Knights split baseball home opening Doubleheader against RIT
Potsdam, NY - Four league doubleheaders and the Clarkson University Baseball team is still looking for its first sweep, but the Golden Knights haven't been swept either and the trend continued on Saturday with a split against RIT with the Green and Gold winning the opener 3-2 before falling in the nightcap 7-0 at Jack Phillips Stadium at Snell Field.
The Golden Knights moved to 7-9 overall and 4-4 in the Liberty League, while the Tigers saw their record change to 6-5 overall and 1-3 in conference games. The two teams are scheduled for another doubleheader at 12:00 noon on Sunday.Clarkson began the first game with both David Wixted (Ballston Lake, NY) and John Coleman (Potsdam, NY) reach on errors, with the latter gaining an RBI on a grounder that was mishandled in the infield. Following a single from Greg Jasek (Chittenango, NY) and a sacrifice bunt by Matt Jenack (Massena, NY), Dan Lenney (Clifton Park, NY) was able to send Coleman home with an RBI-groundout to the right side. In the bottom of the third, Wixted scored again with an impressive slide around the tag at the plate as Jasek hit a groundball to the right side that was just deep enough to allow the swift-footed centerfielder a chance to break for home.
In the top half of the fourth inning, Skip Flanagan doubled to open the frame and Walt Roman walked. An infield error loaded the bases and Ronnie Canestro singled to right to plate a pair, but the Knights' Pete Roma (Endicott, NY) got out of the jam with a strikeout and a double-play to end the threat. Junior Jarrod Mattingly (Philadelphia, NY) relieved Roma in the fifth and was able to pitch out of trouble in the fifth and sixth before recording three straight groundouts in the seventh to earn the victory.
Game two was another tight contest until the late innings, with the two teams combining to score just a single run in the first six frames. Jaren Bell hit a one-out single and moved up to third on a double by Skip Flanagan. Brian Brazee lifted a medium fly to right-center that pushed Wixted out of good throwing position for a sacrifice fly to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. The score would remain that way until RIT broke the game open with six runs in the seventh inning. RIT loaded the bases with one out and a liner back at relief pitcher Jim Coleman (Clay, NY) allowed two runs to come in, one on the hard hit single and another on a throwing error. Taylor Hogan followed with a single to plate another run. Walt Roman then scored on a wild pitch and two more came around on an error to account for the other three runs in the inning.
In the second contest, Mike Burns earned the win for RIT, allowing six hits in nine innings. The junior struck out only two, but pitched to contact well, throwing only 40 pitches in the first five innings and recording 10 outs on first-pitch strikes.