Engineers showed strong start against Wesleyan, sadly faltered

THE ENGINEERS STRUGGLED to overcome Oswego’s leads, despite scoring two runs before the top of the sixth inning. (file photo)

The RPI men’s baseball team had a rough time this past weekend, losing three away games; one to Virginia Wesleyan College and two to Oswego State University.

Saturday’s game against Wesleyan started off well for the Engineers. An error and a single to right field by Rensselaer sophomore J.T. Sawyer put juniors Yahriel Jimenez and Jeff Sitarski in scoring positions. Sophomore Christian Spagnuola hit a grounder to the Cardinal’s shortstop, who missed the throw to first, allowing Jimenez and Sitarski to score. Finally, junior Matt Lawrence singled to right field, giving Sawyer the opportunity to score and putting the Engineers up 3-0 at the top of the second.

Singles to left and center put two men on base for Wesleyan at the bottom of the second. A big double by C.J. Lindsay sent both men home, closing RPI’s lead to 3-2.

At the bottom of the third, Wesleyan tied it up when Deon Hammond was able to score from second after a hit to right field by Taylor Erby.

In the fifth, Corey King was able to score on a series of errors, one that got him on base and another from a failed pickoff attempt.

An RBI by Hammond brought the score to 5-3 Wesleyan in the bottom of the seventh.

In the eighth, Lawrence scored from a double down the left field line courtesy of Sitarski. Wesleyan came back at the bottom of the inning, scoring three runs from a single and two throwing errors.

The top of the ninth proved fruitless for RPI, ending the game with a 8-4 loss.

Later that afternoon, RPI faced the Oswego Lakers. It was a pitcher’s game until the seventh, when the Lakers’ Wes Randall hit one to left field, scoring Collin Thompon and Robert Donnelly.

Two more scored in the eight with a single to center field by Myles Kutscher. Matt Capobianco would close up the scoring for the inning with a single that sent Kutscher home, putting the Lakers’ lead to 4-0 over the Engineers.

As RPI struggled to put any men on base, Oswego was able to keep singling and scoring, sending three more men home at the top of the ninth. Two fly-outs and a ground-out for RPI sealed their fate at 7-0.

On Sunday, the Engineers sought to redeem themselves against Oswego. Unlike Saturday, the Lakers got started right away, putting up two runs in the bottom of the first.

In the third, the Engineers scored their first run of the game when junior Justin Valente walked, stole second, and then came home on a hit up the middle by junior Thomas Desmond.

By the top of the sixth, Oswego had scored two more runs, setting the score at 4-1. Lawrence doubled for RPI in the seventh, and then stole third on a wild pitch. In prime position, Lawrence scored when junior Jason Ramos singled.

Just as things were looking to improve, the Lakers struck back in the bottom of the inning, scoring two more runs.

Randall helped Thompson score when he hit a triple, but was thrown out when he tried to take home.

RPI was unable to regain the lead in the top of the ninth, losing to Oswego 7-2. Their three losses put their overall record at 1-5. RPI will travel to Florida for multiple games over Spring Break.