The Liberty League standings seemed to be clinched only half way through the season as the baseball team completed the four-game sweep of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute over the weekend. With this sweep, UR has completed their third four-game sweep in as many tries.
With the two wins on Wednesday against Rochester Institute of Technology and Thursday against Keuka College, UR is on a six-game winning streak and 12-0 in the Liberty League.
‘Anyone in our lineup can provide a spark when we need it by getting on base and wreaking havoc on the base paths, and when that happens the rest of our team just feeds off of that energy and we are a very tough team to beat,” senior shortstop Nate Stein said.
The offense was key over the six-game span as the Yellowjacket hitters produced 61 runs.
Skidmore College is the closest to UR in the Liberty League standings but is still six wins behind.
‘The wins over RPI are very big because they are usually our top competition in the Liberty League and one of our biggest rivals,” senior right fielder Andy Cannon said. ‘Sweeping them at their place is not only big for our Liberty League standings and ability to host the Liberty League tournament, but also gives us a huge mental advantage over them because they know how well we can play.”
Continuing to grow through the season is UR’s pitching staff. Despite, being overshadowed by the offense, the pitching is silently keeping the team in games. But even with a pitching staff playing at an average level, they can still compete with the top DIII teams.
‘One of the constants about our weekend performances has been our starting pitching,” head coach Joe Reina said. ‘Dan Ludwig, Nate Kowal, Jon Menke and Steve Guzski continue to get better each time out. They keep us in games and allow our offense to feel comfortable and not have to press to score runs. We still have some work to do to get better but I feel we are on the right track.”
UR now sits at No. 23 in the nation, according to www.baseballnews.com, and has the potential to reach the top as the season progresses.
Manrique is a member of the class of 2012.