Rensselaer falters versus RIT; drops to 6-12

SENIOR SAM LAWRENCE SQUARES UP in the box. This season, he’s batting .328, third-best on the team. (file photo)

Rensselaer had a tough home opening weekend against Rochester Institute of Technology, losing both doubleheader games Saturday and splitting Sunday’s games 1–1.

On the second pitch of the game, the Tiger’s Navada Waterman tripled to center field, setting the tone for the rest of the game. Waterman was sent home during the next at bat, putting one up for RIT.

The Engineers matched RIT in the second, with a double from senior Thomas Desmond. A poke into right field from junior Ethann Meister allowed Desmond to get home.

From there, the Tigers became an unstoppable run scoring machine. RIT put runs on the board in every inning from the third through the seventh. During that same time, RPI only scraped together one run during the sixth, a solo homer from senior Sam Lawrence. At the end of the game, the score stood at 14–2.

RIT was again the first one out of the gate in the second game. Two runs in the first and two more in the second put them at a comfortable 4–0 lead. But the Engineers had learned their lesson from the last game, and were prepared to score some runs. Desmond lead off the bottom of the second with a home run. Later in the inning, senior Jeff Satiski managed to steal home.

But RPI’s biggest inning was still on the horizon. In the third inning, the team’s bats went wild. Eight men rounded the bases before RIT scraped together three outs. The runs came courtesy of singles from Satiski and junior Christian Spaguola, a triple from senior Justin Valente, and a two-run home run from Lawrence. The Engineers sat comfortably at 10–4.

As any veteran of the game knows, the game’s not over until it’s over. With only three innings gone, there was still plenty of time for RIT to come back. And come back they did. RPI expanded their lead by one in the bottom of the third, but RIT had their big inning in the sixth. The Tigers closed the seven run gap to only two, after three hits and two errors by the Engineers.

Going into the ninth, RIT was trailing by one. Just three outs and the Engineers would claim their first Liberty League victory of the season. A groundout to first and a strikeout put that goal within one. An error put a man on first, and a double followed that, putting two in scoring position. Unfortunately for the Engineers, another double sent both men home. RIT had secured a lead.

The Engineers did not manage to scrape together a run in the bottom of the inning, just barely losing 12–11.

The teams returned to Robinson Field on Sunday for another double header. Unlike Saturday, Sunday’s games were much lower scoring. The Engineers got on the board first during the fourth inning from a double by senior Sean Welling which sent Lawrence, who walked, home. RIT put up three in the next inning, and the Engineers only managed one more run before the game was over.

Fighting to not get swept by the Tigers, RPI entered the final game of the weekend. RIT scored one run in the first, matched by Rensselaer in the second. The innings remained quiet until the sixth, when the bats came alive and the score came to 3–1 RPI.

RIT got held to just one run the following inning. One more run came home for RPI in the eight, marking the end of scoring for the game. The Engineers won 4–2.

The Engineers are 6–12 overall and 1–3 in the Liberty League. They have one game against St. Lawrence University on April 5, and then two make-up games against Clarkson University over the weekend.