Saints, Clarkson Split, SLU a Half-Game Out Going into Sunday Set
St. Lawrence University's baseball team heads into the final day of regular season competition a half-game out of the Liberty League lead after a doubleheader split at Clarkson on Saturday.
The Saints, who won game one 11-6, lost the nightcap 5-4 and are 24-12 overall and 17-8 in league play. RPI swept Vassar 8-7 and 2-1 on Saturday and is 18-8 in the league. The Saints tied the program record for wins with Saturday's first-game victory, but need two more and help from Vassar to win their first league title. Clarkson stayed alive in the playoff chase and is percentage points behind Rochester, putting the Knights in a must-win situation on Sunday as well. Sunday's twinbill on Tom Fay Field begins at noon.
Kyle Donaldson earned his second win of the season in game one after Clarkson rallied with four runs in the bottom of the fifth against starter Jason Conde to tie the game at 6-6. Donaldson pitched two hitless innings and the Saints made him a winner with a five run rally in the top of the seventh.
Singles by Ethan Braddock and Bryan Palermo drove in the first two runs in the seventh inning rally and back to back doubles by Carter Franz and Khifer O'Connor scored three more. The Saints jumped out early with five in the top of the first as O'Connor and Jeff Kott hit run scoring singles, Paul Piatelli doubled in a run and Brian Magovney hit a sacrifice fly.
Clarkson got two back in the bottom of the second on Jerry Coleman's two run double and after the Saints went up 6-2 in the top of the fourth on Piatelli's run-scoring single, Jerry Coleman hit a three-run double for the key hit in Clarkson's game-tying uprising in the bottom of the fifth.
The Saints came back from a 2-0 deficit with a three-run top of the third as Franz had a run-scoring ground out and O'Connor hit a two-run double, but Clarkson scored single runs in the bottom of the fourth and fifth for a 4-3 lead. The Saints tied it in the top of the sixth when O;Connor reached on an error, advanced on Kott's single, stole third and scored on a double play grounder.
Clarkson scored the winning run off reliever Andrew Weitzel in the bottom of the eighth as Jerry Coleman reached on a two out error and after a hit batter and a walk to load the bases, Matt Jenack drew a walk to force in the eventual winning run.
O'Connor went five for nine with five runs driven in in the Saturday series.