Baseball spent last week’s Spring Break in Florida for the Russmatt Central Florida Invitational, where the Engineers faced seven teams over the course of the week. While some games were closer than others, the Engineers ultimately failed to secure a win during the week.
In their first game, RPI faced the Curry College Colonials. Senior Greg Echeverria pitched a complete game, allowing only three runs. Despite batting six hits to the Colonials’ five, the Engineers failed to send a man home and lost the game 3-0.
The next day Rensselaer faced the Stockton University Ospreys. Stockton got off to a quick start, scoring six runs in the first inning, amassing a lead RPI could not overcome. RPI only battled back to earn a total of five runs throughout the game: two in the first and three in the eighth. The Ospreys ended the game with 17 runs total, ending the game at 17-5.
The Ramapo College Roadrunners were next for the Engineers, who hoped to redeem themselves from yesterday’s loss. Unfortunately, the game felt eerily similar to the previous day, with Ramapo scoring eight runs in the first. RPI was unable to recover, and the Roadrunners trampled the Engineers 21-8.
The weak first innings continued against the William Paterson University Bears—yet another eight-run letup in the first. This did not deter the Engineers, who slowly chipped at the Bears’ lead. In the seventh inning, a hit and a walk put junior Yahriel Jimenez and sophomore Ethann Meister on base. Senior Chris Holomakoff made the necessary play by sacrifice bunting to advance the runners into scoring position. Singles from sophomore Christian Spagnuola and junior Matt Lawrence put the score at 9-6, still in favor of the Bears. To wrap up the inning, junior Thomas Desmond smacked a home run, bringing the score to 9-8. Unfortunately, the Engineers didn’t manage to score another run, and the game concluded with the same score.
In Wednesday’s game against Babson College, RPI broke their first inning bad luck, allowing Babson to score only one run. RPI also picked up a run, tying the score. Babson picked up three more runs in the third, pushing their lead to 4-1. Jimenez stepped up to the plate with two outs in the top of the fifth and sent two men home on a single, shrinking the Babson lead. The game was then tied up by junior Jason Ramos in the sixth. However, two runs from Babson, one in the bottom of the sixth and one in the seventh, made it a 6-4 loss for the Engineers.
On Thursday, RPI faced the Ripton College Redhawks. Ripton took a 2-0 lead early in the second inning. The Engineers’ bats woke up late, but they still sent a runner home in the eighth and two in the ninth. Things were looking good until the Redhawks tied it up in the bottom of the ninth, sending the game to extra innings. The Engineers went down 1-2-3 in the top of the tenth, and a single drove in the winning run for Ripton in the bottom of the frame.
RPI turned it around in their final game of the week against the Clarkson University Golden Knights. At the end of the second inning, the Engineers were up 8-2. The Golden Knights put a run in the next inning, and a throwing error in the fourth put another on the board for the Engineers. Feeling comfortable with their lead, the Engineers went slack in the sixth, allowing Clarkson to regain lost territory and bring the score even at 9-9. Although RPI had regained the lead by the bottom of the seventh, Clarkson swiftly took it back in the eighth and then prevented any additional scoring, stealing away a win from Rensselaer 13-12.
The Engineers host their first home games this Saturday and Sunday against the University of Rochester Yellowjackets.