Baseball Defeats Hartford 7-4, Wins Series
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The University at Albany baseball team (21-23, 8-12 AE) defeated Hartford (20-24, 8-10 AE) on Saturday in the teams' series finale to take the series two games to one. After splitting Friday's doubleheader, the Great Danes once more defeated the Hawks by a score of 7-4.
The weekend series was originally scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, but was shifted to Friday and Saturday to avoid the impending rain in the forecast. To that end, the final game in the series was moved up to 9:30 a.m. on Saturday.
The Great Danes scored first with two runs in the top of the second inning. With two outs, Alex Thul worked a walk, preceding a single to left field from Nick Kondo. Patrick Lagravinese next came up to bat and hit a two-RBI double to right field.
Hartford tied the game at two with two runs in the bottom of the third. UAlbany retook the lead immediately in the top of the fourth. Matt Hinchy led off the inning reaching safely on an error by Hartford's shortstop. Kyle Sacks came in to pinch run for Hinchy, before the next two batters recorded outs. Sacks had advanced to second when Kondo grounded out to first. Lagravinese came up and drew a walk before Evan Harasta hit a single to center that scored Sacks from first.
The next three innings went by without a run scored before UAlbany's offense put up four runs in the top of the eighth to take a 7-2 lead. Marc Wangenstein led off with a single to center. Sacks hit a sacrifice bunt that advanced Wangenstein to second. Wangenstein next advanced to third on a wild pitch during Thul's at-bat, which ultimately resulted with Thul drawing a walk. Kondo was hit by a pitch in the next at-bat, loading the bases with one out. Lagravinese hit a single through the left side, scoring Wangenstein. Harasta next hit a sacrifice fly to right, allowing Thul to score. Finally, Connor Powers hit a two-RBI double to right center, driving in Kondo and Lagravinese.
Hartford put on a short rally attempt in the bottom of the ninth inning, but their two runs scored were not enough and UAlbany won by a final score of 7-4. All scoring production came from UAlbany's top three batters. Lagravinese, Harasta, and Powers each had two hits, Lagravinese had three RBIs and Harasta and Powers had two RBIs each. Thul and Kondo each scored two runs. Great Dane starter Jack McClure (4-1) lasted 4.0 innings, allowing two runs on four hits with one strikeout and two walks. Ray Weber pitched 4.2 innings in relief, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits with one strikeout and one walk. Dominic Savino earned his fourth save, recording the final out of the game.
“Good series win for the team,” said head coach Jon Mueller. “We pitched very well and the defense was solid. Ray keeps getting better and better every time out.”
UAlbany scored seven runs on 11 hits with one error. Hartford scored four runs on nine hits, also with one error.
Next, the Great Danes will host their final regular season home game on Tuesday, May 16 against Sacred Heart. The team will close the regular season with a three-game series at Maine. The America East tournament begins May 24 at Lowell, Mass.