Baseball battles St. Lawrence in doubleheaders

RPI had its three-game winning streak come to an end at the hands of St. Lawrence University as the Engineers could only manage to win one game out of four this weekend. The first game on Friday did not start well for the Engineers as they gave up three runs in the first inning. Junior pitcher Mike Campisi would give up another run in the second to put the Engineers in a 4-0 hole.

St. Lawrence was able to hold back an RPI team that had put up a large amount of runs in its past few games. RPI was unable to score for the first six innings, and only got its first run after St. Lawrence scored its fifth. Junior Tanner Boucher led off the seventh frame and reached on an error by the right fielder, taking second. A bunt by freshman Jared Jensen sent Boucher to third, and as Jensen was caught stealing, Boucher took home for the Engineers only run of the game in the 5-1 loss.

RPI looked to bounce back in the second game of the day but suffered a similar fate as the first. With senior Levi Washburn on the mound, St. Lawrence took another early lead. After two shutout innings, the Engineers gave up three runs in the third, one in the fourth, and another in the fifth. To make matters worse, St. Lawrence put another man across in the seventh. Facing a 6-0 deficit, the Engineers would make an attempt at a comeback.

In the eighth, senior Kyle LaVigne singled and then stole second. Boucher advanced LaVigne with a ground out and finally, a sacrifice fly by senior Art Levenson gave the Enigeers their first run. Then in the ninth, RPI would continue the effort. Sophomore Eric Kozak started the inning with a single and advanced on a wild pitch. Junior Kevin Prosicki was walked which put two men on base for junior Jonny Rio. Rio’s hit was collected by the pitcher whose error allowed Rio to reach third as Kozak and Prosicki scored to make it 6-3. Sophomore Andrew Kalish’s sacrifice fly scored Rio, but RPI was unable to complete the comeback and the game finished 6-4 in favor of St. Lawrence.

RPI started better in the opening game on Saturday. Both teams put a run across in the first inning. The game did not get any additional runs until the fifth. A LaVigne sacrifice fly scored Prosicki and then a Boucher single scored Rio. In the sixth, RPI added its fourth run when a Rio single scored Prosicki. With a 4-1 lead headed into the last inning, the Engineers appeared to be safe.

St. Lawrence came out and dropped a bomb on RPI. Back-to-back singles with men on second and third cut RPI’s lead to 4-3 and a walk loaded the bases. Another single scored another two runs, and finally a run was walked in to give St. Lawrence the 6-4 advantage. Boucher doubled with one out in the bottom half of the inning, but the Engineers could not take advantage as they dropped their third consecutive game.

The final game of the four went much better for RPI. Senior Dan Duval pitched all nine innings for the Engineers, only allowing 11 hits and just one run. The game was scoreless until the sixth when LaVigne’s single to center scored Rio. After Duval gave up his only run of the game, a Prosicki sacrifice fly restored the Engineers lead for good. To finish the game, LaVigne added another RBI as he brought home senior Cody Vincent. Boucher then hit a two-run homer to give RPI the 5-1 victory.

The Engineers have a 10-6 record in the Liberty League and have a four-game week ahead of them. Rensselaer takes on Union College in a home-and-home series this weekend. The first doubleheader will be Saturday at 1 pm at Robison Field. The next twinbill is at Union on Sunday beginning at noon.