POTSDAM - Following an incredible four shutouts last weekend against Skidmore, the Clarkson University baseball team will take on the University of Rochester in the first round of the Liberty League tournament on Thursday at noon. Host Union College will take on Vassar College in the other game on day one.
The Golden Knights finished the season with a record of 19-11, and their 14-7 mark in conference earned them the three seed in the upcoming tournament. The Yellowjackets enter the tournament with a record of 23-14, and their 16-8 conference record was good for the two seed this week.
The Green and Gold entered last weekend on the outside looking in regarding the playoffs, but played their way into the tournament by outscoring Skidmore 31-0 in four games and hitting six home runs on the weekend. Senior David Wixted (Ballston Lake, NY) hit a home run in each of the final three games, blasting all three to left field including a leadoff home run in game two on Sunday. The centerfielder leads the team with 20 RBIs and 28 runs scored. His .301 batting average is third on the team and he has stolen 13 bases in 13 attempts on the season.
Sophomore Greg Jasek (Chittenango, NY) did it all in game one last Saturday, pitching a complete game shutout and knocking in the only run of the game with an RBI double in the third inning. The right-hander struck out nine batters and allowed five hits to earn his fifth win of the year. He has a 2.39 ERA and leads the team with 45 strikeouts. His .315 batting average leads the team, and he has knocked in 14 runs and scored 15 of his own this year.
Game two on Saturday was dominated by senior Pete Roma (Endicott, NY) as he carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning and allowed only two hits in a game that was called after five innings due to rain. His 1.89 ERA is the lowest of all the regular starters and he improved to 3-3 on the year with the victory.
Junior John Coleman (Potsdam, NY) enters the tournament with a .304 average, good for second on the team. He has scored 19 runs and collected 16 RBI while making only four errors all season at shortstop. He has stolen 10 bases and walked seven times.
Senior Jarrod Mattingly (Philadelphia, NY) and freshman Eddie Miller (Lake Grove, NY) picked up the other two wins against the Thoroughbreds last weekend. Mattingly tossed a complete game, allowing four hits over seven innings to pick up his fifth win on the year. He has a 2.65 ERA in seven starts and has punched out 27 batters. Miller took the ball in game two and went six innings, getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the second inning to preserve the shutout. He allowed four hits before turning the ball over to the bullpen to get the final nine outs.
The Knights did not play Rochester in the regular season. The Yellowjackets lost their first two games in conference before winning 16 of their final 22 league contests. Rochester has seven players hitting above .300 this year, led by Lance Hamilton at .391. As a team they are hitting .304, while holding opponents to a .245 average. No player has more than three victories, but nine players have recorded at least one win this season.
Clarkson did not play top-seeded Union this year, and they split a pair of doubleheaders against Vassar on the first weekend of April.