Engineers leave Brewers bruised in doubleheader
The Vassar Brewers traveled to Troy to take on the Engineers in a doubleheader on Saturday. With both teams tied for third place in the Liberty League East, this matchup would be pivotal in setting the playoff picture.
Chris Grome (Gr) started on the mound for Rensselaer, striking out two batters and forcing a groundout to retire the side in order. With Jake Defayette (Gr) on first with one out, Martin Marintchev ’23 blasted an RBI triple to deep right center field to boost the Engineers into the lead. Next up was Hudson Livesey ’22, whose infield single brought Marintchev in to score. After the first inning, the Engineers were up 2‒0.
Grome again retired the side in order, this time in just eight pitches. In the bottom half of the inning, a single, a throwing error, and a walk loaded the bases with one out. Joey Saia ’23 knocked a one-hop groundball to short, resulting in a force-out at second base. He beat out the throw to first, preventing an inning-ending double play and allowing a run to score. The bases were loaded once again after the next batter was walked. Livesey returned to the batter's box, hoping to drive in another run. After taking the first pitch outside, Livesey rocketed a grand slam over the wall in left field to unload the bases and put RPI up by seven after the first two innings.
After a few three up, three down half-innings, the Engineers started the bottom of the fourth red-hot. Jack Moncur ’22 smacked a double down the left field line to immediately put a runner in scoring position. Defayette’s great discipline at the plate earned him a walk in the next at-bat. Then, Saia drilled a grounder past the first baseman into the outfield, driving in Moncur from second base and advancing Defayette to third. The Engineers piled on when Defayette scored on a Marintchev groundout to put them up by nine.
After two scoreless innings, the Brewers started the seventh with a single and two outs. A double into center field scored the runner from first to end Vassar’s scoring drought. In the bottom of the inning, a sacrifice fly from pinch hitter Jon Primerano ’25 put RPI in front 10‒1.
Thomas Neuman (Gr) came in to relieve Grome after seven innings of service. The closer went three up, three down in the top of the eighth. The Engineers put three more runs on the scoreboard off of another RBI single from Livesey and two walks with the bases loaded. Neuman retired the side in order with two swinging strikeouts and a flyout to secure the 13‒1 victory. Click here for the box score.
Grome was fantastic on the bump for the Engineers. The starter gave up three hits in seven innings, not walking any batters. He gave up only one run, while collecting eight strikeouts. Neuman also had a spectacular performance, striking out half of the batters he faced. Livesey stood out in his five at bats, racking up four hits and six RBIs. Saia, Marintchev, and Primerano all batted in two runs each as well.
The Engineers followed up the win with another, sweeping the Brewers in the doubleheader; RPI lost to Vassar the following day in Poughkeepsie and to Clarkson several days later in Potsdam. The Engineers are 12‒15 on the season after the four games; they are 4‒5 in the Liberty League East after edging out Vassar for third place in the division.