PRINCE ATHLETIC COMPLEX – The University of Rochester baseball team captured a doubleheader sweep to open Liberty League conference play, winning 9-2 and 14-10 over visiting RIT on Sunday afternoon at Towers Field.
Rochester pushes its record to 6-5 on the year and is 2-0 in the Liberty League, while RIT falls to 3-8 and 0-2 in the conference.
Jack Denzer got the start in game one for the Yellowjackets and was stellar through the first five innings, not allowing a baserunner until there were two outs in the fifth. The senior hurler went the full seven innings, allowing just four hits and two runs (1 earned) while striking out seven, matching his career high.
Offensively, the top of the order flourished for Rochester. With the top five hitters combining for 10 of UR's 13 hits and six of the nine runs. Steve Pickering went 3-3 with a run and RBI. Jack Herman went 2-4 with a home run, 2 runs and 2 RBI and Jake Hertz added a 2-4 game with two runs. Aiden Finch went 1-2 with a home run and 3 runs scored while David Rieth went 2-4 at the plate.
Pickering and Jacob Matzat provided run-scoring singles in the first inning to put UR on top in the eventual wire-to-wire win. Rieth got his RBI single in the fourth, driving in Hertz. The lead was 4-0 UR in the fifth after Kyle Trombley scored Finch with a sacrifice fly.
RIT got on the board in the sixth when Joey Mylott recorded a sac fly, but Rochester responded with five runs in the bottom of the inning to break the game open.
Herman started the big inning with a two run homer to left center. Finch went back-to-back with a solo shot to left as the next hitter. Pinch hitter Drew Bankovich completed the scoring with a two-run double off the wall in center field.
Game two was a back-and-forth affair, with both offenses clicking in the barn-burner 14-10 contest. The game featured 24 total runs, 29 total hits and only two 1-2-3 innings of the 17 total played.
The top four in the lineup again shined, led by Finch who went 3-4 with 2 doubles, a home run, 2 runs and a career-high tying 6 RBI. Herman provided his second home run of the day, going 2-3 with 23 runs and 3 RBI also drawing 2 walks.
Rieth went 4-5 with two doubles and a stolen base, setting a new single-game career-high in hits. Hertz led off with a 2-5 day while scoring two more runs.
RIT's Patrick Mylott was the biggest run-producer of the game, going 2-2 with a whopping seven RBI. He had two sac flies, a 3-run home run and a 2-run double. Teammate Daniel Capra added a 2-4 day with a triple, 3 runs and 2 RBI. Patrick Blackall added three hits in the loss.
UR used four pitchers, each taking about a quarter of the game. Jon Turk went 2.1 innings and allowed three runs while striking out two. Kevin Ho went the same amount in relief, striking out four, but surrendered six runs. The win went to Tyler McConway who tossed two innings while giving up just one run with two strikeouts. Brendan Shamieh finished out the win with 2.1 scoreless innings, striking out two for his first save.
After two innings the score was 2-1 Rochester. That's when the floodgates opened for both teams offensively.
RIT scored twice in the third, and three runs in both the fourth and fifth innings. Rochester answered each big inning with one of their own, as the Yellowjackets plated four in the third, and three in the fourth and fifth just like the Tigers.
Capra tripled a run home and Mylott had a sac fly to score RIT's runs in the third. In the bottom half, Finch drove in Herman with an RBI double. Bankovich reached on a sac fly error to center, scoring Finch. Two more runs then scampered home when Aaron Craig reached on a Tiger throwing error.
The fourth inning saw both Mylott and Finch trade three-run homers to center field.
In the fifth, Mylott again drove in multiple runs with a chopper to right, and Capra benefitted on a passed ball to score the third run.
Herman ripped a shot over the left center field fence in the bottom of the fifth, clearing Wilson Boulevard in the process, giving UR the deciding runs in the game.
The teams completed the scoring in the seventh, with RIT scoring one and UR pushing across two.
Rochester is back in action with mid-week contests against non-conference SUNYAC opponents. The Yellowjackets host Cortland on Tuesday evening and Brockport on Wednesday.