ROCHESTER – The Vassar College baseball team saw its 2017 season come to an end on Thursday afternoon, as the Brewers dropped both contests in the double-elimination Liberty League Tournament in action from Tiger Stadium on the campus of Rochester Institute of Technology. Vassar fell to top-seed and No. 25 RIT 11-5, falling in the nightcap to Clarkson University 11-1.
RIT 11, Vassar 5
The Brewers were unable to out-duel No. 25 RIT at Tiger Stadium. After three innings, it looked like the passionate onlookers in Rochester may be in for a classic pitcher’s duel, but the RIT bats pushed across runs in every frame thereafter. Brian Reed twirled eight strong innings and gave up no runs on five hits (two unearned) for RIT.
Will Gorman got the scoring going for RIT with an RBI single in the third inning after Daniel Capra connected on a leadoff double down the left-field line. After another one-two-three inning for Reed, RIT rattled off four runs on three hits with the help of two Brewer errors.
The Brewers applied some pressure to the Tigers after Bobby Kinne displayed some power with a double down the line in left, Daniel Bonfiglio reached on an error, and Jake Doyle singled to second base and brought across both Brewer runners. That was as close as the Brewers would get as RIT pulled away for the victory.
The Brewers got nine hits (eight singles and the double by Kinne) from nine different batters on the day. RIT’s Mike Myers, Jason Schulz, and Daniel Capra all had multiple hits for the Tigers and Brett Kajganich hit a home run in the bottom of the fifth.
Five Brewer pitchers graced the bump – Trent Berg, John Madsen, Max Spencer, Robert Winkelmann, and Jesse Mulham. Madsen – who has been the Brewers’ most reliable reliever all year – inherited two runners in the bottom of the sixth with no outs but worked himself out of the jam. This sort of timely pitching has defined Madsen’s breakout season.
Trent Berg also showed some mental and physical fortitude – although it took him 88 pitches to grind through four innings, he only gave up two earned runs, and struck out seven.
Clarkson 11, Vassar 1
The Golden Knights busted open a 3-1 game in the bottom of the seventh with six runs, chalking up 16 hits as the Brewers finished their season 19-19. Vassar couldn’t get its bats going against the Golden Knights, finishing with just three hits and one run.
Clarkson opened the game with one run in the bottom of the first, but Vassar evened the game at one in the top of the second as Bryan Rubin scored Kinne on a sacrifice fly. CU tallied another run in the bottom of the third, as Joe Fraser singled in his second run of the game.
The next inning, Chris Miller plated an unearned run for the Golden Knights to make the score 3-1. In the seventh, Clarkson pushed across six runs including two on an Ernesto Ruiz-Sierra two-run double. CU tallied twice more in the eighth for the final score line.
Kinne was 1-for-3 with a run scored and a stolen base, while Taylor Smach added three walks and Rubin was 1-for-2. Senior Adam Erkis went 6.2 innings in his final start as a Vassar Brewer, allowing eight runs and 11 hits. Erkis finishes his career with 14 wins, which is tied for the most in program history. Joe Conti allowed no runs in 0.2 innings of work.
CU got nine innings out of starter Ted Wilson, who struck out six in the complete game win for the Golden Knights. Fraser finished 4-for-5 with four RBI, and Ruiz-Sierra also finished with four hits and three RBI. Dom Pirro also finished with three hits and three runs scored for CU.