Coming off a week of undefeated play, the baseball team faced the Vassar College Brewers in two doubleheaders. While the Yellowjackets took Saturday’s games without a flinch, their win streak was put to an end on Sunday when they dropped their second game. Yesterday, the team battled Medaille College in a doubleheader, dropping the first game but avenging the defeat in the second game.

In Saturday’s first game, junior starting pitcher Blair Veenema took the mound and pitched a complete seven-inning game to lead the ‘Jackets to a 9-1 win. He allowed five hits and struck out seven batters while only walking one, bringing his record to 5-0.

Both teams remained scoreless through the first two innings, but UR came out strong in the bottom of the third when sophomore shortstop Nate Stein hit a single. Stein was 3-3 in the first game, raising his average to .370 on the year. The ‘Jackets went on to score four runs in the inning. In the fourth inning, after Tanskey allowed hits from the first two batters, freshman right fielder Matt Francis reached on a fielding error by the pitcher. Tanskey allowed an additional four runs, bringing the score to 8-0 in favor of UR. While Veenema allowed one run in the top of the fifth, this was of little consequence.

Senior second baseman Jay Jay Vanderstyne was the star of the day. In the first game, he went 3-4 with three runs batted in. In the next game, he helped propel the ‘Jackets to a 22-1 win by going 3-5 with an additional six RBIs. He hit one homerun and two doubles. Vanderstyne currently has a batting average of .457.

In the nitecap, the Brewers could not get their pitching in order, as UR batters were hit by a pitch in seven different trips to the plate. As in the previous game, both teams were scoreless through the first two innings, and the Yellowjackets came out big in the bottom of the third. It started when Francis was hit by a pitch and went downhill from there. Vanderstyne hit a one-out grand slam, and Stein hit an RBI single to bring the ‘Jackets up, 5-0.

The fourth inning was a six-run gala for UR, featuring a fielding error from the pitcher that allowed sophomore left fielder Andy Cannon to advance to third off of his double and a homerun from junior first baseman Dan Brien. Vassar had six errors throughout the game, causing only 12 of UR’s 22 runs scored to be earned.

In addition to Vanderstyne’s superb hitting, Stein had another strong showing, going 3-6 with five RBIs. Cannon was 2-3, and sophomore third baseman Blayne Fuke was 2-4 with an RBI.

While Vassar’s pitching struggled, the ‘Jackets’ pitching continued to excel. Senior pitcher Pete McEneany started, pitching seven innings and allowing just three hits and one run while striking out eight batters. The game brought his ERA down to 1.17 and his record to 4-0. Freshman Charles Chanatry pitched two scoreless innings of relief.

The games on Sunday proved to be much closer. Although all four games were played at UR, Sunday’s games were considered Vassar’s home games, and it received the advantage of batting last.

In the first game, Vanderstyne’s power hitting continued to help the Yellowjackets. He went 4-4 with three RBIs. Stein also had another impressive performance, going 3-4, and Francis went 3-3 with an RBI. Sophomore starting southpaw Steve Guzski had a rocky outing. He pitched five innings and allowed five runs and eight hits, but he struck out five batters, and UR’s bats helped him to earn the win, 9-7.

The ‘Jackets got on the board early, scoring an unearned run in the first inning. In the third, they brought the score to 3-0 off a Vanderstyne RBI and a throwing error by the catcher when senior center fielder Dave Kloc stole second, allowing Vanderstyne to steal home. The Brewers went on a streak to come back in the bottom of the inning, however, scoring two runs of their own. The game continued to be a back and forth battle until the Yellowjackets pulled ahead to 9-5 in the top of the sixth, and Vassar’s comeback attempt in the bottom of the seventh was too little too late.

The Brewers were finally able to avenge their losses in Sunday’s nitecap. Junior lefty Mike Park started for UR and pitched four innings. Despite striking out seven batters, Park also allowed seven hits and four earned runs, as well as two unearned runs. Chanatry pitched 2.1 innings in relief and allowed just one run, and freshman Nick Cacciola pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless ball, but the bats behind them could not catch up, and Vassar took the game, 7-6.

The Yellowjackets came out strong, scoring two runs in the top of the first in game two. Vassar came right back, scoring two in the bottom of the inning, and the team eventually pulled ahead to 5-2. UR made it 5-4 in the top of the fourth due to multiple errors from Vassar that allowed Kloc to hit a two-run single that brought in Fuke and Cannon. Vassar pulled ahead to 7-4 after one-run innings in the fifth and sixth.

The ‘Jackets made their final run at taking the lead in the top of the seventh, with the help of a triple by senior designated hitter Jim Bard and an RBI-double from Stein. This brought the score to 7-6, but UR couldn’t pull together any more runs, and its Liberty League record was tarnished. Just had a strong outing, going 2-3 with two RBIs, and Stein went 1-3 with an RBI and a walk.

For his performances against Vassar and Rochester Institute of Technology last Wednesday, Vanderstyne was named Liberty League Co-Performer of the week. In six games, he hit .542 and had 12 RBIs.

Yesterday, the ‘Jackets had trouble after the loss, and they dropped the first game to the Medaille Mavericks, 6-3. Medaille took an early lead, scoring two runs off of sophomore starting pitcher Luke Brocks in the first inning.

UR bounced back and scored a run in the bottom of the first off an RBI-single from Vanderstyne. The team then tied it up in the bottom of the third, but Medaille quickly regained the lead in the fourth. Brocks left the game after 4.2 innings, in which he gave up six runs and eight hits while striking out two. McEneany entered the game in relief, and held the Mavericks scoreless.

In the bottom of the sixth, it looked as though the ‘Jackets could come back. With two outs, Vanderstyne looked to take a base after being hit by a pitch. The umpire called him back however, due to the fact that he did not avoid the pitch. Vanderstyne showed that he was not rattled by homering to left-center field. Unfortunately for UR, no other runs were scored, and Medaille took the game.

The Yellowjackets quickly made up for the loss and showed Medaille their true colors, scoring 13 runs in the first inning of the second game. The Mavericks brought the score to 13-10 in the top of the third. UR responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning fending off the attack from Medaille. The ‘Jackets dominated the rest of the game, bringing the final score to 20-10.

Kahovec had a stellar outing, going 4-5 in the game, Fuke was 3-5 with five RBIs and junior left fielder Tyler Reid went 3-5 with three RBIs. Junior catcher Ryan Sullivan was 2-3 with one RBI.

Junior Chris Olsen started the game on the mound and pitched 2.1 innings, allowing seven runs and five hits. Junior Paul Toland came in for relief, but he couldn’t find his groove. Veneema then took the mound and pitched 3.2 no-hit innings. Chanatry closed the game, pitching one inning and allowing no runs and one hit.

UR is now 22-5 overall and 13-1 in the Liberty League, holding first place. This weekend, they travel to Clarkson University.

Philbrick is a member of the class of 2009.

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