Riley earns fourth win of the season in Knights baseball split Vs. RIT
Potsdam, NY – With winds whipping all around Jack Phillips Stadium, miscues needed to be limited and the team that made the fewest mistakes wound up winning each of the games on Saturday as the Clarkson University Baseball team and RIT split a doubleheader, with the Golden Knights claiming a 5-1 victory in the opener and RIT gaining a 12-7 victory in the nightcap.
The Golden Knights moved to 12-10 overall and 8-2 in the Liberty League while the Tigers saw their record stay even at 11-11 overall but 6-4 in conference games. The two teams will face one another in a second doubleheader on Sunday, scheduled for a 10:00 am start due to the weather forecast.Clarkson got on the scoreboard first in game one, as a bobble created a forced throw which turned into an unearned run when Nolan Duda came all the way around from first base to put the Knights up 1-0. Later in the inning, Joe Stockman's single stayed inside the line and allowed Mike Nee to score Clarkson's second run.
The Tigers picked up a run in the top of the fourth, but it could have been more had it not been for a solid relay. Joey Mylott reached on an error and Daniel Zeglen sent Mylott rounding the bases on a double to center. However, Clarkson shortstop Joe Stockman made an excellent relay from the outfield with a flawless throw to the plate to cut down Mylott for the first out. Although Patrick Blackall sent Zeglen home on a single, the damage was limited to just a single run.
Clarkson responded with two in the bottom of the fourth. Mike Messier came around when Kyle Locklear's sacrifice bunt attempt saw everyone safe on a throwing error. Mike Nee then delivered a two-out single to plate another unearned run for the Golden Knights. Clarkson tacked on one more in the fifth thanks to a Michael Tito single which scored Joe Stockman, who led off the inning with a walk.
Ryan Riley picked up his fourth win of the season, striking out five of over seven innings with six hits and two walks allowed. Stevie Branche took the loss for RIT, giving up seven hits and six walks in six innings, though just one of his five runs allowed was earned. Clarkson left 12 runners on in the game.
In game two, nothing went right for the Knights in the second inning as RIT hung nine when 14 batters came to the plate. Between walks, soft singles, errors, and routine fly balls getting pushed around by the wind, the Tigers gained a huge lead in the early going. Clarkson kept things interesting with four runs in the fourth. Kyle Locklear singled with the bases loaded and Joe Stockman delivered a sacrifice fly to get two runs in and Mike Messier grounded out to drive in a third run. Tito then hit a liner back at the pitcher which bounced all the way into foul play, allowing Locklear to score.
Junior Nate Burns, who came in as the third pitcher in the second inning, kept Clarkson in the game with 5.2 innings of scoreless work, striking out seven and scattering six hits.
RIT pushed three unearned run across in the top of the ninth to make it 12-4, but again Clarkson kept things alive with three runs in the bottom half of the inning. Nolan Duda drove in one with a sacrifice fly and Brad Pearson scored two with a single to right-center, but the deficit was just a bit too much to overcome as Clarkson fell in game two.