Baseball Splits With NYIT; Friday's Games Cancelled
OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. – After playing its first seven games of the season down south, the University at Albany baseball team (4-5) returned to the Northeast to play four games in two days against NYIT (2-9). On the first day, the Great Danes split with the Bears, winning the first game 8-1 and falling in the second 3-0.
The schedule against NYIT was pushed up by one day in an effort to avoid impending inclement weather. Instead of playing Friday/Saturday, the teams agreed to play Thursday/Friday. Both of Thursday’s games were played over seven innings.
The games scheduled for Friday have been cancelled. No makeup date has been announced.
The highlight of the first game was starting pitcher Jack McClure, who pitched a no-hitter through the five innings he was on the mound. He struck out five batters in 5.0 innings and surrendered just one walk. Hunter Torres came in relief of McClure for the final 2.0 innings, giving up two hits and one run.
UAlbany jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second innings, and added two more runs in the third, fourth, and sixth innings. One final run in the top of the seventh saw the Great Danes hold an 8-0 lead, before surrendering one run to the Bears in the bottom of the seventh, ultimately taking the game 8-1.
Freshman Marc Wangenstein, who was just named America East Rookie of the Week, hit UAlbany’s only home run of the game. Evan Harasta led the team with two hits, and Kevin Donati led with two RBIs. UAlbany scored eight runs on seven hits and one error on defense. NYIT scored one run on two hits, and committed two errors in the field.
The Great Danes could not sustain their offensive production into the second game, suffering a complete game shutout at the hands of NYIT’s starting pitcher Ben Wright.
NYIT took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, but didn’t score again until the bottom of the fourth, when the Bears added two more runs. NYIT would go on to win 3-0.
Four UAlbany players contributed four hits for the Great Danes during the second game. NYIT scored its three runs on four hits. Neither team committed an error.
UAlbany starting pitcher Brendan Smith lasted 4.1 innings, giving up three runs on four hits with four strikeouts and one walk. Dominic Savino pitched the last 1.2 innings of the game, striking out three of five batters faced.
The Great Danes’ best scoring opportunity in the second game came right away in the first inning. Donati worked a leadoff walk, before Travis Collins popped up to third. Matt Hinchy then hit a double to right, at which time Donati advanced to third. After Harasta grounded out to the Wright, Wangenstein worked a walk to load the bases, but Connor Powers grounded out to first to end the inning.
“Overall a very strong performance on the mound and defensively,” said head coach Jon Mueller. “We came within a couple of outs of a no-no in the first game. You have to tip your hat to Wright in the second game. We hit some balls hard but to his credit he kept us at bay.”
With Friday’s games cancelled, UAlbany now looks to its single game against Central Connecticut State on Wednesday, March 15. After that, the Great Danes will play against Fordham, Hofstra, and Sacred Heart in the Fordham Tournament from March 17-19.