UR left Potsdam, N.Y. as winners in two of four games in a weekend series on Saturday, April 14 and Sunday, April 15 against Clarkson University’s Golden Knights. The Liberty League match-up saw three tightly contested games and one big win by UR, behind a gem of a performance by junior pitcher Jon Menke.
Menke went for a complete game shutout, giving up only three hits and not allowing a runner past second base after the first inning. With the win, Menke improves to 3-4 this season. The offense was also dominant in game one. The first run came in the top of the second, when sophomore second baseman and shortstop Ethan Sander singled up the middle to drive in freshman infielder Tim LeSuer and sophomore first baseman Nick Carlson.
The Yellowjackets continued their onslaught in the third, with freshman outfielder Josh Ludwig singling home sophomore outfielder Sam Slutsky. Sander’s third RBI of the game drove in Carlson to put UR up 4-0, with all runs being unearned. Clarkson’s sloppy defense led to an error and a wild pitch, which helped the Yellowjackets add three more runs in the top of the sixth.
Clarkson got its act together in game two of the first doubleheader. UR struck first in the top of the second, with Sander driving in LeSuer for yet another RBI, but Ludwig was thrown out at the plate by Clarkson left fielder Dan Lenney as he tried to score from second base on the Sander single.
Clarkson tied up the game in the bottom of the third on a solo home run. The game remained tied until an eventful inning by the Golden Knights in the sixth, during which they put four runs on the board, making it 5-1. UR attempted a comeback in the top of the eighth with two on base and no outs, but ended the inning with only two runs. The final score was 5-3.
Game three of the weekend series was a low scoring endeavor, with UR winning 3-2. Two of the Yellowjackets’ three runs were batted in by senior infielder Robby Barnard, one on a sac fly giving sophomore shortstop and second baseman Nate Mulberg a chance to tie up the game in the fifth, and a game winning single up the middle in the bottom of the seventh. UR’s other run came after senior outfielder Alex Caghan was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Yellowjacket starter, junior pitcher Corey King, had a solid outing, giving up two runs on three hits in five innings, but junior relief pitcher Adam Sullivan got the win. He pitched two innings, allowing no hits and one walk.
In contrast with the first game of the day two double header, game four was a slugfest, with Clarkson winning 8-7. Unfortunately, UR was unable to maintain their 5-1 lead going into the sixth inning. The Golden Knights scored seven runs over the course of the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. A significant portion of those runs came from Clarkson’s first baseman David Kinney, who blasted three runs in the seventh to tie the game at 5-5.
Fighting to stay alive, UR managed to get the tying and winning runs on base in the bottom of the ninth, but Clarkson’s relief pitcher was able to get out of the jam. Sander had another big game for the Yellowjackets, going 3-5 with 2 RBIs and a run scored.
UR’s overall record is now 7-17, and they are 4-11 in the Liberty League. The team plays a four game series against Vassar College on Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22.
Holden is a member of the class of 2013.