Glens Falls N.Y.-Brad Polcare led the Spartans to their first North Atlantic Conference championship title last Saturday as the Spartans defeated Husson College at East Field 10-6 in game one and 22-2 in game two. The senior second baseman had his best day of the season, hitting 10 for 13. He connected for two homers, one triple, and two doubles. He also drove in eight runs while scoring an additional eight.
“He is a phenomenal baseball player,” said Ken Cook, the starting pitcher for game one. “Good players show up when it counts. Brad just never stopped all year.”
Head Coach Ted Shipley was equally impressed.
“Brad Polcare had a special day. The best I have ever seen,” said Shipley. “He deserves all the good things that come his way. He’s a hard worker and a special person.”
With a 5-3 loss to Husson College in the opening round of the double elimination playoffs, the Spartans were only one loss away from being knocked out of the competition.
It was do or die time.
In game one, Cook took the mound for the Spartans.
After giving up a run in the first inning, Cook settled down and shut down Husson until the sixth inning. While Cook gave up only four hits during his five and two-thirds innings of work, Husson capitalized on some Cook miscues.
“I was hurting myself with the three walks and two hit batsmen,” said Cook.
After Cook, Husson continued to surge, collecting three hits off of the new pitcher, Jeremy Gilcris.
“I felt terrible for setting Gilly up with two runners on, and I paid for it when both of my runners scored, plus another in a base clearing double,” said Cook.
Husson racked up five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the game at 6-6.
Rob Turner was then called on, and he shut Husson down again.
The Spartans picked up two more runs in the eighth inning and two in the ninth to advance to the deciding second game.
In game two, the Spartans jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the first when Polcare jacked his first homer of the day into the right field stands.
The Spartans would never look back.
They unleashed a formidable offensive attack in the following innings, including a one-run inning, a four-run inning, a five-run inning, and an 11-run inning.
Assisting Polcare in his offensive onslaught was Kyle Brooks (2-5 and 5 RBI), Dan Conley (4-6 and 1 RBI), Chris Ragis (4-6 and 2 RBI), Garrett Bissonette (5-6 and 4 RBI), and Lauck Blake (2-3 and 2 RBI).
Rob Turner returned to the mound as the starting pitcher for game two. Turner pitched four scoreless innings, allowing only five hits and walking none. Freshman Mitch Thresher relieved Turner and pitched five innings, allowing two runs, four hits, and one walk.
“It feels nice to win the NAC tournament and all the credit goes to the players and assistant coaches for working hard and staying together through some tough times. Personally, I don’t coach to win titles or championships-those things come and go,” said Shipley.
After the two games, awards were handed out, including Most Valuable Player to Brad Polcare and All-Tournament Team to Rob Turner and Chris Ragis.
With the championship win, the Spartans automatically received a berth in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III Regionals.
“It will be exciting to get that chance against the #2 team in the country-Trinity College-they are currently undefeated at 37-0 and they have obviously performed very strong all season. They are as good as it gets,” said Shipley.
The location and time of the game are yet to be announced.
“We will prepare and try our best,” said Shipley.