The Week in Sports (Apr. 14 - 21)
by Alexander Jones | published Apr. 29th, 2015
RIT's sports programs appear to be in some sort of transition period, both literally and figuratively.
Obviously the movement away from RIT's hockey-mania isn't something that happens overnight, but sooner rather than later students tend to catch on to the other exciting programs that this campus has to offer. Some are more obvious, like baseball and tennis, while others are sports that some students don't even realize we have programs for. It's a time period that can often invite a great deal of shakiness, with student athletes haphazardly adjusting to the changing weather, but RIT's spring sports teams have demonstrated none of that so far this season. A great deal of RIT's teams have shown tremendous starts to their seasons, many of them pressing forward weeks after their kickoff games. Needless to say, it's going to be exciting to be an exciting spring for RIT sports fans
RIT v. Skidmore College (13 - 2)
Speaking of teams that have demonstrated nothing but excellence this season, RIT's men's baseball team is on quite the streak. The Tigers faced off against Skidmore in a doubleheader on Apr. 17 and Apr. 18 and cleaned up both games, taking home the first at an impressive 13 - 2 and the second at 14 - 7. These wins, while impressive on their own, actually set a new benchmark for RIT's Men's Baseball team. The doubleheader wins against Skidmore set a school record for best 20-game program start in RIT's program history, as the Tigers scored a whopping 27 times across both games.
It's highly unusual for a college baseball team to score over ten runs in each game of a doubleheader, but the Tigers managed to pull it off thanks to some excellent coaching and terrific playing on the field. Including this weekend, the Tigers have scored at least ten runs in a game nine different times this season.
RIT had seven players who batted two hits each during game one. These players were fourth year outfielder and Business Management major CJ Bolorin, who was 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs; second year third baseman and Mechanical Engineering major Phil Sammon, who was 2-for-4 with a double, home run, and 3 RBIs; fourth year first baseman and Psychology major Skip Flanagan, who was 2-for-3 with two walks, two runs scored and two RBIs; first year Utility and Accounting major Ben Terzini, who was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs; fourth year outfielder and Civil Engineering Technology major Chris Barr, who was 2-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored; second year second baseman and Finance major Jim Schmidt, who was 2-for-2; and third year shortstop and Industrial Engineering major Taylor Hogan, who was 2-for-5.
Game two was notable for several reasons, perhaps most noticeably because the Tigers managed to score five runs right in the top of the first inning. RIT also managed to steal six bases and had 12 hits in game two, making this a truly eventful weekend for RIT's Men's Baseball program.
RIT v. Rennselaer (9 - 8)
As was the theme for the whole week, RIT's Women's Lacrosse team also played a hell of a game that kept fans and players alike on their toes throughout. It was certainly a nerve-wracking game; the Tigers faced Rennselaer on home turf in Troy, NY, and the Tigers have lost to Rennselaer for the past three games they've played . It seemed like the odds were stacked against the Tigers as they headed into this past Saturday's, April 18 game , but the team managed to pull their weight and come out with a stunning 9 - 8 victory.
In one of the most exciting moments for what could probably be billed as the "Battle of the Polytechnic Institutes," third year attack and Hospitality and Service Management major Sage Sarkis broke a stiff 7-7 tie with an outstanding goal, bringing the score up to 8-7. Almost directly afterward, first year attack and Industrial Design major Emily Livecchi brought the score up to 9 - 7 with just 7 minutes left in the game. After a disappointing Rennselaer goal that brought the score up to 9 - 8, which is how the game would finally end, it was time for fourth year goalie and Electrical Engineering major Caitlin Conway to step up, and she did exactly that. For the remaining six minutes of the game Conway was truly unstoppable, making save after save (one of which was stunning) to hold Rennselaer at bay for the rest of the game.
Rennselaer ultimately outshot the Tigers 29-17 and grabbed more ground balls than RIT as well (23 - 21). All statistics aside, however, the game was clearly won by the Tigers in a true multitude of ways. The team played aggressively and defensively truly to the best of their ability throughout, keeping Rennselaer at bay at crucial moments and blazing past them at others. While the game was an uncomfortably close one, it demonstrated RIT's Women's Hockey program's remarkable ability to pull through even in the most dire and tense of situations.
The theme for the beginning of this season for RIT's spring sports appears to be "tension." Not in the sense that the teams have a lot of tension that they're attempting to shake off over the course of their games, but that the games played so far this season have either been wracked with or completely devoid of it. In the case of Men's Baseball, there seemed to be no tension in their doubleheader present whatsoever as they completely wiped the floor with their opposition each night. In the case of Women's Lacrosse, there was tension present right up until the very end as the Tigers fended off Rennselaer with everything they had. It's a quality that's great to have in team sports: without a healthy dose of tension there's hardly enough room for teams to learn from their mistakes, see where they're already successful and their potential room to grow. It indicates a great deal of things, but above all else it points toward a bright season for RIT's Spring Sports.