Saints Gain Split With Clarkson; Stay Alive in Playoff Race
Pinch runner Tom Pasquali went from first to third on a wild pitch and scored on shortstop Ethan Braddock's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth inning, snapping a 4-4 tie and sending St. Lawrence on its way to a 7-4 Liberty League victory over Clarkson for a split of a key league doubleheader between the two North Country rivals.
Clarkson, now 16-16 overall and 12-10 in the Liberty League, won game one, 1-0 to clinch a spot in next weekend's Liberty League tournament. The Saints 17-18, 10-11 lead the University of Rochester, which has completed its league schedule by percentage points in the race for the final spot. St. Lawrence must win at least one of Sunday's rematch with Clarkson in Potsdam to make the tournament.
In game one, David Goerold of Clarkson and the Saints' Chris Cook locked up in a classic pitcher's duel and Goerold emerged a 1-0 winner in the seven inning game.
Both pitches allowed four hits, Goerold walking one with one strike out and Cook walking three and striking out seven. Clarkson scored the game's only run in the top of the third as Sam Grainger walked with one out, went to second on a single by Dan Padrazo, but was then picked off second. Jerry Coleman walked with two out and Dan Lenney delivered a two out single to score Padrazo with Coleman put out in a run-down after the run had scored to end the inning.
Goerold did not allow a hit until the Saint fourth when Khifer O'Connor doubled to center. The Saints challenged in the fifth when Matt DeLuca and Matt D'Auteuil hit back-to-back singled with two out, but Goerold escaped when Ethan Braddock hit a sharp grounder down the third base line which forced DeLuca for the final out. The Saints opened the bottom of the seventh with a single by Jeff Kott, who was sacrificed to second. Paul Piatelli then walked, but Goerold got two groundouts to end the game.
Clarkson jumped on Saint starter Jason Conde for three runs in the top of the second with two out. Pete Lasecki started the rally with a single and Grainger hit a checked swing double down the third base line. Conde walked Padrazo to force in one run, a second scored when the Saint pitcher couldn't hang onto a comebacker to the mound and the third run scored on a bases loaded walk.
The Knights added a fourth run on singles by David Wixten, Lasecki and Granger, but the Saints roared back to tie the game with four in the bottom of the third. Braddock started the Saint rally with a walk and was sacrificed to second by Joshin Atone. After a flyout, Bryan Palermo doubled to left to score Braddock, and O'Connor singled hard down the first base line to drive in Palemro. Jeff Kott drew a walk and Paul Piatelli greeted Clarkson relief pitcher Jarrodd Mattingly with a two run double to center to tie the game.
Conde settled down after the third inning and the Saints gave him a lead in the bottom of the sixth when Pasquali used his speed to set up the go-ahead run as the pinch runner for Taylor Engle, who led off the inning with a single to center.
Conde worked out of trouble in the seventh, stranding two runners, and the Saints provided some insurance runs in the bottom of the inning as Palermo walked and O'Connor singled. After a ground out by Kott moved both runners up, Piatelli was intentionally walked by Clarkson pitcher Pete Roma. Roma then picked Piatelli off first, but designated hitter Matt DeLuca delivered a two-strike single to right to produce the 7-4 lead.
Kyle Donaldson came on with two out in the Clarkson eighth to get the final out of that inning and pitched a one-two-three ninth to seal the win.
Palermo and O'Connor each had two hits and an rbi to lead a nine-hit Saint attack while Grainger was three for four with a run driven in for Clarkson. Roma took the loss with Conde earning his fifth win of the season.