Troy, NY – Sophomore David Kinney (Mexico, NY) homered twice and drove in five as the Clarkson University Baseball earned its second straight split against Rensselaer, dropping the first game 8-2 before claiming the nightcap 9-7 Sunday afternoon at Robison Field.
The Golden Knights moved to 3-8 overall, but picked up two key conference victories on the road against the Engineers. The 8th/9th ranked Engineers moved to 10-5 overall and are also 2-2 in the Liberty League. Clarkson is off until Friday, when the team will once again travel to face a league title contender in Skidmore College.
The Golden Knights struggled against Rensselaer starter Dan Duval in the opener, as the sophomore righthander threw a complete game two-hitter, walking three and striking out five along the way. The Engineers posted a run in the top of the first inning on a Pat Reardon double and then slowly built a lead with a run in the second, one in the fifth, four in the sixth and one in the seventh inning. It wasn’t until the bottom of the seventh inning that Clarkson, the designated home team on the second day of the series, got on the scoreboard. Kinney hit a one-out, two-run homer that also plated Jerry Coleman (Potsdam, NY).
Freshman Bryan Chudy (Goshen, NY) took the loss for Clarkson, pitching five innings. Junior Alex Giovannone (New Hartford, NY) closed out the game in relief for the Knights.
Giovannone’s performance in the first game pushed him to earn just his second career start in the nightcap of the doubleheader. Giovannone came within an out of qualifying for the decision in the second game, pitching 4 2/3 innings with four strikeouts.
Clarkson’s offense provided plenty of support for Giovannone in the second game. Rensselaer scored a run in the first inning, but Clarkson responded with eight runs over the next three frames. The Knights scored two in the second inning when Pete Clarke (Tully, NY) singled home David Kinney with two outs in the inning, and Brett Peplowski (Albany, NY) came around on an error by the rightfielder. In the third inning, Kinney delivered his second two-run home run of the day and Sam Grainger (Medford, MA) plated Peplowski with a single after Peplowski had followed Kinney’s home run with a double of his own. Clarkson would score three more times in the fourth to take an 8-1 lead. Brady Torbitt (Fulton, NY) started the scoring when he sent Steve Magovney (Watertown, NY) home with a single. Kinney followed with a sacrifice fly, and then junior Chris Falteisek (Baldwinsville, NY) doubled home Torbitt.
Rensselaer wouldn’t go away, scoring twice in the fifth, once in the sixth, twice in the seventh, and one in the ninth, but Clarkson gained another run in the fifth inning for some additional insurance, holding on for a 9-7 victory.
Peplowski finished 3-for-4 with two runs and Kinney went 2-for-4 with three RBIs in the second game. Falteisek and Coleman each went 2-or-5. For Rensselaer, Billy Nikolski went 4-for-5, and Andrew Krushelynski was 3-for-5 with four RBIs.
Sophomore Bryan Lajeunesse (Watervliet, NY) earned his first collegiate victory, pitching 3 1/3 innings of relief, striking out six. Freshman Anthony Farrell (Topsham, ME) relieved Lajeunesse in the ninth and held down the Engineers’ offense to earn his first collegiate save.