1965 Baseball: A title at Yankee Stadium

Publication Date

The June 1965 Alumni Review described it as “almost too good to be true.”

“ … two out in the top of the seventh, the team’s stolen base leader on first. At the plate is the top scholar-athlete in the College. Coach Art Lawrence calls for a hit-and-run and second baseman Bruce Fike ’65 (B.S.E.E., magna cum laude) singles to left to score Gary Brown ’65 and put Union ahead of Old Dominion 2-1 in the game for the NCAA Atlantic Coast college baseball championship.

Union College baseball team circa 1965

“To prove the lead is no fluke, Union adds a run in the eighth and outfielder Bill Toth ’67 robs Old Dominion of a sure extrabase hit with a daring, one-hand catch. Final score: Union 3, Old Dominion 1.”

The two-day tournament at Yankee Stadium on June 8 and 9, 1965 brought together three NCAA district champions — Union, Middle Atlantic States champion; Colby, New England champion; LeMoyne, the at-large representative; and Old Dominion College (now University), Southern Atlantic States Champion, and two-time defending champion of the NCAA Atlantic Coast Region.

In the first game, Union beat Colby 5-2 on the pitching of Rick Crookes ’65, who threw nine innings in 90-degree heat for his ninth win in 10 starts for the season.

Brown pitched the best game of his life in the championship: three hits, two walks and eight strikeouts. He also batted .370 in the tournament.

With no national tournament scheduled that year, the win marked the end of the best season (15-2) in Union’s 91-year history.


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