Baseball Swept By Canisius In Season Opener; Remainder Of Ron Fraser Classic Cancelled Due To Inclement Weather


Photo: Craig Lepre

CARY, N.C. – The University at Albany baseball team dropped its first two games of the 2013 season Friday, falling 8-2 and 12-4 to Canisius College at the Ron Fraser Classic. The Great Danes were originally slated to play just one game versus the Golden Griffins, but with Saturday’s impending rain the agenda was adjusted.


In game one, Canisius took the lead for good in the bottom of the third, stringing together three singles with two-outs for a 2-0 head start.


From there, the Griffins steadily increased the margin, crossing the plate at least once in every inning. Canisius scored once each in the fourth and fifth frames, before the Great Danes caught up to starter Garrett Cortright and tagged him for two in the top of the sixth.


Sophomore Craig Lepre reached on an error to start things off and senior Nolan Gaige took full advantage, lining an RBI double. Sophomore Gordon Madej kept the rally alive with an RBi single, making the score 4-2.


Canisius immediately answered in the bottom of the sixth with an unearned run. The Golden Griffins also added two more unearned runs in the seventh, and capped their scoring with a single run in the eighth.


Cortright (1-0) earned the win, throwing seven full frames, allowing three hits, one earned run, walked one, and struck out eight.  Relievers Eric Stolzenburg and Jason Rubenstein each threw one scoreless inning for the Griffs.


For UAlbany, LeMoyne College transfer Derek Zielinksi (0-1) took the loss in his first game in a Great Dane uniform. Zieklinski tossed four innings, allowed six hits, three earned runs, three walks, and struck out six. Kevin Archbold came out of the bullpen to throw three innings, allowing three runs on two hits, four walks, while striking out four. Brendan Ryan threw the final frame, allowing one run while striking out the side.


With six hits as a team, Madej and Josh Nethaway led UAlbany’s offense, going 2-for-4, while Gaige and Brian Bullard each had one.


In the nightcap, Canisius immediately jumped out to 2-0 lead in the top of the first. They expanded it to a 9-0 lead after scoring two more in the third and five runs in the fourth. With two outs, the Griffs loaded the bases after Mike Krische was hit by a pitch, he stole second and Jesse Kelso singled him home. A single by Connor Panas and another hit batter set the table for Chris Gruarin’s three-run homer.


UAlbany broke onto the board in the fifth as Joey Tracy lined a double and scored on Bullard’s RBI single. Adam Mund looked to keep the rally going as he belted a double of his own, but Canisius starter Rohn Pierce recorded a strikeout to end the inning.


The Great Danes continued to battle in the sixth, plating two. With one out, Madej reached on a single, and D.J. Hoagboon and Greg Muller knocked back-to-back doubles, making the score 9-3.


However, the Griffs answered with three runs in the top of the seventh to put the game out of reach. UAlbany scored one last run in the bottom of the eighth after Madej got things going again. The shortstop lined a leadoff single, advanced to second on a groundout and scored on Nethaway’s single.


Bullard, Madej, and Mund led the Danes’ bats with two hits apiece, as the team combined for 11 total.


On the mound, Pierce (1-0) earned the win, tossing six innings, allowing five hits, two earned runs, and struck out six. Iannick Remillard threw two and Mike Tolsma closed the contest with a scoreless frame.


UAlbany’s Austin Chase (0-1) took the loss, as he went four innings, allowed nine runs (seven earned) on six hits, two walks, and struck out three. Relievers Ryan Stinar threw two and a third, allowing three runs, while Andrew Jaurique and Joey Moore combined to keep the Griffs off the board in the final two frames.


The remainder of the Ron Fraser Classic has been cancelled due to inclement weather. Up next, UAlbany meets the South Carolina Gamecocks for the first time in program history in a three-game series at Carolina Stadium (Feb. 22-24). The SEC powerhouse won the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship in 2010 and 2011, and finished 2012 as the nation's runner-up.



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