Skelly, Conde Pitch Saints To Sweep of RPI
Matt Skelly held RPI to one run through eight innings and the St. Lawrence University baseball team held on for a 6-4 win to complete a doubleheader sweep of the Engineers in a Liberty League series at Tom Fay Field Friday afternoon. The Saints, who ran their win streak to nine games, improved to 18-4 on the season and padded their lead on RPI with the sweep, which included a 5-1 first game win.
The Saints are now 11-2 in Liberty League play and hold a 2.5 game lead on RPI heading into Saturday's series-concluding doubleheader. RPI is now 12-12 overall and 9-5 in league play.
In Friday's game one Jason Conde shut RPI out on three hits through six innings and surrendered an unearned run in the top of the seventh to earn his fourth win of the year. He walked one, hit a batter and struck out five in an impressive performance which included striking out the side after RPI loaded the bases with none out in the top of the third.
The Saints gave him a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first as Bryan Palermo led off with a single and stole second, moving to third when Carter Franz reached on a fielder's choice and Palermo was able to slide under the tag. Khifer O'Connor singled to right to score Palermo and Jeff Kott reached on an error, loading the bases. Paul Piatelli's ground out scored the second Saint run and Brian Magovney singled to right to score the other. Franz made it a 4-0 game in the bottom of the second with a two out opposite field homer to left.
SLU added a run in the bottom of the sixth as Franz walked with two out, stole second and after O'Connor was hit by a pitch, Kott singled to left field to drive in Franz.
Tanner Boucher scored RPI's run, reaching second on a dropped fly ball to open the top of the seventh. Jared Jensen delivered a one-out bunt single and Boucher scored when Jensen was caught in a rundown as the Saints gave up the run for the out. Conde struck out Eric Kozak to end the game and give the Saints their eighth straight win.
Skelly cruised through seven shutout innings in game two and worked out of a jam in the eighth, allowing one run on a sacrifice fly. Kyle Donaldson got into trouble in the ninth as RPI scored three times, but worked out of it as he got two ground outs to end it.
The Saints scored three in the third inning against RPI starter Levi Washburn as Palermo, Franz, O'Connor and Kott hit consecutive singles with O'Connor and Kott driving in runs and Matt DeLuca delivered a two-out single for the third run. Catcher Matt D'Auteiul hit his first collegiate homer in the bottom of the fourth and Kott singled and scored on a ground out in the bottom of the fifth for a 5-0 lead. O'Connor added a big insurance run with a leadoff homer in the bottom of the seventh.
Kyle LaVigne walked, stole second and moved to third on a ground out, scoring on Art Levinson's sacrifice fly for the only run off Skelly in the top of the eighth and RPI scored two runs on a throwing error and the third on Andrew Kalish's sacrifice fly before Donaldson ended it in the top of the ninth.