Over this past weekend,Rensselaer baseball had its home opener against the University of Rochester at Robison Field. They split the series 2-2 against the Yellowjackets, with each team taking one game each on both Saturday and Sunday.
The first game on Saturday was a slow game, with the exception of the top of the seventh. This was the only inning when the bats came alive, allowing Rochester to put up a five run lead which RPI was unable to answer.
In the second game of the afternoon, the Engineers were more prepared for their opponents. During the sixth inning, junior Yahriel Jimenez was down 0-2 in the count, but was able to smack a single to left field and allow sophomore Ethann Meister to score. Meister had reached first after a fielding error.
In the bottom of the seventh, senior Michael Croke doubled to left center. Sophomore Christian Spagnuola grounded to the pitcher and was thrown out at first, but was able to advance Croke to third. A sac fly by sophomore Weston Hawkins drove Croke home, putting the Engineers up 2-0.
Junior Matt Lawrence reached on a single, and was eventually driven home by junior Jeff Sitarski to put the Engineers up 3-0 at the end of the seventh.
At the top of the eighth, Jake Meyerson sent home two for the Yellowjackets, closing in on the Engineer’s lead.
The bottom of the eighth proved to be a big inning for the Engineers, bumping up their lead to 7-2. Sophomore J.T. Sawyer and Croke were on base when Hawkins singled up the middle, sending both home. M. Lawrence then singled to left center, putting Hawkins in scoring position. Junior Sam Lawrence sent both home, extending the Engineer’s lead by two more runs for a total of four during the inning.
Rochester scored two runs in the top of the ninth–threatening to take the game–but junior Adam Aponte closed out the game with his first save of the year, giving the Engineers a 7-5 win over the Yellowjackets.
The first game Sunday felt much like Saturday’s first game, ending in the Engineer’s defeat at a miserable 10-1. Rochester scored runs in every inning through the sixth, while Rensselaer managed to score only one in the fifth thanks to a single by senior Chris Holomakoff.
RPI started off the scoring in the first inning of the second game when junior Jeff Sitarski batted in M. Lawrence and freshman Tyler Stephens.
Rochester struck back at the bottom of the inning, topping the Engineers with three runs to make the game 3-2 Rochester. They picked up an additional run after a single to right field in the fourth.
At the top of the seventh, RPI was trailing at 4-3, but a big inning was coming for the Engineers. A walk by Spagnuola called for a bunt by Hawkins, who was able to both reach first and advance Spagnuola.
Junior Justin Valente bunted down the third base line, and managed to reach first while also sending Spagnuola home.
A single by Sawyer to left field sent Hawkins home and Valente to second. A wild pitch put both men in scoring position.
Hits from Stephens, M. Lawrence, and S. Lawrence racked up the runs, putting the Engineers in the lead at a comfortable 9-4.
The Yellowjackets put up another two runs in the bottom of the seventh. The Engineers scored another run at the top of the eight for good measure, but the game was all but over by then. The final score was 10-6 in favor of the Engineers.
RPI Baseball takes on Bard College this week, with an away doubleheader on Saturday, and a home doubleheader Sunday at noon on Robison Field.