Engineers strike down Golden Knights

FRESHMAN CHRISTOPHER PALMIERO MAINTAINS his balance after firing a pitch at the Golden Knight’s batter.

Baseball had an excellent weekend against the Clarkson University Golden Knights, dropping only one game over the pair of doubleheaders.

The scoring in Saturday’s first game started off with the Golden Knights in the top of the second. Ben Knauf singled to left field, setting himself up to advance into scoring position following two ground outs from his teammates. Knauf scored on a passed ball.

Senior Yahriel Jimenez returned the favor the following inning. Jimenez reached first on a fielder’s choice, and was able to run home when junior J.T. Sawyer singled to center. At the bottom of the second, the score was tied at one apiece.

Both sides were quiet for the next few innings, until the Engineers rallied in the bottom of the fifth. The inning was marked by five singles that sent the team flying around the bases. Midway through the inning, after allowing two runs and filling the bases, Clarkson decided it was time for a pitching change. But even that wasn’t enough to stop the Engineers, who scored three more runs on the Golden Knight’s new pitcher. Had it not been for an unfortunate line drive turned double play, the Engineers might have had a wild inning. Still, the score was 6–1 in their favor.

Clarkson tied a rally of their own the following inning, but only put three on the board before they were shut down. The top of the seventh saw a lonely run for Clarkson, but the Engineers held out and won the game 6–5.

Saturday’s second game didn’t get exciting until late in the day. The teams were tied 2–2 going into the ninth, and coming out neither had scored. In the top of the tenth, a pair of singles put the Golden Knights one run ahead of the Engineers. RPI needed one to continue the game, or two to end it on the spot.

Fortunately, two walks put senior Sam Lawrence in scoring position on second base. Senior Thomas Desmond singled to the pitcher, which was enough for Lawrence to squeeze home and keep the Engineers in the fight. A second run in the bottom of the tenth did not come for the Engineers, and another inning was upon the teams.

Clarkson doubled their overtime game, scoring not one but two runs in the eleventh. As luck would have it, a fielding error put junior Weston Hawkins on base, and a rogue pitch put senior Justin Valente there as well. Singles by Lawrence and junior Christian Spagnola sent both men home, tying the game once again. But the Engineers were not done yet. Desmond, the savior of the last inning, was up to bat, and hit a walk off single to finish the afternoon for the Engineers.

The first game on Sunday did not go quite the same as the games on Saturday had. The Engineers managed no runs in Sunday’s first game, while Clarkson put up five.

Sunday’s second game, however, was much like Saturday’s games. It still took the Engineers four innings to get into the swing of things, but once they did it was magical. In the top of the inning, Hawkins started with a solo home run that soared over the left field scoreboard. Inspired, the Engineers put up three more runs that inning, from a combination of a walk, single, and two doubles.

Clarkson and RPI each put up one more run before the top of the seventh, putting the score at 5–1. Then, it was time for another Rensselaer rally. During the seventh, nine men rounded the bases. The flurry of hits and massive score disparity stunned the Golden Knights. There was simply no coming back from such a feat. The Engineers, to rub it in, scored three more in the eighth, putting the run disparity at 17–1. Clarkson did pick up one run in the bottom of the inning, but didn’t have a 16 run rally in them.

With the wins, the Engineers are now 6–4 in the Liberty League. The team will travel to Springfield, Massachusetts on April 15 to take on Western New England University.