Saints baseball team improves playoff chances with another sweep of Rochester
Right fielder Brian Magovney gunned down the potential tying run to end a 1-0 game in the bottom of the seventh, protecting Kevin Prindle's shutout and third baseman Khifer O'Connor went 5-5 with three runs driven in and three scored as St. Lawrence University's baseball team completed a weekend Liberty League sweep of the University of Rochester with a 9-4 win in game two of Sunday's doubleheader.
The Saints four-game sweep improves SLU to 17-13 overall and 11-9 in league play, enhancing their chances for a playoff bid with just Saturday and Sunday doubleheaders against Clarkson left on the league schedule. Rochester is now 15-20 overall and falls to 9-13 in league play.Prindle and Rochester lefty Corey King locked up in a classic pitcher's duel in game one and Prindle emerged the winner as the Saints scored the game's only run in the top of the fourth. Bryan Palermo led off with a single, went to second on a ground out by Carter Franz and with two out, Jeff Kott singled to right to drive Palermo home.
Prindle scattered six hits, walked none and struck out six, pitching into the seventh. Paul Piatelli got the final two outs for the save, the final out coming when Ethan Sander hit a single to right with pinch runner Evan Janifer on second and Magovney threw a one-hopper to catcher Zane Fish to nail Janifer at the plate and end the game.
King walked one and struck out five, allowing five hits in seven innings for the Yellowjackets. Josh Ludwig and Steve Eychner had two hits each for Rochester in game one.
The Saints took control of game two with a three run fifth and went on to complete the series sweep with a 9-4 win in game two.
The Saints grabbed an early lead as Franz tripled and scored on O'Connor's single with two out in the top of the first, but Rochester, playing as the home team on the Saint field, came right back to tie in the bottom of the inning as Sam Slutsky singled, stole second, went to third on a ground out and scored on a wild pitch by Saint starter Chris Kellogg.
SLU jumped back in front with two in the top of the fourth as O'Connor led off with a double to left center and was singled home by Paul Piatelli. While Piatelli was caught stealing, Magovney singled to left and catcher Matt DeLuca doubled to left center to drive him home for a 3-1 Saint lead.
Rochester rebounded one more time, taking a 4-3 lead with three in the bottom of the fourth. Singles by Nolan Schultz and Eyschner started the inning and Dan Warren was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Kellogg got the first out of the inning on a strikeout, but Nate Mulberg singled to right to drive in a run. A bases loaded walk and a ground out by Slutsky scored the other two Rochester runs.
St. Lawrence came right back to regain the lead in the top of the fifth as Rochester starter Adam Sullivan hit both Mark Syron and Palermo to start the inning and O'Connor delivered a one-out double to right center to score both runners. O'Connor went to third on Kott's single and later scored on Piatelli's sacrifice fly. The Saints added two runs in the top of the seventh as Franz led off with a walk and O'Connor doubled for the third time in the game. Piatelli's ground out scored Franz and Magovney singled in O'Connor. Syron completed the Saint scoring with a solo homer to lead off the top of the eighth.
Kellogg went six innings to improve to 3-2 on the season, walking three with three strikeouts. Sullivan went 4.1 inning and took the loss with five other Rochester pitchers seeing mound action in the game. Schultz, Warren and Mulberg had two hits each to account for six of Rochester's eight hits in the game while Syron, Franz and Magovney had two hits each to back O'Connor's five-hit game at the plate for the Saints.
SLU will play at Ithaca in a non-league game on Tuesday and then host Clarkson for a doubleheader at noon on Saturday. The two teams will play the second half of the four-game Liberty League set in Potsdam on Sunday, also starting at noon.