Gaige Becomes All-Time Hits Leader In 11-5 Triumph At Manhattan
POMONA, N.Y. – With two hits Wednesday night at Provident Bank Park, senior Nolan Gaige became the University at Albany baseball program’s all-time hits leader, now totaling 231 in his four-year career. Gaige helped lead the Great Danes to an 11-5 non-conference victory over the hosting Manhattan Jaspers, lifting UAlbany above the .500 mark for the first time this season. With the triumph, the Great Danes improve to 17-16-1 overall, while the Jaspers fall to 16-22.
Taking advantage of a leadoff walk and hit batsman, Manhattan’s Kyle Murphy lined a bases clearing double, giving the Jaspers a 2-0 head start in the bottom of the first.
However, despite the early two-run deficit and seesawing first four frames, UAlbany crossed the plate in six consecutive innings, starting in the third, and held the Jaspers scoreless for the final five innings en route to the win.
In the third, the Great Danes scored three runs, as leadoff batter Evan Harasta and Joey Tracy sparked the rally with back-to-back singles. Senior Greg Muller, sophomore Gordon Madej, and junior Josh Nethaway all made contact with the ball and drove in one run each with a single to left, a fielder’s choice, and a single down the left field line, respectively.
Manhattan tied it up in the bottom half of the frame on three hits capped by Christian Santisteban’s RBI single.
Playing small-ball, UAlbany regained the lead in the top of fourth, only to have Manhattan snatch it back immediately in their at-bats with two runs on an RBI double and wild pitch.
However, the 5-4 lead would be the Jaspers’ last, as UAlbany outscored the hosts 7-0 in the final five frames. The Great Danes plated three in the fifth, taking advantage of four Manhattan errors, two walks, and a balk in the inning, for a 7-5 lead. The Jaspers totaled seven errors in the ballgame.
UAlbany added one run in the sixth, as Muller and Jeff Welsh strung together a pair of singles, and the Danes tacked on two more runs in the seventh with Brian Bullard, Gaige, and Madej serving up the offense with three base hits of their own.
Leading 10-5, UAlbany added an insurance run in the top of the eighth on Tracy’s sacrifice fly, plating Bullard.
UAlbany’s bullpen was impressive on staff day, as five arms got work in, while silencing the Jaspers’ bats for much of the night. Relieving starter Joey Moore, who tossed the first three innings, Brendan Ryan, Cameron Sorgie, Andrew Jaurique, and Ryan Stinar all shared time on the mound. Sorgie (2-3) was awarded the win, hurling the fifth -- the first of five consecutive scoreless innings.
Totaling 15 hits on offense, Welsh (3-for-4), Bullard (3-for-5), Harasta (2-for-3), Gaige (2-for-5), and Muller (2-for-5) all logged multiple hits for the Danes. Gaige passed Michael Oliva (229: 1997-01) in the archives with his first hit of the night -- a leadoff double in the top of the first.
Up next, UAlbany returns to Varsity Field Saturday and Sunday, hosting UMBC for a three-game America East Conference series. First pitch on both days will be at noon.