POUGHKEEPSIE – The Vassar College baseball team finished off a strong weekend of baseball to start Liberty League play Saturday from Prentiss Field, taking both ends of a conference doubleheader with St. Lawrence University with scores of 16-2 and 6-4.
Game 1: Vassar 16, St. Lawrence 2
The Vassar College baseball team pounded out 13 hits and took advantage eight walks and four hit by pitches to coast to the game one victory. VC starter Joe Conti was dynamite for the Brewers, allowing just two hits over six innings of work, striking out seven batters while needing just 72 pitches to earn the win for VC.
VC jumped out in front in the top of the third, plating four runs, highlighted by RBI doubles from senior Matt Hernandez, freshman Matt McGannon and junior Bryan Rubin. The Brewers scored four more in the top of the fifth, as Rubin singled in a run while freshman Tanner Blough singled in two runs later in the frame. The host Brewers added two more in the sixth, and then put the game away with six runs in the top of the seventh inning.
Rubin finished game one 3-for-3 with two doubles and three RBI, while Hernandez also posted a 2-for-3 contest with a run and RBI. Sophomore Evan Trausch was 2-for-4 with three runs scored, and Blough posted a 2-for-3 game with two RBI. Sophomore Narendra Martin came off the bench to double in two runs in his only plate appearance, and freshman Jason Salerno also singled in a run and then scored in the six-run seventh.
Game 2: Vassar 6, St. Lawrence 4
The Brewers evened their overall record at 6-6 with the game two victory, as the story of the second ball game was the outstanding performance from the Vassar bullpen. Head coach Matthew Righter went to his relief pitching in the bottom of the third, and it would slam the door shut from that point, tossing 6.2 innings of scoreless baseball to protect the lead.
VC (6-6, 3-1 Liberty League) got on the board in the top of the first, as junior Matt Schwartz walked with two outs and then came around on a RBI double from Hernandez to make the score 1-0.
After SLU (2-10, 1-3 Liberty) evened the game at one in the bottom of the first, Vassar pushed across two more runs in the top of the second. Junior Taylor Smach doubled off the left-field wall to start the inning, followed by a Blough single with two outs. After Blough stole second base, senior Bobby Kinne came up and laced a single through the right side to score both Smach and Blough.
Once again though, St. Lawrence came right back and deadlocked the game, scoring two runs in the bottom of the second thanks to RBI singles from Taylor Digilio and Evan O’Keeffe.
The early offensive outburst continued for Vassar in the top of the third inning, as the Brewers regained their two-run advantage on a sacrifice fly by senior Chris Lee and a ringing RBI double from sophomore Daniel Bonfiglio.
In the third inning, SLU cut into the VC lead thanks to an Anthony Butler RBI double, which forced the Brewers to go to the bullpen. Senior John Madsen came on in relief of Jake Silver, and worked out of the jam with a strikeout and a groundout to keep Vassar ahead 5-4.
In the top of the fourth, Kinne came up and hammered his third homerun of the season with a monster blast to right-center to give its final margin of victory.
St. Lawrence threatened in the bottom of the fourth, and appeared to have pulled to within one at 6-5, but a sacrifice fly by O’Keeffe turned into a double-play after it was deemed that William Montgomery left third early on his tag-up attempt.
From that point, the relief pitching dominated, as Beau Yaremko of St. Lawrence finished the game with five innings of scoreless relief, allowing two hits to Vassar. Luckily for VC, the Brewer ‘pen was just as good, as Hartnett finished his two innings of work before handing the ball to freshman Logan Willans. Pounding the zone with strikes, Willans finished the game to earn his first collegiate save, allowing no hits over four perfect innings, fanning two batters. Willans has now allowed just six hits over 10.1 innings in relief this season, surrendering no runs over that span.
Hernandez was the offensive star for Vassar in game two, posting a pair of doubles while finishing 3-for-5 with a RBI and run scored. Kinne was 2-for-5 with three driven in as well for the Brewers, who finished with 11 hits on the contest. O’Keeffe was 2-for-4 for the Saints, while Digilio finished with three hits.
Vassar is back in action on Wednesday afternoon, hosting CCNY at 4 p.m. on Prentiss Field in non-conference play.