RIT keeps season alive with 11-4 win over Vassar in Liberty League Tournament

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ROCHESTER, NY - The fourth-seeded RIT baseball team (20-16-1) scored six times in the top of the first inning en route to an 11-4 win over No. 3 seed Vassar College (18-19) in Game 3 of the 2018 Liberty League Tournament at Towers Field on the campus of University of Rochester on Friday. Vassar is eliminated from the double-elimination tournament.

RIT, the defending Liberty League Champion, will play either top-seeded Rochester or No. 2 seed Union at 5 p.m. Friday evening in a second elimination game.

All nine starters had at least one hit for the Tigers. Dom Scialabba (North Brunswick, NJ/North Brunswick) reached base four times, going 3-for-3 with two doubles, two runs scored, three runs batted in and a stolen base. Daniel Zeglen (Scotia, NY/Scotia-Glenville) was 2-for-4 with a double, run scored and three RBIs. Navada Waterman (Coudersport, PA/Coudersport) drove in a pair of runs and stole a base, while Benjamin Terzini (Liverpool, NY/Liverpool) added two hits.

Nick Claver (Liverpool, NY/Liverpool) was brilliant out of the bullpen for the Tigers, giving the Tigers 6 2/3 innings of valuable relief. He did not allow a run until his final inning, scattering six hits, while striking out four batters on just 70 pitches. Claver earned the win on the mound, improving to 2-1 on the season.

The Tigers jumped all over Vassar, scoring six times in the top of the first inning to grab a 6-2 lead. Joey Mylott (Aurora, OH/Western Reserve Academy) led off with a single and moved to second after twin brother Patrick was hit by a pitch. Terzini singled to load the bases with nobody out. Zeglen singled through the left side to plate both Mylotts to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead. Daniel Capra (North Salem, NY/North Salem) walked to load the bases and Dalton Murray (Savannah, NY/Clyde-Savannah) also walked to force in a run and make it 3-0. Scialabba doubled in two more runs to make it 5-0 and Waterman gave the Tigers a 6-0 lead on a run-scoring groundout.

"We wanted to get off to a fast start and that's exactly what we did," said RIT head coach Rob Grow. "At this point, it is just about taking it one game at a time."

Vassar would try to get back into the game, scoring twice in the bottom of the second to make it 6-2. The Brewers would load the bases with one out, as Claver replaced RIT starting pitcher Ben Clough (Tolland, CT/Tolland), Claver would get a strikeout and flyout to get out of the bases loaded jam.

RIT added three more runs in the third inning on three hits to go up 9-2. Once again, Vassar would load the bases in the bottom half of the inning with one out and looked to cut into the lead, as Taylor Smach hit a sacrifice fly that looked to score a runner from third. RIT appealed that the runner on third left early and it was confirmed for the third out of the inning.

From there, Claver settled into a groove, holding the Brewers scoreless until the bottom of the eighth inning. Bryce Jelinick pitched a scoreless ninth inning to close it out.

It was the first meeting of the season between the two schools. RIT also defeated Vassar in the 2017 Liberty League Tournament.

The Tigers are 5-1 in the Liberty League Tournament over the last two years and 7-3 all-time in the conference tournament. Yesterday, RIT defeated Rensselaer, 3-2 in the wild card game to make the tournament and fell to host Rochester, 12-3 in the opening game of the double elimination tournament.