Baldwin Starts Collective Mound Effort In SLU Win Vs Ithaca
Nicholas Butler was 3-for-5 with two doubles, and Drew Courtwright was 2-for-5 with three RBI to lead the St. Lawrence University baseball team to an 8-6 win over Ithaca College in a non-league game on Wednesday afternoon at Gutchess Lumber Sports Complex in Cortland.
The win was the first for the Saints over Ithaca since 2014 and just the second since 1996, and it extended the team's winning streak to three games, the longest for the program since the team swept a four-game series with Skidmore on April 14-15, 2017. St. Lawrence improved to 3-3 on the year, while Ithaca fell to 5-5.
The Saints will open Liberty League play this weekend with four games against Clarkson, with a doubleheader in Potsdam on Friday and another on Saturday at Tom Fay Field in their home opener.
"The team played with a lot of energy today," said Saints interim head coach Kenny Collins. "We used most of the pitching staff and they all had great efforts. Ithaca is a tough matchup and we had to battle until the final out. Now we have a quick turnaround and need to get ready for a big series this weekend."
St. Lawrence's offense got a great start right out of the gate, scoring four runs in the top of the first inning on an RBI double by Butler, a two-run double by Courtwright, and an RBI single by Cristian Forgione.
The Saints tacked on two more runs in the second inning when Matt Marowitz scored on a passed ball and Chris Watson scored on a sacrifice fly by James Cronin. Courtwright scored on an error in the top of the third to extend the lead to 7-0, but the Bombers got one back in the bottom of the frame when Mike Nauta scored on a wild pitch.
Ithaca cut the lead to four runs in the sixth inning when Nauta plated two with a double down the right field line, but the inning ended when he got thrown out trying to extend the hit into a triple.
The score remained 7-3 in favor of the Saints until the ninth inning, when Courtwright plated an insurance run with his third RBI of the game with a single to left field to score Butler.
The Bombers put the pressure on the Saints in the home half of the ninth inning, however, loading the bases with no outs on a double by Nauta and a pair of hit batters. Saints' reliever Liam Reiner struck out the next hitter, but Gil Merod hit an RBI single, Jack Lynch hit a sacrifice fly, and Alex Barker-Hook hit an RBI single to trim the lead to 8-6. Reiner put the Bombers away, however, inducing a game-ending groundout to first base.
Forgione finished the game 2-for-5 for the Saints, while Nauta was 2-for-4 with two doubles for Ithaca.
Seven different pitchers took the mound for the Saints, with Brett Parker earning the win thanks to two scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth. Parker allowed two hits and one walk with two strikeouts. Ryan Carson also had two innings of work, allowing no hits and three walks. Ogdensburg's Ethan Baldwin pitched a scoreless first inning, and Cameron Morrissey allowed just one base runner in the second inning on a hit batsman.
Ithaca starter Garrett Bell took the loss, allowing four runs on three hits and a walk in the first inning.