Baseball Defeats Hartford Twice, Pushes Win Streak to Eight
Game One Score: UAlbany 2, Hartford 1
Game Two Score: UAlbany 5, Hartford 1
Location: Varsity Field in Albany, N.Y.
Records: UAlbany (27-21, 13-9 AE); Hartford (20-31, 11-12 AE)
Short Story: UAlbany takes two games from Hartford to run its winning-streak to eight with one game to play in the regular season.
Coach Mueller: "We have talked about controlling our own destiny over the past month. Today we took another step towards achieving one of our main goals. The defense was nearly perfect and our pitching overall was stingy. Offensively, we put together some good at bats and cashed in when we needed to."
- Brad Malm hit 1-3 with one RBI
- Kevin Donati hit 1-4 with one run scored
- Marc Wangenstein hit 1-4 with one run scored
- Dominic Savino pitched 8.0 innings, allowing one run on three hits with three strikeouts
- Joe Kruszka earned his 10th save of the season, pitching the final 1.0 inning with three strikeouts
- Nick Kondo hit 3-3 with one RBI
- Kenny Hayden hit 2-2 with two doubles, one RBI, and one run scored off the bench
- Kevin Donati hit 1-3 with a double and one RBI
- Brad Malm hit 1-3 with a double and one RBI
- Ray Weber lasted 5.2 innings, allowing one run on three hits with five strikeouts
Riding a six-game winning streak, the University at Albany baseball team welcomed Hartford to Varsity Field on Friday to kick off the final America East series of the regular season. UAlbany extended its winning streak to eight, taking both games against Hartford, 2-1 and 5-1.
Hartford got on the board first, plating one run in the top of the first inning. UAlbany didn’t record a hit until the bottom of the fourth, when the Danes put up two runs.
Kevin Donati led off the bottom of the fourth with a single through the left side, and advanced to second when Marc Wangenstein singled to short. Patrick Lagravinese laid down a sacrifice but, beating out the throw before the Hartford first baseman mishandled the catch, allowing Donati to score and Wangenstein to advance to third. Wangenstein scored in the next at bat when Brad Malm hit a sacrifice fly to right, putting UAlbany up for good, 2-1.
Neither team scored for the remainder of the game. UAlbany starter. Dominic Savino won his fourth game in his last four appearances, lasting 8.0 innings and allowing just one run on three hits with three strikeouts. Joe Kruszka closed out the game, earning his America East-leading 10th save of the season, striking out two in the final 1.0 inning.
UAlbany broke open the second game right away, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first. After a leadoff single from Nick Kondo, Travis Collins reached safely on a fielder’s choice. Collins took second after a failed pickoff attempt from the Hartford pitcher. Donati and Wangenstein next hit back-to-back RBI doubles to go up 2-0. Two batters later, Malm hit an RBI double to put UAlbany up 3-0.
The Danes added one run in the bottom of the third. With two outs and no one on base, Dolan Ocasal drew a full-count walk and scored when Kenny Hayden hit an RBI double to center.
Hartford finally broke through with one run in the top of the sixth, but UAlbany answered right away with a single run in the bottom half of the inning. With one out and no one on, Hayden hit his second double of the game, and advanced to third when Josh Gurnack drew a walk on a wild pitch on ball four. Kondo hit a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Hayden from third and securing the 5-1 final score.
Hayden finished the second game with two doubles, one RBI, and one run scored coming off the bench. Ray Weber lasted 5.2 innings, allowing one run on three hits with five strikeouts to earn his seventh victory of the season. In relief, Kenny Hayden pitched 1.1 innings to earn his second save.
During the eight-game winning streak, UAlbany has allowed its opponents to score just 10 runs while scoring 36 of their own. All three UAlbany starting pitchers, Savino, Weber, and Saturday’s projected starter John Clayton, have each won at least two games while posting ERAs under 0.85. Kruszka has earned three saves, striking out nine in 6.0 innings of work. Kondo has hit .448 with four doubles and six RBIs, while Wangenstein has slugged .800 with two doubles, a triple, three home runs, and 11 RBIs.
The Great Danes will leapfrog Binghamton for the two-seed in the America East Tournament, and a first-round bye, if the Bearcats drop their series finale at Maine on Saturday.
Next: UAlbany and Hartford will wrap the series on Saturday, the Great Danes’ Senior Day. First pitch is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.