Baseball Ends Season With 12-5 Loss To Maine
LOWELL, Mass. – After falling to UMBC in Saturday's early game, the University at Albany baseball team (26-26) faced off against five-seed Maine (25-28) in the tournament's fourth elimination game. The Great Danes defeated the Black Bears 3-0 to start the tournament, but the rematch fell in Maine's favor, with UAlbany falling by a final score of 12-5.
The Great Danes jumped onto the scoreboard first with two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Patrick Lagravinese and Evan Harasta drew consecutive walks to start the inning, before Connor Powers bunted to third base. Powers reached safely on a throwing error by Maine's third baseman that subsequently allowed Lagravinese to score from second. Next, Travis Collins drew a walk to load the bases with no outs, and then Harasta scored on a wild pitch during Kyle Sacks' ensuing at-bat.
Maine responded with two runs in the top of the second to tie the game, and then one in the bottom of the third to take a one run lead. The Black Bears would load the bases with no outs in the bottom of the third but come away with no additional runs.
The Black Bears took a 7-2 lead in the top of the fifth. UAlbany responded with one run in the bottom of the inning. Nick Kondo drew a leadoff walk and scored when Lagravinese hit a double to left in the next at-bat.
Maine scored three runs in the top of the sixth to open up a 10-3 lead. In the bottom of the sixth, after UAlbany loaded the bases, Kevin Donati scored from third in a wild pitch during Kondo's at-bat with two outs.
The Black Bears added two more runs in the top of the seventh. Trailing 12-4, UAlbany scored one run in the bottom of the eighth. With two outs, Marc Wangenstein hit a single to left field, and then advanced to second in Alex Thul's ensuing at-bat on a wild pitch. Wangenstein scored when Thul hit a single through the left side to bring UAlbany within seven. The Great Danes would come no closer, ultimately falling to Maine 12-7.
Each of UAlbany's first three hitters, Lagravinese, Harasta, and Connor Powers, recorded a hit. Lagravinese and Thul recorded the team's only RBIs, with one each.
Great Dane starter Ray Weber (2-3) lasted 3.0 innings, allowing three runs on five hits with two strikeouts and two walks. Brendan Smith pitched 1.1 innings in relief, allowing four runs on three hits. David Hutchison pitched 0.1 innings, allowing one hit. Dominic Savino pitched 1.1 innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on two hits with two strikeouts and two walks. Angelo Spedafino pitched 1.0 inning, allowing two runs on two hits with one strikeout and one walk. Marcus Failing and Terry Dugdale combined to pitch the final inning, allowing no hits.
“First, hats off to our seniors,” said head coach Jon Mueller. “They've really done a lot of work to put us on the map these last few years, and you can't thank them enough for their effort. Tonight we didn't get the pitching we were looking for, and sometimes in these tournaments you run out of pitching. But I'm really proud of this group of guys and looking forward to what they can do next year.”
Maine scored 12 runs on 13 hits and committed two errors. UAlbany scored five runs on seven hits with three errors. Maine advances to play two-seed UMBC in the championship.
The Great Danes' season now comes to an end. They finished the season going 15-6 in their final 21 games. Overall the team increased their win total by three over last season, and they won one more game in the conference tournament. The team will say goodbye to eight seniors, but bring back a core of young, experienced talent next season.