Engineers earn four-game sweep of inconsistent Raptors

Rensselaer baseball played four games against the Bard College Raptors this past weekend; two on Saturday at Robison Field and two on Sunday at Bard. The Engineers won all four games by a combined score of 31-7.

In the first game on Saturday, Bard first basemen Alec Montecalvo homered to give the Raptors a 2-0 lead. Then, in the second inning, Bard third baseman Steve Marotta grounded out, driving in centerfielder Nick Kifyak to give the Raptors a 3-0 lead. That run would be the last RPI senior starting pitcher Jared Jensen would allow.

The Engineers fought their way back into the game starting in the third inning. Jensen helped himself by driving in senior third basemen Tyler Listing to put Rensselaer on the board. Later, in the fourth, sophomore left fielder Thomas Desmond and junior center fielder Nick Annunziata both scored to tie the game.

Then, in the fifth inning, Jensen hit a solo blast over the right field wall to give the Engineers the lead. In the end, RPI won by a final score of 5-3. Jensen finished with six strikeouts and three hits on the offensive end. Senior right fielder Shane Matthews went two for three, including a double, and drove in two runs.

In the second game of the afternoon, junior pitcher Greg Echeverria pitched eight strong innings, giving up just one run and striking out eight to earn the victory. The Engineers tallied 13 runs on 13 hits to cruise to a 13-1 win. Jensen and senior shortstop Nick Palmiero each had three hits. Desmond added four runs batted in on two singles. Senior second basemen Tim LeSuer walked twice and scored three runs.

In Sunday’s first game, the Engineers trailed 1-0 heading into the sixth inning. They responded with two runs in the top of the sixth and two more in the top of the seventh.

The Engineers appeared poised to win their third in a row; however, RPI junior starter Charles Parslow ran into some trouble in the bottom of the seventh. A double by centerfielder Nick Kifyak put runners on second and third with one out.

Junior pitcher Stephen Schiavone came on to close the game but gave up a two-run double to the first batter he faced, catcher Matt Lasky. He settled down, though, and forced two of the next three batters to ground out. Schiavone earned his first save of the season, while Parslow improved his 2015 record to 2-1.

The final game of the series was another rout in favor of the Engineers. Senior pitcher Sean Conroy struck out 16 and gave up just four hits en route to a complete game shutout. Offensively, Jensen recorded a triple, a home run, three runs, and two RBIs. Sophomore first basemen Sam Lawrence recorded three hits, including a double, and added two runs batted in.

With the four wins, the Engineers improved their record to 14-8. Next up for RPI will be games against Williams College and Stevens Institute of Technology on April 15 and 16, respectively.