Utica College junior, Tom Dinnen, rips a fourth inning double.
Jeff Pexton-MHTS/PGI Photo
The Utica College Pioneers baseball team got a strong performance on the mound and at the plate from junior, Ryan Watson, to win the 27th, Annual, Jackie Robinson Baseball Game by a score of 3-1, over local rival, Hamilton College.
Watson, named the game’s Most Valuable Player, was terrific on the mound for Utica, despite very windy conditions and a quality opponent in Hamilton.
The 6’2″ right hander from Whitesboro allowed just 1 run, on 7 hits, whole striking out 7 and walking just 1 over six innings of work to earn the victory.
The game was a scoreless pitcher’s duel for three and one half innings, before the home standing Pioneers scratched out a run in the bottom half of the fourth.
Pioneers junior catcher, Tom Dinnen, roped a double to start off the home half of the fourth and later came around to score on a single off the bat of senior shortstop, Rob Heath.
The Pioneers held the one run advantage all the way to the top of the seventh when the Continentals would respond.
Joe Jensen, who leads Hamilton in multiple offensive categories, singled to start the seventh.
The fleet footed center fielder then stole second base, putting a runner in scoring position for teammate, Kenny Collins, who singled off Pioneers reliever, Ethan Bliss, tying the score at 1-1, which is the way we’d go to the bottom of the inning.
Rob Heath led off the frame with a single and reached second on a passed ball. Ben Hobaica’s one out single moved Heath to third. Heath later crossed the plate on a wild pitch from Hamilton reliever, Tommy Moriarty, putting Utica College back on top 2-1.
Hobaica later scored on a single, down the right field line, by Watson and the Pioneers took a 3-1 lead to the eighth inning.
Ethan Bliss held the Continentals scoreless in the eighth and Vinny Burillo came on and shut the door in the visitor’s ninth to seal the win for Utica.
With the win, Utica improves to (4-8) on the season and takes a 15-12 advantage over Hamilton in the Jackie Robinson game series, which dates back to 1987.
The pioneers were led at the plate by Tom Dinnen and Rob Heath, who each had two hits.
Hamilton was led offensively by catcher, Mike Chiseri, who was 3 for 4 at the dish this afternoon.
The Pioneers return to action this weekend, with a four game, Empire 8 Conference road trip to Ithaca College.
Hamilton (7-7) returns to action this weekend when they play host to Middlebury for a three game set.
Utica College 3 Hamilton College 1
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total
Hamilton 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
Utica College 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 X 3