Rensselaer takes three of four on weekend

SENIOR KYLE LAVIGNE ROUNDS the bases during RPI’s doubleheader against Clarkson University. LaVigne was selected as the league’s Performer of the Week after an outstanding weekend.

Senior Kyle LaVigne came up big for Rensselaer baseball this weekend as the Engineers took three of four against the Clarkson University Golden Knights at Robison Field. LaVigne combined for three homeruns, 12 RBIs, and eight runs scored to lead RPI to its 13-11, 4-3, and 10-2 victories.

The Engineers swept Saturday’s twinbill, defeating Clarkson in the first two of four matches on the weekend. LaVigne led the team with six hits on the day as RPI bounced back for two come-from-behind victories.

The first match saw the Engineers drop behind 4-1 after just one inning of play. However, five runs in the bottom of the second frame helped to establish the lead—including RBIs from junior Jonny Rio and sophomore Andrew Kalish, and capped off by a bases-clearing triple from LaVigne.

Junior Chuck Erickson launched a homerun to deep right field for the third inning’s only score. Although the Golden Knights pulled within one off a two-run double in the fourth, the Engineers responded with five runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a 12-6 lead. Both teams exchanged runs in the fifth before Clarkson attempted a comeback in the seventh and final inning. Despite four runs from the Golden Knights, it wasn’t enough to cut the deficit set by Rensselaer. Sophomore pitcher Tim Gallagher earned the win in relief after allowing three runs on one hit and striking out three batters through 1.2 innings of play.

After an action-packed first match, the two teams were more subdued in game two, combining for only seven runs. RPI senior starting pitcher Levi Washburn earned the no-decision after giving up three runs on six hits through 6.0 innings of work.

The Golden Knights jumped out to a 3-0 lead after scoring runs in both the third and fifth innings. However, a four-run sixth was all RPI needed to earn the win. An RBI by Erickson brought home LaVigne, while a fielder’s choice by sophomore Eric Kozak scored both Erickson and junior Tanner Boucher. Junior Drew Korte closed out the inning with an RBI single that brought home Kozak and gave Rensselaer the lead for good.

Freshman Sean Conroy threw 4.0 innings of relief for Rensselaer to earn the win, allowing only three hits and striking out two Golden Knights.

Sunday’s doubleheader saw Rensselaer defeat Clarkson in game one, but fell in a 12-9 decision for the second match. LaVigne led Rensselaer with three homeruns, while two other Engineers also hit moonshots.

Game one saw Boucher bring home Kalish for the contest’s first run, while Erickson’s two-run double gave the Engineers a 3-1 lead after the first inning.

Rensselaer tacked on singles in both the fourth and fifth innings, while LaVigne blasted a two-run homer in the sixth to help rack up the score. The Engineers finished with another run in the seventh inning, closing out the match with a 10-2 advantage.

Clarkson bounced back in the night cap, whittling down an early RPI lead to earn a 12-9 win. Although the Engineers scored four runs in the top of the first inning—including a homerun from Erickson—the Golden Knights came back with two runs in the second. RPI extended its lead in the third inning, but three runs from Clarkson evened the score at five.

Three more runs in the fourth inning gave the visitors the lead for good, as Rensselaer was unable to ever gap the deficit. Clarkson scored again in the fifth and seventh innings, ramping up its lead to 12-5 before the Engineers mounted an attempted comeback. Despite LaVigne’s third homerun of the day in a four-run eighth inning, Rensselaer was unable to get any closer as it closed out the weekend with a 12-9 loss.

The Engineers are back in action this weekend with another pair of doubleheaders at Robison Field. Saturday’s twinbill against the University of Rochester is set to begin at 1 pm, while Sunday’s matches, also against Rochester, will start at noon.