Saints, RPI Split Doubleheader, Win Streak Ends at 10
St. Lawrence University's baseball team ran its win streak to 10 games with a come-from-behind 6-4 victory over Rensselaer in game one of a Liberty League doubleheader at Tom Fay Field Saturday, but the Engineers received a solid pitching performance from senior Dan Duval in a 5-1 game two win to salvage the split.
The Saints, 19-5 overall and 12-3 in league play, took three of four from the Engineers as they continue their best start to a season since the 1984-85 team went 20-4 for the entire year. The ten game win streak was the best for a Saint team since 2005-06 and was three short of the 13-game streak by the 1984-85 team. RPI is 13-12 overall and 10-6 in Liberty League play.
In game one of Sunday's doubleheader, the Saints rallied with five runs in the top of the seventh to record their 10th straight victory.
The Saints trailed 4-1 after RPI snapped a 1-1 tie with two runs in the bottom of the fifth and added another in the bottom of the sixth, but the Saints, playing as the visiting team on their home field, came roaring back.
Freshman Mark Syron led off with a pinch hit single to left and Ethan Braddock followed with a line single down the left field line. Braddock was erased on a fielder's choice and Bryan Palermo grounded out with Braddock forced at second, but after Palermo went to second on a passed ball, Carter Franz singled to right to drive in Syron. Khifer O'Connor then singled to left, scoring Palermo and after a walk to Jeff Kott, Paul Piatelli singled to right with Franz and O'Connor scoring on the play. Matt DeLuca was hit by a pitch with two out and Syron drew a walk in his second at bat of the inning to bring home the fifth Saint run and give SLU a 6-4 lead.
Chris Kellogg, who came on in relief of starter Joe Riley in the bottom of the sixth, gave up a one-out double in the bottom of the seventh, but collaborated with Kott on a key play at first for the second out and struck out pinch hitter Art Levenson to end the game and pick up his first collegiate win.
The Saints opened the scoring as Palermo led off with a single and eventually scored on an error in the top of the first, but RPI came right back with a run in the bottom of the inning as Rio walked, stole second and scored on Tanner Boucher's sacrifice fly. Kyle LaVigne's sacrifice fly and Boucher's single scored RPI runs in the bottom of the fifth and Kevin Prosicki scored from second on an infield hit by Rio in the bottom of the sixth.
Piatelli had two hits and drove in three runs and Braddock and Palermo also had two hits each for the Saints. Jonny Rio went two for two with a run driven in and Tanner Boucher was two for three with two runs driven in for RPI. Sean Conroy took the loss in relief of Jared Jensen.
Duval pitched a nine inning complete game in game two and while he gave up 11 hits and walked four, he got the outs when he needed them in holding the Saints to just one run.
Freshman Andrew Schreyack pitched a solid game for the Saints, going two batters into the eighth inning, but suffered his first loss after three straight wins.
RPI opened the scoring in the bottom of the sixth as Rio singled to lead it off, stole second, was sacrificed to third and scored on LaVigne's single to center. The Saints came right back in the top of the seventh to tie it as Franz hit a one-out single, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on Kott's base hit.
RPI took the lead in the bottom of the seventh when Eric Kozak led off with a single and went to second on Jensen's single. Jimmy Foley sacrificed them along and Prosicki delivered the run with a sacrifice fly. The Engineers padded the lead with a three-run eighth on a run-scoring single by LaVigne and Boucher's two run homer to right.
LaVigne went three for four and drove in two for RPI while Kott was three for five, Piatelli three for four and Palermo two for five for the Saints.