Baseball Drops Final Game Against South Carolina, 8-1
COLUMBIA, S.C. – After taking a early 1-0 lead, the University at Albany Great Danes (0-3, 0-0) faltered towards the end of the game and were unable to recover against the University of South Carolina Gamecocks (3-0, 0-0) in the series finale, losing 8-1.
“It was similar to both games we had this weekend, we played great defense,” said Head Coach Jon Mueller “We had a tremendous start from Ryan Stinar… and we are really looking forward to next weekend.”
The Danes would take the early lead in the top of the first thanks to a throwing error by shortstop Marcus Mooney. With Kyle Sacks advancing to second on a poor throw by Gamecocks catcher Chris Cullen, Evan Harasta would hit a zippy grounder towards Mooney, which forced him to make the poor throw to first and allowed Sacks to round third and cross home to pick up the 1-0 lead.
UAlbany had a chance to increase its lead in the top of the fifth. Freshman Tre Todd picked up his first career hit with a deep double to right center field. Todd would later advance to third when Patrick Lagravinese grounded out to Mooney. However, the Danes were unable to push their lead to two as Kevin Donati popped out and Karson Canaday also grounded out to Mooney to end the inning.
The Gamecocks would tie the game at one in the bottom of the fifth with a single to center from John Jones. Mooney started off the inning with a walk and then advanced to second off a wild pitch from starter Ryan Stinar. Eventually, he would get to third after Don Thompson-Williams was thrown out by Lagravinese. Jones would then send the ball towards center field and Mooney was able to give the Gamecocks its first run of the game.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Danes would bring in Joe Romero to pitch in place of Stinar. South Carolina seemed to like what Romero was throwing as they would increase their lead to 5-1 over the Danes. LT Tolbert started the inning with a double to left field, then advanced to third on a single to right by Cullen and eventually was able to come home off a single from pinch hitter Gene Cone.
Next up, Mooney would pick up a double as the ball was towards the left field line. Danny Blair would then send a sharply hit ball to Donati who looked to make the throw in time, but Blair was called safe and Cone was able to cross home plate, pushing the lead to 3-1. After Thompson walked, Jones singled to left center, bringing in both Mooney and Blair and increasing the lead over the Danes, 5-1.
In the very next inning, the Gamecocks would add three more runs to their lead with a sacrifice fly to center that brought in Tolbert after he placed the ball into right field. After Mooney gets walked and advances to second from a single off of Clark Scolamiero, Thompson would send them both into home with a single of his own to center field, giving South Carolina a 8-1 lead.
Stinar (0-0) put together a solid outing for his first time of the season, pitching 5.0 innings with three hits and two strikeouts. Romero (0-1) would get the loss for the Danes going 0.2 innings, and allowed five hits, walked one batter and had four earned runs.
Cole Bowers (1-0) was awarded the win for the Gamecocks going 1.1 innings walking two batters and picking up two strikeouts. Starter Taylor Widener left the mound when the game was tied one-all after going 5.0 innings, and only allowing two hits and six strikeouts.
Along with Todd; Powers, Sacks and Miller all had hits in the final game. Tolbert led the Gamecocks going 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored.
The Danes will return to the Carolina’s next weekend as they head to Greensboro, N.C. to take on the Aggies of North Carolina A&T for a three game series February 27-28. The first game of the double header on Saturday will begin at Noon.