After nearly a month sans any games, the baseball team returned to action Sunday as they hosted Utica College in a doubleheader at Towers Field.

UR split the two games, rallying to take the first one 14-9 but falling 11-1 later that afternoon.

Down 9-8 in the bottom of the fifth, the Yellowjackets pushed two across, capped by senior second baseman Keith Erazmus& single to left field, driving in sophomore outfielder Matt Davison from second and putting UR up for good.

&I was just looking for something to drive,& Erazmus said. &It was an outside pitch and I just went with it.&

An inning later, the Yellowjackets would add four more runs to top off their late game scoring binge.

However, early on, the situation looked far more bleak. Despite taking a 4-3 lead after the first inning, Utica went ahead 9-5 in the top of the fourth, chasing junior starting-pitcher Adam Fay out of the game.

Junior Mike Carletta relieved Fay and succeeded in limiting Utica to two hits three, and a third inning of scoreless baseball to earn his second victory of the season.

But the Yellowjackets came alive in the bottom of the fourth.

After sophomore outfielder Ryan Hanley led off with a walk, he advanced to second on Davison&s base hit.

Senior catcher Mike McKinsey then walked to load the bases. After a fielder&s choice by Erazmus drove in Hanley at third, senior shortstop Bill Rasmussen tripled in two more runs and knocked out Utica&s starting pitcher.

An inning later, UR went ahead 10-9 and in the bottom of the sixth, adding four more runs headlined by senior catcher Dan Kernan&s third homer of the year, a three-run shot to the right.

&I was down in the count,& Kernan said. &I was looking for the curveball and he actually threw [it].&

However, UR did not fare as well in game two and mental frustration was apparent in how the team played. Five errors paved the way for seven unearned Utica runs. And although the Yellowjackets only trailed 2-1 through five, three botched plays in the top of the sixth would lead to eight runs for Utica, putting the game away for good.

This loss was a huge disappointment for coach Dave Palese and for UR&s nationally contending team.

Up until that point, junior starting pitcher Brian Schobel appeared to be in control. After getting touched for two runs in the first, Schobel only gave up two more hits during the next four innings.

Offensively, the Yellowjackets had a singular highlight in the bottom of the third and Hanley&s solo homer to the left field cut Utica&s lead in half. It was his first round tripper for the season.

However in top of the sixth inning, the pitching staff could no longer hold off Utica.

Schobel showed signs of fatigue and was relieved by senior Lou Marasco with two outs, two on and one in.

Palese later changed the pitching staff again, replacing Marasco with freshman Justin Sansone after two hits and an error.

However, the change didn&t help and the nightmare continued for Sansone.

A wild pitch and two more errors occurred before the final out was made.

Overall, Utica scored eight times on only four hits in the top of the sixth.

By the time UR could respond in its half of the inning, Utica&s lead had swelled to a 10-1 advantage..

Tomorrow at 2 p.m., UR will head back to Towers Field for its next challenge 8212; Ithaca College.

The Yellowjackets hope that the week off gave them time to recover from their disappointing loss and raise their mental game to the level of their physical aptitude.

&There&s no doubt in my mind that with our strong pitching staff and everyone pulling together, we have a good shot at beating this nationally contending team,& Kernan said. &We did it in Florida and we know we&ll do it again.&



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