Baseball opens 2019 with doubleheader sweep of Clarkson

In Game 2 Jarrett Lee '21 cracked a bases-clearing double with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning, and the Continentals went on to a 6-1 win against Clarkson on Saturday (Jerry Tang '21 photo)
In Game 2 Jarrett Lee '21 cracked a bases-clearing double with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning, and the Continentals went on to a 6-1 win against Clarkson on Saturday (Jerry Tang '21 photo)

The Hamilton College Continentals began their 2019 season by sweeping a non-conference doubleheader against the Clarkson University Golden Knights at Hamilton's Loop Road Baseball/Softball Complex on Saturday afternoon.

Rich Marooney '21 laced a pinch-hit, two-run single up the middle with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and lifted the Continentals to a thrilling 6-5 victory in the opener. Gavin Schaefer-Hood '21 and Kenny Gray '20 allowed a total of four hits and one unearned run in seven innings as Hamilton defeated Clarkson 6-1 in the nightcap.

The Continentals were supposed to play two more with the Golden Knights on Sunday, March 10, but the games were cancelled due to the prospect of wintry weather early Sunday morning. Hamilton will host Southern Vermont College on Thursday, March 14 for another non-conference contest at 4 p.m.

Game 1

Jarrett Lee '21 started the winning rally with one out in the ninth when he just beat out the throw to first base on what seemed to be a routine ground ball to the shortstop. Matt Zaffino '21 walked and, after a fly ball to left, Jordan Northrup '19 loaded the bases with an infield single down the third-base line. Marooney drove in Lee and Zaffino with his game-winning hit.

Northrup and Nate Goodman '20 finished with two hits and one run batted in apiece. Matt Cappelletti '21 doubled twice and helped the Continentals escape a jam in the fifth inning by snaring a low line drive and touching third base all in one motion for an unassisted double play. Zaffino, who was the 2018 NESCAC rookie of the year, also hit a double. Brian Lawson '20 started on the mound and scattered seven hits, allowed two runs and struck out five in five innings. Chris Keane '20 surrendered one earned run in 3.1 innings and bridged the gap to closer Ian Nish '19. Nish fanned two of the three batters he faced and picked up the win.

Tommy Bianchi paced the Clarkson offensive with two doubles and a triple. Brad Pearson also ended up with three hits, including a double, and Michael Tito boasted three singles. The Golden Knights finished with 13 hits.

Game 2

Pitching was the story in the second game as Schaefer-Hood turned in quite a performance. After allowing two hits, two walks and an unearned run in a shaky first inning, he settled down and gave up just one single and one free pass in his last four. Gray -- pitching for the first time since he was a freshman -- tossed two nearly flawless innings of relief as he allowed one single and struck out two. He got some help on the final out when the left fielder Zaffino raced into foul territory and caught the ball just before he flipped over Hamilton's bullpen fence for a highlight-reel play.

Lee had the big hit of the game in the fourth inning when he came to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded. He responded by lofting a high fly ball to left center that fell into the gap for a three-run double and provided the Continentals some valuable insurance runs. Ethan Wallis '21 scored three times and stole three bases.