Baseball Drops Series Finale At Hartford, 15-5
Photo: Nolan Gaige went 2-for-4 at the plate Sunday.
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. -- In Sunday afternoon’s rubber match at Fiondella Field, the University of Hartford exploded for 10 runs in the third inning and held the lead the rest of the way, overcoming the University at Albany baseball team, 15-5. The loss drops the Great Danes’ record to 4-9 overall and 1-2 in America East action, while the Hawks improve to 2-13 overall and 2-1 in conference play.
In the third inning, Hartford strung together two singles and two doubles, plating three, before surrendering an out. The rally continued as Chris DelDebbio singled off starter Austin Chase, prompting a call to the bullpen. Patiently waiting at the plate, the Hawks drew two walks and a run-scoring wild pitch from reliever Brendan Ryan, and then tagged Stephen Carey with a two-run single. Hartford put three more runners on base after two walks and a hit batter before Andrew Jaurique came out of the pen to force out number two, a sacrifice fly to right field. Jaurique ended the frame with a ground out, but not before James Alfonso capped the inning for Hartford with an RBI single to right, giving the Hawks a 10-0 lead.
Hartford tacked on one more run in the fourth before the Great Danes answered with two runs in the top of the sixth. Designated hitter Frank Buksa reached base on a one-out walk and scored on senior Nolan Gaige’s two-out double to left-centerfield. Sophomore Gordon Madej followed with a single up the middle, making the score 11-2.
The Hawks got one run back in the bottom of the frame, but the Great Danes continued to battle offensively and cut the margin to seven, scoring three runs in the top of the eighth. With Madej and Luke Burns on base after a fielder’s choice and a walk, Josh Nethaway knocked them home, lining a double to right centerfield. Adam Mund immediately followed with a two-out RBI single to left, scoring Nethaway.
Unfortunately, the Hawks played copycat, also plating three runs in the eighth to stretch their lead to 10.
Using six arms in the contest, the UAlbany pitching staff was plagued by walks throughout the contest, totaling a season-high 13. Chase (0-3) took the loss, hurling two and a third innings, allowing five runs, five hits, and struck out one. In addition to Ryan, Carey, and Jaurique, Kevin Archbold, and Sam DeCelle also saw action on the mound.
Sean Newcomb (1-2) earned the win for Hartford, throwing five perfect innings with seven strikeouts before being replaced.
Offensively, Gaige led UAlbany with his 2-for-4 performance, as the Great Danes totaled seven hits in the game.
Up next, UAlbany plays its home-opener Tuesday, hosting a midweek battle against Marist College at 3:00 p.m. on Varsity Field. The Great Danes will continue its conference slate next weekend, traveling to UMBC for a three-game series.