Poughkeepsie, NY - After six scoreless innings, the Clarkson University Baseball team finally broke through to gain the lead in the top of the seventh, but a run by Vassar in the bottom half of the inning forced extra frames and the host came away with a 2-1 victory in 11 innings in the opener of the Golden Knights doubleheader, but the Green and Gold returned the favor with a 4-0 win in the nightcap.
The Golden Knights moved to 6-8 overall and 3-3 in the Liberty League with their third straight conference split, while Vassar moved to 7-6 and 3-3. Clarkson will face RIT this weekend in a pair of doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday at Jack Philips Stadium at Snell Field.
After a harmless top half of the first in the opener, Clarkson threatened in the next five innings with runners in scoring position each time, including three times with less than two outs. Without the benefit of a hit, the Knights broke through in the top of the seventh inning. Following a fly out, Scott Morrissey (Troy, NY) reached base on a walk and David Wixted (Ballston Lake, NY) pushed Morrissey into scoring position after a dropped pop up. After a strikeout, Dan Lenney (Clifton Park, NY) walked to load the bases, and Tim Beninati (Schoharie, NY) gained a run batted in by walking.
The lead would be shortlived, however, as Vassar scored in the bottom half of the inning. A leadoff single and an error put men on first and third with no one out. A sacrifice fly from AJ Kim tied the game up and Clarkson was able to wiggle out of the jam. It wasn't until the 11th inning that the game finally concluded, as Dave Robbins hit a one-out single down the line to give Vassar a walk-off victory.
Senior Bryan Chudy (Goshen, NY) allowed just a single unearned run in six innings, striking out five and allowing five hits in that time. Freshman Greg Jasek (Chittenango, NY) followed up with four innings of one-hit ball, whiffing three and walking none. Clarkson had eight hits in the game, with Wixted, Morrissey, Jasek, and Connor Martin (Baldwinsville, NY) each recording two.
Clarkson continued to get solid pitching performances in the second contest of the doubleheader. Pete Roma (Endicott, NY) allowed just two hits over five innings and stuck out six, including four straight looking, to combine on the shutout with Jarrod Mattingly (Philadelphia, NY), who pitched two scoreless frames to close out the win.
The Knights scored a run in both the third and fourth innings to get a 2-0 lead early. In the top of the third, Bobby Derico (Watervliet, NY) led off with a single and advanced to third on an error to put a man in scoring position, and junior Kyle Henchey (Rensselaer, NY) delivered a double to plate the sophomore for a 1-0 Clarkson advantage. In the following frame, Greg Jasek doubled and moved to third on a groundout before racing home on a passed ball.
In the top of the sixth inning the Knights produced a pair of insurance runs for Roma as Wixted, John Coleman (Potsdam, NY) and Jasek loaded the bases with three straight singles. Matt Jenack (Massena, NY) grounded into a double play, but Wixted was able to score. Dan Lenney then reached on an error which allowed Jasek to come home with his second run of the game, giving the Knights a 4-0 lead.