UR Baseball beat rival Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in a doubleheader on a chilly March Sunday. The game, originally scheduled for a Saturday at 1 p.m. had to be shifted to the next day in order to accommodate the weather.
The ‘Jackets entered the game with confidence after sweeping Elmira College in a three game series. This was not reflective of the season as a whole, with the team having a record of 4–5. The team has attempted to make Towers Field, its home stadium, a fortress by staying undefeated at home.
In the first game, UR started strong and ended stronger. In the first inning, sophomore outfielder Steve Pickering singled to left field, allowing for senior infielder Jack Herman to score. Shortly after, first-year infielder Jacob Matzat singled past the shortstop, resulting in a score by senior catcher Aiden Finch.
The next three innings provided no runs as the score was held to 2–0. In the fourth inning, runs started coming through once more. The ‘Jackets scored in the fourth and the fifth inning while the Tigers responded with a run of their own in the fifth. The sixth inning provided the most entertainment to the fans as the bats came alive for the ‘Jackets.
The fireworks began when Herman homered to left center field, bringing in another two runs for the ‘Jackets. Immediately after, Finch hit a solo homer to left field. To top it off, sophomore infielder Drew Bankovich hit a two-run double to center field to bring the score to 9–1. RIT was able to grab one back in the seventh inning bringing the final score to 9–2. Senior pitcher Jack Denzer pitched all seven innings allowing only four hits with seven strikeouts. “[O]ur bats were alive and our defense was as solid as it gets,” first-year infielder Harper Sy said.
With four wins in a row under their belt, the ‘Jackets moved on to the second half of the doubleheader. Unlike the first game, it was a slow start for both teams. It was not until the third inning that both teams started to heat up. The ‘Jackets put up four runs and the Tigers put up two, resulting in a score of 6–3 after three innings. In both the fourth and the fifth inning, UR and RIT put up three runs each, including a three-run homer from Finch. Besides a couple runs in the seventh inning, the game was fairly quiet from then on out, ending in a 14–10 win by the ‘Jackets. Aiden Finch finished extremely strong with a total of seven RBIs across the two games, including six in the final one.
The sweep of RIT results in a perfect 5–0 record at home for the ‘Jackets. With a five-game winning streak, the team will look to keep its momentum going this week against SUNY Cortland, The College at Brockport, and in two doubleheaders against Skidmore College on the weekend. Sy believes that the team has “a lot of amazing things to look forward to this year as long as we keep having fun and playing great baseball”.