that Cooper was able to turn on. His teammates gather at the edge of the
dugout, yelling at the ball to get out of the park as it screamed down
the third-base line, threatening to hook foul.
"I was just thinking, ‘Stay fair, stay fair,'"
The ball did stay fair, giving Cooper huge
bragging rights as it sailed over the Dunkin' Donuts sign in left field.
Cooper had his first collegiate grand slam, and Hudson Valley had a 10-1
lead, which they would not relinquish. The Vikings went on to score a 10-2
victory in seven innings (the game was shortened due to an eight-run mercy
"That was awesome," Cooper said. "I don't care
if I don't get any more hits this year. I don't mind; that was totally
No. 3 seed Hudson Valley (31-8) will now play
again at 3 p.m. Sunday, facing the winner of a noon matchup between No.
4 seed Broome (21-20) and No. 2 seed Columbia-Greene Community College
(29-11), who eliminated Erie Community College (29-12) from the double-elimination
tourney with a 13-4 shellacking today.
Because Hudson Valley has not lost in the tourney
yet, the Vikings have two chances to win the event and advance to the NJCAA
Division III World Series (May 19-25 in Buffalo). If Hudson Valley should
lose to the winner of Sunday's Broome-Columbia-Greene game, a second championship
game would be played Monday.
While Cooper provided the offensive excitement
today, Second Team All-Region III pitcher Nick Borgia (Scotia-Glenville)
was all guts in a complete-game, six-hit, earning his fifth win of the
season. Borgia gave up just one earned run in seven innings, striking out
seven batters. He also, however, issued nine walks and had to pitch himself
out of trouble several times.
"I was a little to fired up," said a still-energetic
Borgia after the game. "My blood was going crazy, but I made the pitches
I had to. I just focused on hitting the spot the catcher was holding up.
I knew if I did that I'd be OK."
Twice Borgia escaped damage by picking up
a strikeout with runners in scoring position, including a bases-loaded
situation in the top of the fifth inning. He used a wicked curveball to
douse Broome's hopes.
"We're playing way above what our expectation
were in the beginning of the season," Borgia said. "This team is like a
family and showing on the field."
First Team All-Region III infielder Silvestre
Castro (Norman Thomas) contributed a triple, two stolen bases and three
runs. Justin Beach (Columbia) had a double. Ryan McGinniss (Catholic
Central) had two singles.
"Everybody counted us out in the beginning
of the season," Cooper said. "Everybody thought we'd be at the bottom of
Region III. But the chemistry we're playing with is unbelievable. Everybody
gets along. Nobody puts anybody down. We're just playing pitch-by-pitch
to get to the next level. We want to show everybody what we can do."
Hudson Valley 10, Broome 2
1 2 3
4 5 6
7 R H
Broome 1 0 0
0 0 0
1 2 6
0 1 1
1 5 X
10 8 0
Young, Cohen (6) and Zelesniker; Borgia 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.