Baseball Takes First Two From Stony Brook
ALBANY, N.Y. – Opening its final America East home series of the 2017 season, the University at Albany baseball team (19-22, 6-11 AE) won both games of Saturday's doubleheader against Stony Brook (21-23, 8-9 AE). The Great Danes won the first game 3-2 in the bottom of the 11th inning, and won the second game 4-2.
UAlbany scored first, crossing the plate once in the bottom of the first inning. Nick Kondo led off the inning getting hit by a pitch. Evan Harasta next hit a single to center, allowing Kondo to advance to third. Connor Powers reached first on a fielder's choice in the next at-bat that allowed Kondo to score and saw Harasta forced out at second.
Neither team scored again until the top of the fifth inning, when Stony Brook scored twice to take a 2-1 lead. The Great Danes tied the game at two in the bottom of the seventh. Marc Wangenstein led off the inning with a triple to right center. Matt Hinchy, pinch-hitting for Alex Thul, hit a single up the middle that drove in Wangenstein.
After a scoreless eighth and ninth, the game went into extra innings knotted at two. Neither team scored in the 10th inning. In the 11th, Kevin Donati hit a leadoff double, followed by a single to short from Travis Collins in the next at-bat that allowed Donati to cross the plate to give UAlbany the 3-2 victory.
Powers, Collins, Patrick Lagravinese, and Wangenstein each had two hits for the Great Danes, and three players had one RBI each. Great Dane Starter Jack McClure lasted 6.1 innings, allowing two runs on five hits with four strikeouts and two walks. In relief, Kenny McLean pitched 3.2 innings, allowing three hits with two strikeouts and one walk. Dominic Savino pitched the final inning, allowing no hits.
UAlbany scored three runs on 11 hits and committed two errors. Stony Brook scored two runs on eight hits with no errors.
In the second game, Stony Brook took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning when Andrew Gazzola doubled to left off sophomore lefthander Hunter Torres, who was making his first collegiate start, and then scored on Dave Real's double to left. Torres settled down to strike out two batters to get out of trouble in the inning.
The Great Danes tied the score at 1-1 without the virtue of a hit in the fifth inning. Kyle Sacks walked and moved to second when Kondo was hit by a pitch. When Stony Brook catcher Real's pickoff attempt at first sailed past the first baseman, Sacks scored.
The Seawolves took a 2-1 lead in the top of the sixth. Chris Hamilton singled to center and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Toby Handley. After Casey Baker hit a fly ball to left, Resk singled to left, scoring Hamilton.
UAlbany scratched for three runs in its big sixth inning. With one out, Donati singled to left. Teddy Rodliff (4-2) then came on in relief for Stony Brook starter Brian Herrmann. After Collins reached on a walk, Hinchy reached on an error to load the bases. Eric Mueller pinch-ran for Hinchy.
Wangenstein doubled to right to plate both Donati and Collins. When Sacks bounced back to the pitcher, Rodliff tried to throw off-balance to home plate, but Mueller scored.
Savino, who came on in relief of Brendan Smith with two on in the sixth inning, retired five of the six batters he faced.
“Well, you know, both teams threw the ball extremely well today,” UAlbany head coach Jon Mueller said. “Stony Brook is a team that doesn't make a lot of mistakes, and so you can't make many either. We got some real good pitching today, and that's been the case for us over the last week or so. This league is so balanced that you have to play well to win. You can't kick the ball around, and if you do, it will hurt you. We also didn't have many walks today. You get punished when you kick the ball around and walk a lot of players.”
Mueller was happy that his team capitalized both with the bat and on the mound. “We got some big hits today. Marc Wangenstein was real big for us. He had a triple in the first game and that big double for us in the second game," he said. "Hunter Torres' first start for us was excellent. He's usually a setup guy for us. And Smitty (Brendan Smith) gave us some good innings. Dom, of course, was really tough in both games for us. I think he won both games. I'm very happy with the win, and can't wait for (tomorrow) when we have senior day.”
The Great Danes will host the series finale on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. Before the game, the team will hold a short ceremony in recognition of the seniors on the 2017 roster.