Baseball pushes season to additional game before loss

RPI finished its season this past weekend with three road games at Liberty League rival St. Lawrence University. After getting shut-out in the first game on Saturday, Rensselaer fought back to win the second game of the doubleheader. On Sunday afternoon, inconsistent pitching plagued the Engineers in the opening game, allowing the Saints to cruise to a 12-6 victory. Following the first game, heavy rain fell for the rest of the afternoon, canceling the second game of the doubleheader. Unfortunately for RPI, one win in three wasn’t enough to earn a berth in the Liberty League tournament as they finished in fifth place, one and a half games back from fourth-seeded Vassar College.

In the first game of the afternoon on Saturday, both pitchers put in great performances and the two teams combined for just five hits, two for RPI and three for St. Lawrence. The difference in the game was St. Lawrence’s ability to take advantage of Engineer errors. A single by St. Lawrence’s Mark Syron effectively became a double when an RPI throwing error allowed him to advance to second base. After a subsequent rain delay suspended play briefly, a two-out RBI single by Devin Robson gave the Saints a 1-0 lead. Later in the bottom of the sixth, Syron was hit by a pitch with one out. Then, a Khifer O’ Connor single to right field allowed Syron to score after an off line relay throw provided him the time he needed to run home from third base.

The second game proved to be a different story for RPI as sophomore starting pitcher Greg Echeverria threw a seven hit, one run complete game victory. Senior designated hitter Shane Matthews belted a two-run RBI double down the left field line to give the Engineers an early 2-0 win. Later, it was RPI’s turn to take advantage of a St. Lawrence error. Senior first baseman Andrew Kalish reached on a fielding error by Saints second baseman Bryan Palermo and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt to begin the second inning. Later, with two outs, junior third baseman Tim LeSuer drove in Kalish with a single to make it 3-0.

The fifth inning proved to be the last time either team would score as RPI senior second baseman Al Mersman doubled down the left field line to drive in Lesuer and junior shortstop Nick Palmiero to give RPI the 5-1 victory.

In the season finale on Sunday afternoon, RPI took a promising 5-1 lead into the fifth inning before the situation took a severe turn for the worst. In the top of the fifth, a quartet of Rensselaer pitchers surrendered eight runs on six walks and three hits. The Engineers never recovered. Three more runs from St. Lawrence in the sixth resulted in a subsequent 12-6 defeat for RPI. Despite the loss, several players performed well. Sophomore catcher Chris Holomakoff tallied two RBIs and one run on two hits. LeSuer accumulated three hits, one walk, and one run. Lastly, sophomore right fielder Nick Annunziata RBI doubled to start a three-run fourth inning rally and later scored a run of his own.

The Engineers finished the regular season with an overall record of 23-11 and a conference record of 12-9.