By Steven Merritt
TROY – The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Engineers scored seven runs in the final two innings to earn a 8-5 victory over the Vassar College Baseball team in a Liberty League matchup on Sunday afternoon. The Engineers improve to 24-13-1 overall and 11-5 in conference play while the Brewers move to 20-16 and 7-8 in Liberty League action.
The Brewers scratched out a run in the first as junior Jack Silvera laced a two-out single to left field followed by senior Adam Talwalkar drawing a walk and junior Reid Lapekas being hit by a pitch. Senior Sam Brinster worked a quality at-bat to draw another walk to plated Silvera for an early 1-0 lead.
Vassar added two runs in the second as senior Alex Warren was hit by a pitch with one out and then was moved to third on a double from junior Jaden Millstein. Sophomore Ricardo Reyna doubled off the right field fence to score Warren and then Silvera plated Millstein on a sacrifice fly to right field to make it a 3-0 Vassar lead. RPI tallied a run in the bottom half as Joey Saia blasted a solo homer down the left field line to cut the lead to 3-1.
The Brewers extended their lead to 5-1 in the fifth as Silvera led off with a hit by pitch followed by a walk to Talwalkar. Lapekas laid down a sacrifice bunt to push both runners into scoring position as Silvera scored on a wild pitch and Talwalkar scored on a RPI fielding error.
RPI trimmed the lead down to 5-3 in the seventh as Ayush Krishnappa reached on an error followed by a bunt single from George Rainer. Aidan Hicks pushed Krishnappa across on a RBI groundout with one out and Cole Paquin singled home Rainer with two outs on a liner to left field.
The Engineers loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth as Jack Moncur was hit by a pitch and back-to-back walks to Saia and Krishnappa put the tying run on second. Rainer singled through the right side to tie the game at five and then Krishnappa scored on a VC throwing error to take a 6-5 lead.
Junior Michael Came started for Vassar as he went 6.1 innings, allowing six hits, three runs (one earned), walked one and struck out five. Senior Zach Magee took the loss in relief as he threw one inning, allowing two hits, four runs (three earned), walked two and struck out one.
Thomas Neuman started on the mound for RPI as he lasted two innings and gave up three hits, three runs, two walks and struck out two. Rylan Wade earned the win in relief as he tossed two scoreless innings and struck out one.
Millstein had two extra-base hits for Vassar while Reyna and Silvera each drove in a run. Rainer finished the day with three hits, two runs scored and two RBI for the Engineers along with Martin Marintchev adding two hits and two runs batted in.
Vassar will head to RIT next weekend for a three-game Divisional Crossover series and look to advance to the Double Elimination Liberty League Tournament with a series victory.