The University of Rochester baseball team split a pair of one run decisions on Saturday against RIT in a Liberty League doubleheader at Towers Field.
Rochester opened with a 10-9 walk-off win in the bottom of the ninth to take game one before a seventh inning rally in game two fell short by a 3-2 score.
The split moves UR's record to 15-14 overall on the season and 15-4 in the Liberty League. RIT is now 16-14-1 overall and 9-9-1 in the Liberty League. Rochester needs to take one of two games in Sunday's doubleheader at RIT to secure the Liberty League regular season title.
The Yellowjackets opened the scoring with two big hits in the bottom of the first inning. Aiden Finch recorded his team leading 16th double of the season to score David Rieth and Jack Herman followed with a blast to left center, homering to make it 3-0 Rochester.
RIT scored twice in the second inning, capitalizing on a UR error. Daniel Zeglen reached on a fielders choice and the throw from third base to home sailed high allowing a run to score. Daniel Capra cut the deficit to one after a wild pitch.
In the fourth, Joey Mylott tripled to right for RIT, giving the Tigers their first lead of the game.
Rochester responded right away in the bottom of the inning with three runs. Kyle Trombley provided a sacrifice fly to score Herman. Corey Ziring then had a big two-out single, scoring Aaron Craig and Drew Bankovich.
RIT was able to score two runs in the top of the fifth, tying the score at 6-6. Jason Schulz and Dalton Murray each had an RBI extra-base hit to drive in a run.
Trombley then had the big two-out hit for Rochester in the bottom of the inning, tripling with the bases loaded to make the score 9-6 Rochester.
Schulz would tie the game in the next half inning for RIT, lifting a home run off the scoreboard in left field.
The opening game was originally scheduled for seven innings, but went to extras with the score tied at nine.
In the bottom of the ninth, Finch reached on a throwing error to lead off the inning. Herman then doubled down the left field line, allowing the winning run to cross home plate. Herman finished 4-5 in game one with three RBI and three runs scored.
Trombley added a 2-3 game with four RBI, while Craig and Rieth each added two hits. On the mound, Garrett Renslow picked up the victory after tossing two scoreless innings of relief. Will Conroy got the start on senior day and threw four plus innings, allowed seven hits and six runs (four earned) while striking out four.
For RIT, Schulz was 2-3 with a triple and home run, four RBI and three runs scored. Patrick Mylott was 3-4 and Capra, Zeglen and Murray each had two hits and a run scored. Brian Reed started on the mound for the Tigers and went four innings while allowing six hits and six runs with two strikeouts. Nick Claver took the loss.
The pitchers got the best of the hitters in game two, with only five runs total being scored in the nightcap.
UR's starter was Luke Meyerson who tossed a seven-inning complete game, scattering seven hits and three runs (2 earned) with no walks and two strikeouts.
RIT went with Jameson Moran who went 6.2 innings, allowed just three hits and one run while striking out seven. Capra came in to record the last out of the game on the mound, stranding the bases full of Yellowjackets in the seventh.
In the second inning, a UR throwing error helped keep the inning alive for RIT, and the Tigers pounced, scoring that runner on a two-out double from Luke McNamara.
The Yellowjackets would only be able to get one runner on base in each of the first four innings, but could not scrape across the tying run.
RIT grabbed some insurance runs in the top of the seventh coming on a Dom Scialabba home run to left field, scoring McNamara to make it 3-0 Tigers.
Those runs proved to be the difference as Rochester would score twice in the bottom of the seventh. After Moran got two quick outs, Trombley singled and Ryland McNabb walked to bring the tying run to the plate.
The Tigers went to the bullpen for closer Brett Bouchard who had tossed three innings in game one. The lefty would not record an out as he gave up a single to Craig before Tyler Schmidt doubled to center. Schmidt's hit was a ground-rule double, which was unfortunate for the Yellowjackets because Craig likely would have scored to tie the score, but was forced to stop at third.
Bouchard then walked Rieth on four straight pitches to load the bases. RIT again switched pitchers, this time going to the shortstop Capra to get the final out. On the first pitch he tossed, Finch flied out to left to end the game.
Schmidt finished game two 3-4 with two doubles and two RBI for the Yellowjackets. For RIT, McNamara was 3-3 with two doubles an RBI and a run scored.
The same two teams close out the regular season on Sunday, with a doubleheader across town at RIT starting at noon.