The Yellowjackets had a chance to solidify their standing in conference play, but they faltered in close games, ultimately dropping three out of their first four conference games.

To pitcher and senior Mark Jakubowksi, the weekend was part of the trend the team’s season has taken so far.

“It’s frustrating to know that you can compete with anyone in the country,” Jakubowski said. “But in some games [this season], we just can’t put it together.”

The week started promising, as the Yellowjackets outslugged Utica College on their home field 18-5.

The offensive explosion featured 17 hits, 10 walks, five batters hit by pitches and 18 runs in the first six innings for the Yellowjackets – including seven runs for the UR team in the fifth inning.

Team Captain and senior Adam Braveman led the charge with a career-high seven RBI, while going four for seven at the plate, including a home run and a double.

Senior Scott Smith scored four runs and five Yellowjacket batters had at least one RBI.

Pitcher and sophomore Matt Koren worked five innings, scattering six hits and fanning nine, to get his fifth win of the season.

The Yellowjackets then went on to split a double header with St. Lawrence College on Saturday with a 3-2 loss in game one and a 5-4 victory in the night cap.

Game one was tied until the seventh inning, when a St. Lawrence batter doubled home the winning run off of Yellowjacket starter junior Steve Foley.

Yellowjacket scoring came on a pair of singles by junior Dan Phofl and Smith in the second and third innings. Phofl led the team, with two hits in game one.

In game two, the Yellowjackets raced out of the box, scoring two runs in the second when senior Justin Martinez hit an RBI sacrifice fly and another run was scored off a St. Lawrence error.

Freshman catcher Devin Shane singled home senior Mark Jackson in the fourth and two singles by sophomore Jon Fanning and Jackson in the fifth put the Yellowjackets up by five.

Freshman pitcher Jon Fishback and three Yellowjacket relievers held off a St. Lawrence rally to seal the win. Fishback picked up his second win of the season and Senior Mike Zwolleg picked up his first save of the season with one inning of relief.

The Yellowjackets dropped two close contests to Clarkson College, the league’s first place team, the following day 5-2 and 9-6.

Zwolleg took the loss after throwing five strikeouts and allowing only one bad inning – a four run third.

The Yellowjackets scored their first run on an error in the third and again in the sixth with an RBI sacrifices fly by Martinez, but the Yellowjackets could not stage a rally after Clarkson picked up an insurance run in the seventh.

In game two, Clarkson took advantage of a shaky start by Jakubowski, scoring three quick runs. Jakubowski would settle in and retire 12 of the next 15 batters he faced.

The Yellowjackets rallied to score four runs in the seventh to tie the game at six. Smith drove in one run on a ground out, Braveman doubled in a pair and Martinez singled in another.

Clarkson rallied past the Yellowjackets in the eighth, scoring three runs after chasing Koren out of the inning.

The Yellowjackets could not stage another rally, as six of their next eight batters went down against Clarkson relievers. Despite the close games, Jakubowski takes little solace in what a good loss can do for the team.

“College baseball is interesting because one day you can blow a team out by ten runs and the next game could be close,” Jakubowski said. “In conference play, the bottom line is that a loss is a loss and a win is a win, no matter what the score.”

With two more conference weekends on the horizon, the Yellowjackets are trying to forget their painful and disappointing start to conference play.

“Obviously, dropping three of four conference games to start the season is not what we had planed,” Jakubowski said. “The conference schedule goes by fast. We definitely need to put some wins together this weekend.”

The Yellowjackets hit the road this weekend, taking on Vasar College on April 22.

Allard can be reached at

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