Baseball on mark in preseason campaign

For Spring Break, the RPI baseball team headed to Florida to play its final tune-up games of the preseason. The team started things off with a doubleheader against the College of Brockport.

The first game did not go as planned for the Engineers, as they lost 6-1. RPI started the scoring in the top of the first, but Brockport quickly responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning. Brockport would take the lead in the fifth as it scored two runs before closing the game out with an additional three runs in the sixth.

Game two against Brockport was much more successful for the Engineers. Once again, they started strong with a run in the first inning. After conceding a run in the second, no more runs were scored until the fifth, where RPI took the lead through a single by junior Jonny Rio. The Engineers added the final run of the 3-1 victory in the sixth when senior Cody Vincent singled to bring home sophomore Eric Kozak.

Up next was Webster University, and, for the third time in a row, RPI scored the game’s first run. This lead did not last long however, as Webster scored seven runs over the next three innings. In the ninth inning, Webster led 8-3 and added another two runs before RPI had a chance at a comeback. Junior Chuck Erickson’s double scored three runs for the Engineers, but unfortunately these were their last runs and the game finished Webster 10, RPI 6.

RPI then put on a late game offensive clinic against the Stevens Institute of Technology. Trailing 3-4 going into the eighth inning, RPI put up three runs with RBIs from Erickson and Vincent. After Stevens made it 6-5 in the bottom half of the inning, RPI responded with a four-run ninth to close out the victory. The 10 run, 18 hit performance were both season highs so far for the Engineers.

RPI went on to win its second game in a row against Spalding University. A sacrifice fly by senior Kyle LaVigne in the first inning put the Engineers on top. They were able to extend their lead to 7-0 by the fourth inning. However, Spalding made a comeback with seven runs in the seventh and eighth to tie the game. The Engineers would have none of the comeback as a Kozak double scored one and an Erickson homerun scored another two runs giving the Engineers the 10-7 win.

Unfortunately, the back-to-back wins were followed by three losses to Oswego State University, Western New England University, and the University of St. Thomas.

Against Oswego State, the Engineers put up 17 hits, but could not get many runs as they stranded 13 men on base during their 7-6 defeat.

The game against Western New England University did not go much smoother. RPI jumped out to a one run lead in the second, but gave up five runs in the fourth. After scoring two runs in the sixth, the Engineers surrendered another four runs as WNEU left victorious, 9-3.

To finish the preseason, RPI was shutout by the No. 23 University of St. Thomas. St. Thomas scored a run in the first and added three in the fourth inning. It then closed the game out with a run in the ninth to win 5-0.

The Engineers will look to bounce back as they open their Liberty League campaign on the road with a pair of doubleheaders at the Rochester Institute of Technology on Friday and Saturday.