RPI finished off it’s season in style while taking three of four against Vassar College. The final home games of the season were especially thrilling as the Engineers showed resilience, completing two walk off comebacks.
The first game started well for the Engineers. After surrendering a run in the third, they responded with three of their own. Junior Kevin Prosicki scored a home run and tied the game at one. Then junior Chuck Erickson and sophmore Andrew Kalish both hit RBI singles to give RPI the 3-1. In the following inning, RPI extended it’s advantage as junior Jonny Rio’s single scored junior Tanner Boucher and Prosicki.
The 5-1 lead did not last long as Vassar put up a large comeback of it’s own. Over the next three innings, the Brewers proceeded to tie the game and extended it to a 7-5 advantage. However, the seventh started well for the Engineers as a Boucher walk and Rio double put two runners in scoring position. Sacrifice flies by senior Kyle LaVigne and Kalish tied the game and sent it into extras.
After allowing no runs in the top half of the eighth, freshman Jared Jensen led off and reached second after an error and a sacrifice from Prosicki. Then with two outs, Rio finished off a great performance with a walk off single to left, scoring Jensen and giving RPI the 8-7 victory.
The home finale was dominated by pitching, particularly RPI’s own senior Dan Duval. He went the whole 10 innings while allowing just one run and one hit. Both teams only managed to score a run each during the initial nine innings; a Rio RBI double scored senior Kyle Kopacz for the Engineers. Then in the bottom of the tenth, Prosicki singled with two outs to give RPI a chance at the win. Then senior Art Levenson hit a walk off double to give RPI back-to-back walk off victories.
For his seven-strikeout shutout performance, Duval was honored with the Liberty League Pitcher of the Week award.
The first game of the doubleheader at Vassar did not go as well as the games at home. The Engineers quickly fell behind 6-0 after two innings. RPI’s only run of the game came when Kalish hit into a fielder’s choice which scored Rio. Vassar would be able to extend their lead to seven runs when it added two runs in the sixth. In the end, RPI was unable to repeat their late-game heroics and took the 8-1 loss.
The final game of the regular season was a high-scoring affair. RPI quickly fell behind 4-1 after one inning but came back with a vengeance in the second. They quickly loaded the bases, and Kopacz and Senior Markus Delello both walked to make the score 4-3. Then Boucher boosted the Engineers with a vital grand slam that gave RPI the 7-3 lead. Not to be out done, Levenson hit a home run of his own, unfortunately only with two-on, extending the lead to 10-3.
In the sixth, RPI added runs through Rio and Erickson RBIs but Vassar was quickly shrinking it’s lead. By the end of the seventh, Vassar had made the score 12-11 and seemed to have the momentum. The Engineers turned it around and scored another run when Levenson hit into a double play which allowed Kalish to score the eventual winning run as Vassar would score in the bottom half of the inning. RPI held onto the lead and finished it’s season on a high note with the 13 -12 victory.
The Engineers finished second in the Liberty League with a record of 19-9 against conference opponents and a 22-18 record overall. They will participate in the Liberty League Tournament this upcoming weekend hosted by St. Lawrence University. RPI’s first game will be against Skidmore College on May 10 at noon. Depending on the results, their next game will be played on May 11 against St. Lawrence or the University of Rochester.