Baseball has won the Liberty League Championship by beating Clarkson University 8–2. It was the team’s fifth game in three days and avenged an earlier loss to Clarkson in the double-elimination tournament.
The ‘Jackets, despite being regular season champions, were 1–4 against Clarkson after losing that tournament game. On Saturday, they would need to best their rivals twice in a row. This mission did not start well — a half-inning in, UR trailed by six.
But the ‘Jackets fought their way back, scoring twice in the bottom of the first and adding another five unanswered from the second through seventh innings. Clarkson brought one back in the eighth, knotting the game at 7–7.
In the bottom of the inning, senior first baseman Aiden Finch launched one over the fence, sending the crowd into a frenzy as he rounded the bases. It tipped the scales for an 8–7 ‘Jackets win.
Almost immediately, the next game began. It would be winner-take-all for the league championship.
Senior third baseman Jack Herman got things going right off the bat with a first-inning grand slam. This 4–0 lead would last until the fourth, when Clarkson scored on an error. UR padded its lead back with runs in the sixth and seventh, and a two-run single by junior outfielder Jake Hertz in the eighth put things out of Clarkson’s reach.
Junior pitcher Brendan Shamieh then secured his eighth save of the season, inducing a groundball to clinch the championship.
From the start, it had been a historic campaign — junior pitcher Garrett Renslow threw the fifth no-hitter in program history in a 10–0 win over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Thursday evening.
Renslow also struck out eight and walked just two.
Offensively, junior catcher David Rieth led the team with four RBIs on three hits. In the sixth inning, Herman hit the only home run of the game.
The next day, the ‘Jackets had their first tournament matchup with Clarkson. The ‘Jackets lost 16–9 in an offensive flurry that included 35 combined hits. The fireworks started early with UR emerging from the first inning with a 4–3 lead. There was a lull until the fifth, when Clarkson had 13 at-bats and recorded seven runs. Every batter on Clarkson’s roster recorded a hit in the game. Despite the loss, it was not over for the ‘Jackets as they headed to an elimination game against rival RIT.
This game, the tides turned toward defense. The ‘Jackets were held to a no-hitter until the sixth inning and held scoreless until the seventh inning. RIT’s first and only score came in the third inning off a single. It wasn’t until the seventh when Hertz doubled home two runs for the ‘Jackets. The game ended just like that: 2–1 Rochester. This set the stage for Saturday’s doubleheader with Clarkson.
With an overall record of 27–15 and a conference record of 17–7, the ‘Jackets took care of business and brought the ‘ship home. First-year designated hitter Jacob Matzat summed the season up as an amazing experience. “As a first-year, I’ve never experienced anything like it,” said Matzat. “It is something I will never forget”