Baseball Splits First Two With Longwood To Open Season
FARMVILLE, Va. – The University at Albany baseball team (1-1) finally took the field Saturday for its season-opening series against Longwood (2-5). The three game set had already been timeshifted due to impending thunderstorms, with the first game of the series moving up two hours to 10:00 a.m. on Saturday from its original noon start.
The Great Danes took the first game by a score of 11-3. UAlbany got off to a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Longwood responded with a run in the bottom of the first to bring the game to 2-1.
After a scoreless second, UAlbany exploded for five runs in the top of the third to take a 7-1 lead. The Danes scored two more in the top of the fifth to take a 9-1 lead, before Longwood added a run of their own to close within seven. A scoreless sixth led to UAlbany and Longwood adding a run each in the seventh. UAlbany scored once more in the top of the ninth to bring the final score to 11-3.
UAlbany’s 11 runs came on 14 hits, while the Danes committed one error during the game. Each of the first six batters in the lineup recorded at least one hit. Six Great Danes scored a run, and four recorded at least two RBIs. Longwood’s three runs came on 10 hits, but the Lancers committed four errors in the field.
Starting pitcher Marcus Failing lasted 3.2 innings, giving up five hits and one run. Terry Dugdale earned the win, pitching 1.1 innings allowing two hits and one run. Travis Collins led the team with 3 RBIs, Connor powers led with three runs, and Kyle Sacks led with three hits.
“I thought in the first game today we did a really nice job on the mound,” said head coach Jon Mueller. “We played great defense and swung the bats extremely well. It’s really nice to come out with a win in that first game.”
The second game of the day, the one that was in question due to the weather, kicked off at 2:00 p.m. After a scoreless first inning Longwood blew the doors open in the bottom of the second with seven runs. UAlbany scored one in the top of the third, followed by a two-run response from Longwood in the bottom half of the inning. UAlbany cut the lead to three after scoring five runs in the top of the fifth, but it was as close as the Great Danes would come as Longwood added two more runs in the remainder of the game to bring the final score to 11-6.
UAlbany scored its six runs on 11 hits, committing one error. Longwood also had 11 hits and one error for the game.
The Great Danes starting pitcher for the second game, Kenny McLean, lasted 1.2 innings, allowing seven runs on four hits. He was relieved by Ray Weber for 2.1 innings, David Hutchison for 2.0 innings, and Brendan Smith for 2.0 innings. Patrick Lagravinese led the team with three hits and two runs scored, and Kevin Donati led with three RBIs.
“We got behind in the second game, and found ourselves in a big deficit,” said Mueller. “But it was encouraging to see the guys continue to grind it out, have great at-bats, and swing the bats well. We got that game into striking distance. Tomorrow is going to be an interesting day for sure, and we’re looking forward to it.”
UAlbany will play Longwood for a third and final game of the series on Sunday at 12:00 p.m.