Saints split baseball with Thoroughbreds
Sunday, April 7, 2013 - 8:54 am

The St. Lawrence University men's baseball team scored the go-ahead run in the fifth inning of game one against Skidmore on Saturday and held on for the 4-3 victory. In the second game, the Saints rallied late but were done in by the Thoroughbred's 15 hits in an 8-5 setback. The two teams will meet again tomorrow afternoon for another pair of Liberty League games.

St. Lawrence, which moves to 8-4 on the season and 3-1 in the conference, was led on the day by Jeff Kott's 3-for-6 performance with two runs and three RBI's, while Mark Syron was 2-for-5 with five runs scored and Khifer O'Connor was 2-for-6 with three RBI's. Skidmore, now 6-8 overall and 3-3 in the league, was led by Erik Watkins who went 6-for-9 with four runs and two RBI's.

Joe Riley picked up his fourth win of the season on the mound as he gave up 11 hits in 7.0 innings and struck out five in getting out of several jams throughout the game.

In the first inning of the opener, Skidmore wasted no time getting things going offensively. Leejay Pollacchi drew a leadoff walk and Geoff Green, Erik Watkins and Alex Barber followed with consecutive singles to give the Thoroughbreds a 2-0 lead. After Jeff Spindel's sacrifice bunt moved runners into scoring position, Matty Tatkow's sac fly brought Watkins home to give the visitors a 3-0 advantage before Riley and the Saints could get out of the inning.

St. Lawrence responded in the bottom half of the inning, scoring three runs of its own to tie the game. Bryan Palermo reached on a Skidmore fielding error, and then Syron followed with a single to centerfield. With one out, O'Connor's soft grounder to the first baseman brought Palmero in, then Kott singled to left field to score Syron. Paul Piatelli followed with a two-out RBI double to centerfield that brought Kott home and tied the score at 3-3.

Both teams had chances offensively over the next several innings, including a bases loaded opportunity for Skidmore with no outs in the second inning. Riley, however, pitched out of the jam as he forced a foul out and then struck out the next two batters.

St. Lawrence scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fifth inning when Syron ripped a double to right center and would come around to score his second run of the game on a two-out single to center from O'Connor.

That run proved to be the game-winner thanks to St. Lawrence's solid defense the rest of the way. Skidmore looked to rally in the sixth when Mike Pannozzi led the inning off with a double, but St. Lawrence killed the Thoroughbreds' momentum as catcher Zane Fish fielded Jeremy Selecky's bunt and threw out Pannozzi trying to advance to third. The Saints put out the lead runner again on the next play at second base, and then Fish ended the inning by throwing out Pollacchi trying to steal second base.

In the seventh, Skidmore's Geoff Green singled down the left field line, again looking to start a Thoroughbred rally. Riley and the Saints, however, forced a pop up before turning a double play to earn the 4-3 victory.

In game two, St. Lawrence and Skidmore exchanged runs in the first inning, and after a scoreless second, the Thoroughbreds erupted for four runs off five hits in the third to take a 5-1 lead.

St. Lawrence could only muster one run in the bottom of the third as Syron drew a walk, stole second base and then scored on a Skidmore miscue on O'Connor's high fly ball. Skidmore tacked on another run in the fifth inning before Kott scored in the sixth inning off Kevin Prindle's single to cut the deficit to 6-3.

Skidmore continued to roll offensively into the seventh when consecutive singles loaded the bases for Jeff Spindel, whose 2-RBI single pushed the Thoroughbreds' advantage to 8-3.

St. Lawrence rallied for two runs in the seventh when Syron and Carter Franz scored on Kott's single to left. Skidmore, however, was able to get out of the inning before any more damage was done, and then held the Saints scoreless for remaining two innings.

Skidmore's Max Martins picked up the win on the mound as he gave up just three hits in 6.2 innings and struck out six. Andrew Schreyack suffered the loss on the mound for the Saints as he gave up 10 hits in 5.0 innings and struck out four. Mike Dell-Olio came in as relief for two innings and gave up four hits, then Ben Jenkins gave up just one hit in the final two innings and struck out one.