POTSDAM - A cold day didnt make for great hitting conditions in the north country Wednesday afternoon, as the Utica Pioneers managed a doubleheader sweep over the Clarkson University baseball teamat Jack Phillips Stadium by scores of 6-4 and 4-2.
The Golden Knights saw their record reduced to 15-16 overall while Utica improved to 8-23-1 on the season. Clarkson will return to finish off the conference schedule over the next two weekends, first hosting Vassar College this weekend staring .
In the opening game, Clarkson used several arms from its bullpen to piece together the midweek rotation, starting junior Pete Lasecki (Stratford, CT). Lasecki gave up three unearned runs as one run came in on a throwing error which would have been the third out, and two more came home on the single that followed, giving Utica a 3-0 lead. The Pioneers gained another in the third on a bases loaded walk for a 4-0 lead through two and a half frames.
Clarkson got on the scoreboard in the bottom half of the third inning as Scott Morrissey (Troy, NY) singled home Pete Clarke (Tully, NY) from third base after the third baseman led off the inning with a single and advanced to third on a failed pickoff attempt. The Knights picked up another run in the fourth on a double to left-center by Jerry Coleman (Potsdam, NY), but would never get closer. Utica scored its first earned run of the game in the fifth when Alec Choleva hit a sinking liner for a sacrifice fly, and the Pioneers gained another run in the sixth with another sacrifice fly, taking a 6-2 lead. The Knights battled back with two in the bottom half of the sixth as Clarkes infield single plated one and Tim Beninatis (Scoharie, NY) hard shot to center added another run. In the bottom of the seventh, Clarkson put two runners on with two outs, but a bounding ball in the middle of the infield ended the threat with a force at second base.
Utica had just four hits in the game, but took advantage of 11 free bases on 10 walks and a hit by pitch, stealing eight bases.
In the second game, the Pioneers once again scored early by plating a pair in the first inning, gaining one on a wild pitch and another on a sacrifice fly. Clarkson was able to score one in the third inning as John Coleman (Potsdam, NY) led off with a double and came around on a David Kinney (Mexico, NY) double to right center. Unfortunately for the Knights, Utica scored two key runs in the sixth inning, getting one on a hit and another on a throwing error. Clarkson was able to pick up a run in the seventh inning on a sacrifice fly, but with Kinney in the on-deck circle as the potential tying run, the final out was made to end the threat.
Kinney finished the second game with a 3-for-3 performance, while Jarrod Mattingly (Philadelphia, NY) finished the day 4-for-7 with two hits in each game.