Aaron Schaffer / Photo Editor

The UR baseball team extended its .500 record to 7-7 over the weekend as it travelled south to challenge Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY, splitting doubleheaders with the Brewers on both Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30.

 In the first game of Friday’s doubleheader, the ‘Jackets would need 13 innings to claim victory, topping Vassar 4-3 in what was the longest of the weekend’s four games.  UR took the lead in the first inning when junior Sam Slutsky scored a wild pitch, though Vassar came back with two of their own in the bottom of the inning. In the second, Slutsky continued his productive day with an RBI single to drive in freshman Jake Meyerson, who scored only the second run of his burgeoning collegiate career.  The game would remain knotted at 2-2 until the seventh and expected final inning, when UR’s second-baseman and junior Ethan Sander singled up the middle, allowing freshman Evan Janifer to score.  The ‘Jackets failed to close the game out, however, as Vassar scored on a groundout in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game back up at three. After bringing the tying run home, the Brewers looked poised to win the game immediately, with runners on second and third and only one out.

Despite this, after an intentional walk to load the bases, junior Jeremy Diller was able to work out of the jam for the ‘Jackets and send the game to extra innings. Five innings of scoreless baseball passed, with both Diller and Vassar’s Connor Cucalon shutting down any offensive threats.  Finally, after more than three hours, Janifer scored a bunt single from sophomore right fielder Josh Ludwig.  The run would prove to be enough for Diller, who closed out the win in his seventh inning of relief of the day.

Any momentum from their win earlier in the day would soon be lost for the ’Jackets in game two on Friday, as Vassar’s Zander Mrlik dealt a one-hit shutout to help give his team a 2-0 win.  Ludwig would record the only hit for the ‘Jackets, reaching on a single in the fourth inning. 

Following Friday’s split, the two teams were back at it again on Saturday morning in a matchup that featured senior Corey King on the mound facing off against Vassar’s Joe Lovizio.

King was dominant throughout, allowing only four hits in a complete game shutout.  RBIs from freshmen Nolan Schultz and Brian Munoz in the fourth inning would be all the offense the ‘Jackets needed as they cruised to a 2-0 win.

The final game of the weekend was another tight encounter, with Vassar barely grabbing the victory by a 3-2 score.  A quality start by Senior Jon Menke, who gave up two earned runs in 6.1 innings, would not be enough for the ‘Jackets who only mustered up two runs of their own.  The difference maker proved to be an RBI single from Brett Zazinski in the ninth inning, giving the Brewers a lead they would not squander.  Interestingly, although the game took place at Vassar, Rochester was considered the home team, giving them the chance to try and knot the game back up in the bottom of the ninth, an attempt that failed.

The series split keeps both teams in contention in the Liberty League, though a number of conference games still remain.  Up next for the ‘Jackets is local rival St. John Fisher College, who will host Rochester on Thursday, April 4 at 4 P.M.  Following that matchup the ‘Jackets will travel to Schenectady, NY for a pair of doubleheaders against Union College on April 6 and 7.

Shapiro is a member of the class of 2016.

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