Engineers win on walk-off RBI in 10th

SENIOR PITCHER SEAN CONROY THROWS a pitch to junior catcher Chris Holomakoff. The Engineers defeated the Fighting Saints 2-1 on Sunday.

On Sunday afternoon, RPI Baseball hosted the College of St. Joseph (V.T.) Fighting Saints for a non-league game at Robison Field. Pitching dominated as both teams managed just a single run through nine innings of play. In the bottom of the 10th inning, a groundball by senior centerfielder Jared Jensen allowed sophomore pinch runner Matt Lawrence to score the winning run for the Engineers.

RPI senior pitcher Sean Conroy allowed just one base runner in his first three innings, and thanks to a subsequent double play, faced just nine batters in the first three innings. On the mound for St. Joe’s, Tyler Kunzmann matched Conroy by holding the Engineers for the first three innings of play. RPI did record hits in each inning, however, and got runners on first and third with one out in the third before Kunzmann squeezed out of the jam with a strikeout.

In the top of the fourth, centerfielder Nester Velazquez doubled into the right field corner with one out. Then, with two outs, Kunzmann helped his own cause by singling past Conroy to put the Fighting Saints on the board.

St. Joseph held a 1-0 lead until the bottom of the seventh. Senior second basemen Tim LeSuer walked to lead off the inning. He subsequently advanced to second on a passed ball. Then, after a sacrifice bunt put LeSuer at third with one out, sophomore right fielder Thomas Desmond hit a groundball to the right side. St. Joseph’s fielded the ball and threw it home, but the throw was late, and LeSuer scored to tie the game at one.

In the top of the ninth, the Engineers ran into trouble. Fighting Saints left fielder Miguel Calderon reached on an RPI fielding error. Velazquez walked to put runners at first and second. Then, right fielder Connor Martin singled to left field and pinch runner Alec Babyak ran from second to home. RPI freshman left fielder Christian Spagnuola fired home and junior catcher Chris Holomakoff applied the tag to the speedy Babyak. The play saved the tie for the Engineers and the game went to extra innings.

In the top of the 10th, junior pitcher Charles Parslow came on in relief of Conroy and retired all three batters he faced in the inning. In the bottom of the inning, Spagnuola singled past St. Joseph shortstop Jordan Matos with one out. Then, Lawrence pinch ran for Spagnuola. Sophomore Sam Lawrence pinch hit for Holomakoff and walked to put runners on first and second.

Senior designated hitter Tyler Listing walked to load the bases. With one out, Jensen stepped to the plate and hit a slow dribbler past St. Joseph pitcher Eric Carroll, allowing M. Lawrence to score for RPI.

Conroy gave up just four hits and one run and struck out eight Fighting Saints over nine innings of work. Parslow earned the win in relief and improved his record to 3-1. LeSuer tallied two hits, including a double, while Listing, Desmond, and Spagnuola each recorded one.

The Engineers also played two games at Western New England University on Saturday, winning and losing one each. In the first game, Jensen picked up his fourth win of the season, giving up three earned runs in five innings, while sophomore pitcher Adam Aponte earned a save, his second of the season. The Engineers also traveled to Williams College yesterday, defeating the Ephs by a score of 13-4. To round out their regular season, the Engineers will play two games at Robison Field this weekend against Liberty League rival Rochester Institute of Technology.