ITHACA, N.Y. – The Ithaca College baseball team is set to host the 2022 Liberty League Championship from May 12-14 at Freeman Field and will look the claim the program’s first Liberty League title. The Bombers earned the right to host the postseason tournament after finishing first in the West Division and winning their crossover series last weekend against Union.
ABOUT THE LIBERTY LEAGUE TOURNAMENT:
Four teams qualified to compete for this year’s Liberty League title – Ithaca (27-12), Rochester (29-9), RIT (19-17) and Clarkson (11-17). All four of these teams compete in the West Division of the Liberty League and reached this stage of the season by winning their crossover series last weekend.
Ithaca defeated Union in three games, while Rochester beat RPI, RIT took down Bard and Clarkson topped Skidmore in sweeps.
The double elimination championship will begin at 11 a.m. on Thursday and the full schedule is listed below.
All games will be available via LIVE STATS and LIVE VIDEO.
More information can be found on the CHAMPIONSHIP PORTAL page.
THURSDAY, MAY 12
GAME ONE: #2 Rochester vs. #3 RIT – 11 a.m.
GAME TWO: #1 Ithaca vs. #4 Clarkson – 2:30 p.m.
FRIDAY, MAY 13
GAME THREE: Game 1 Loser vs. Game 2 Loser – 10 a.m.
GAME FOUR: Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner – 1 p.m.
GAME FIVE: Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Loser – 4 p.m.
SATURDAY, MAY 14
GAME SIX: Game 4 Winner vs. Game 5 Winner – 10 a.m.
GAME SEVEN: If necessary – 1:30 p.m.
SCOUTING THE BOMBERS:
Ithaca went 27-12 this season and 10-2 in the West to earn the No. 1 overall seed. IC’s only two losses in the division came against Rochester and St. Lawrence.
The Bombers are batting .323 as a team, which leads the Liberty League. IC also leads in runs (307), hits (427), doubles (88) and RBI (272). The pitching staff paces the Liberty League in strikeouts (314) and innings pitched (329.0).
IC’s offense is led by Buzz Shirley, who owns a .413 average with 39 RBI, 38 runs and 16 doubles. Shirley has notched 50 hits on the season and has drawn 17 walks and 17 hit by pitches. Close behind is Connor Pedersen, who has amassed 64 hits in her first year with the program, to go along with a .383 average, 28 runs and 28 RBI.
Louis Fabbo (.366, 31 RBI, 5 HR), Nicholas Cutaia (.345, 49 H, 12 2B, 36 RBI), Matt Fabian (.336, 30 R, 28 RBI), Gil Merod (.318, 28 RBI, 22 R) and Riley Brawdy (.259, 29 R) have all been mainstays in the lineup this season. Mike Nauta (.351, 25 R, 12 SB) and Ethan Rothstein (.241, 19 RBI) will also factor into the starting lineup this weekend.
On the mound, the Bombers will look to a three-man rotation in Kyle Lambert, Nate Scott and Colin Leyner. The bullpen will be held down by Garrett Bell, Brett Budzak and Erislandy Rives.
Lambert has been dominant for a majority of the season with 74 strikeouts in 72.2 innings pitched with a 3.10 ERA and .212 opponent batting average. Scott is 6-3 on the year with a 3.96 ERA in 61.1 innings pitched with tree complete games, while Leyner has posted a perfect 5-0 mark in 43.2 innings of work with a 3.71 ERA.
Bell is 6-0 in relief over 14 appearances and 30.0 innings with 34 strikeouts. Budzak has fanned 24 batters in 17.2 innings pitched, while Rives has struck out 21 over 17.0 innings with two saves.
SCOUTING THE YELLOWJACKETS:
Rochester is a solid team in all facets of the game and has been nationally ranked for a portion of the season with a 29-9 mark. The Yellowjackets earned their way into the tournament by blanking RPI in the doubleheader, 12-0 and 1-0.
UR has outscored its opposition by 100 runs this season, 286-186. The Yellowjacket offense is batting .308, while the pitching staff allows just a .247 average. UR leads the league in home runs with 32 and triples with 27. Pitching wise, UR is first in ERA (4.08), batting average and runs allowed.
Rochester possesses eight hitters that over .300 on the year. Sy Harper is tops on the squad with a .375 average, 42 hits, 32 RBI and six home runs. Aaron Whitley leads the team with 41 runs scored, 42 hits, 20 hit by pitches and 21 stolen bases. Luke Piontek is batting .363 in 80 at bats. Jackson Reed (.333), Brian McKinsey (.320), Jacob Matzat (.369) and Colby Cruser (.321) are all hitting over .300 this season.
Cruser is also a starter on the mound for UR with a 2.17 ERA in 37.1 innings pitched and 41 strikeouts. Trevor Van Allen has started 10 games with a 3.47 ERA, 7-0 record, and 46.2 innings pitched, while Noah Sparks has struck out 57 batters over 50.1 with a 6-1 record.
Thomas Karpishin is lights out coming out of the bullpen with a 1.11 ERA in 24.1 innings pitched with 22 strikeouts and five saves.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS:
* from RIT Sports Information Office
RIT opened Liberty League postseason play with a sweep at Bard in last weekend’s Crossover Series, taking the first game, 5-3, and then sweeping the Raptors with a 6-2 victory in the second game on May 7. The Tigers never trailed at any point during the two games.
RIT is 10th in conference batting with three hitters at .300 or above. Freshman designated hitter Adam Marsh leads the team with a .353 batting average, followed by graduate student outfielder Nic Stagnitta (.321) and senior first baseman Ian Libby (.314). The Tigers are third in conference pitching based on a 5.55 ERA. Junior pitcher Peter Bossinas has a team-best 2.74 ERA with a pair of saves, and senior Jon Opalewski has highs in wins (five) and starts (10). RIT is first in the conference in fielding with a .970 percentage and are led by senior centerfielder Will Porter’s perfect fielding percentage in 40 total chances.
RIT is a combined 2-6 against tournament opponents Ithaca, Rochester and Clarkson this season. The Tigers went 1-2 against their opening tournament opponent Rochester during a three-game series April 30 through May 1. The Tigers went 1-1 against Clarkson on April 2 in Rochester after falling in the first game, 8-4, and winning the second, 3-2. RIT fell to Ithaca three times at home from April 15-16 by scores of 16-10, 12-4 and 3-2.
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS:
The Golden Knights gained entrance to their 15th Liberty League Tournament since 2003 with a doubleheader sweep of the East Division’s top-seed Skidmore College last Saturday. Clarkson is 11-17 on the season and found its offense in that sweep of Skidmore with 28 runs over the two games.
A major part of that output was Colby Brouillette, who drove in 13 runs with three homers in the doubleheader. Brouillette is batting .333 on the season with seven home runs and 39 RBI.
Kent Wilson paces the team with a .363 average with 26 RBI and 29 runs scored. Caleb Doyle leads Clarkson with 34 runs scored, while Mike Nee is swinging at a .360 clip in 75 at bats.
Kyle Locklear is the top arm for the Golden Knights as he has struck out 57 batters over 39.0 innings of work with a 3.46 ERA. Nicholas Hofacker is 5-3 on the year in 43.0 innings pitched, while Griffin Tubbs has appeared in 14 games and logged 41.0 innings.
The Clarkson offense is hitting .290 on the season with 209 runs scored and 277 hits. The pitching staff has fanned 207 batters in 231.2 innings but is allowing opponents to hit .320.