Baseball Takes Two From UMass Lowell
Game One Score: UAlbany 5, UMass Lowell 2
Game Two Score: UAlbany 11, UMass Lowell 3
Location: LeLacheur Park in Lowell, Mass.
Records: UAlbany (12-13, 4-4 AE); UMass Lowell (6-23, 3-5 AE)
Short Story: Baseball climbs to .500 in-conference behind two victories against UMass Lowell to clinch the first America East series victory of the season.
Coach Mueller: “We put together a full day of quality pitching and fundamental defense. The offense stuck to the game plan and we flourished because of our approach.”
- Patrick Lagravinese hit 1-5 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored
- Marc Wangenstein hit 1-4 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored
- Brad Malm hit 1-3 with two runs scored
- Josh Loeffler hit 1-3 with a double
- Dominic Savino lasted 6.2 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits
- Joe Kruszka earned his fifth save, striking out four in 2.0 innings
- UAlbany scored five runs in the final three innings
- Nick Kondo hit 3-4 with three RBIs
- Patrick Lagravinese hit 1-4 with a home run and two RBIs
- Josh Loeffler hit 1-2 with two RBIs and one run scored
- Marc Wangenstein drove in two runners
- Jason Bottari hit 2-4 with two runs scored
- Ray Weber lasted 4.0 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with three strikeouts
- Hunter Torres earned his first save of the season, striking out three and allowing one hit in 3.0 innings
The University at Albany baseball team returned to conference action Saturday, embarking on their third America East series of the season. This weekend’s opponent was UMass Lowell, which earned the two-seed in the 2018 America East Tournament. The Great Danes won both games in Saturday’s doubleheader to clinch their first conference series win of the season.
UMass Lowell got on the board first, scoring once to break the 0-0 tie in the bottom of the third. The Riverhawks added an additional run in the bottom of the fifth to take a 2-0 lead.
The Great Danes recorded their first hit in the top of the third when Josh Loeffler hit a leadoff double to right field. Loeffler advanced as far as third base before the inning ended without the Danes crossing the plate.
UAlbany threatened again in the top of the sixth, putting a runner on first and second with one out. It wasn’t until the top of the seventh that UAlbany crossed the plate, however. Brad Malm worked a leadoff walk, and advanced to second when Loeffler was hit by a pitch. Two batters later, Dolan Ocasal reached safely on a fielding error by the Riverhawk first baseman, allowing Malm to score and cut the lead in half.
The Dane offense exploded for four runs in the top of the eighth. Travis Collins hit a leadoff single through the right side, and was replaced at first base for pinch runner Kenny Hayden. Hayden scored immediately when Lagravinese hit a double to right-center. Marc Wangenstein hit a second-straight double, scoring Lagravinese. Wangenstein advanced to third when Malm singled to short. After Matt Codispoti popped up to second, Wangenstein and Malm each advanced on a balk by UMass Lowell’s pitcher, resulting in Wangenstein crossing the plate for the third run of the inning. Malm came around to score from second when Jason Bottari singled to left.
The Great Dane defense held on to win 5-2, preventing UMass Lowell from scoring in the bottom of the eighth and ninth innings. Dominic Savino lasted 6.2 innings in the mound for UAlbany, allowing two runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and two walks. Connor Takacs earned the win, his third of the season, pitching 0.1 innings allowing no runs and no hits. Joe Kruszka earned his fifth save of the season, pitching the final 2.0 innings, allowing one hit with four strikeouts. Lagravinese and Wangenstein each hit a double, drove in a run, and scored in the first game.
In the second game, UAlbany scored one run in the top of the first to take a quick lead, thanks to a two-out solo home run by Lagravinese. A scoreless second led to a four-run top of the third for the Danes. Josh Gurnack hit a leadoff single to left, followed by another single to left from Kondo. Collins loaded the bases with no outs after working a four-pitch walk. Lagravinese walked to force in a baserunner, right before Wangenstein hit a sacrifice fly to right. Lagravinese advanced to second during the next at bat on a wild pitch. With runners on second and third and two outs, Loeffler hit a bases-clearing triple to right, giving UAlbany a 5-0 lead.
UMass Lowell scored twice in the bottom of the third and once in the bottom of the fourth to cut UAlbany’s lead to 5-3. After a scoreless fifth, UAlbany added four more runs in the top of the sixth. With one out, Loeffler reached first safely on a throwing error by UMass Lowell’s third baseman. Loeffler stole second before Bottari singled to left, advancing Loeffler to third. Bottari next stole second, drawing an intentional walk for Ocasal to load the bases with one out. Kevin Donati came up to bat, pinch hitting for Gurnack, and drew a bases-loaded walk. Kondo came up and singled through the left side, scoring Bottari and Ocasal. Following a pitching change for UMass Lowell, Collins was hit by a pitch to re-load the bases. Two batters later, Wangenstein worked a bases-loaded walk to force Donati home and give UAlbany a 9-3 lead.
UAlbany added two insurance runs in the top of the seventh. Bottari hit a one-out single to second, and scored when Ocasal doubled to right-center. Codispoti single to left, advancing Ocasal to third. Ocasal scored when Kondo singled to center, putting UAlbany up 11-3, which would prove to be the final score.
UMass Lowell put a runner on second in the bottom of the inning but never threatened further in defeat. Ray Weber lasted 4.0 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and one walk. Hunter Torres earned his first save of the season, pitching the final 3.0 innings allowing just one hit with three strikeouts. Kondo hit 3-4 with three RBIs and one run scored, and Lagravinese hit 1-4 with a home run, two RBIs, and two runs scored.
Next: UAlbany plays in the series finale against UMass Lowell on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for noon.