Baseball Splits Four-Game Series Against Marist
ALBANY, N.Y. – The University at Albany baseball team (13-20, 3-9 AE) returned home Sunday to complete a home-and-home four-game series with Marist (19-17, 7-5 MAAC). On Saturday, at Marist, UAlbany lost the first game but won the second. The results were flipped for Sunday’s doubleheader at University Field, with UAlbany winning the first game and falling in the second.
The Great Danes struck first in the first game, scoring four runs in the bottom of the first inning. The second batter of the inning, Connor Powers, hit a single to right field. Next, Evan Harasta drew a walk. With runners on first and second, cleanup hitter Kevin Donati hit a bases-clearing double to left field. The next batter, Travis Collins, hit an inside-the-park home run, which also scored Donati.
UAlbany added another run in the bottom of the second to take a 5-0 lead. Patrick Lagravinese led off the inning with a single to right field, but was thrown out in the next at bat when Powers reached safely on a fielder’s choice. Harasta hit a single to right, advancing Powers to second. Donati next hit an RBI single to center, scoring Powers.
A scoreless third led to two more UAlbany runs in the bottom of the fourth, opening the Great Dane lead to 7-0. Lagravinese drew a lead off walk, and advanced to second on a wild pitch in the next at-bat. Harasta flied out to right field, allowing Lagravinese to advance to third. Donati then hit a double to center field, scoring Lagravinese. Collins, the next batter, reached base safely on an error by Marist's first baseman. Sacks drew a walk to load the bases, and a passed ball in the next at-bat allowed Donati to cross the plate for the Danes’ seventh run of the game.
Marist responded with its only two runs of the game in the top of the fifth, cutting the lead to 7-2. UAlbany scored its final run in the bottom of the fifth, a sacrifice fly from Powers that scored Stephen Loreng.
The next inning and a half went by without a score, and UAlbany won the first game 8-2. Donati went 4-4 with four RBIs to lead the Great Danes. UAlbany starter J.T. Genovese lasted 4.0 innings, allowing two hits with six strikeouts and four walks. In the third inning, Genovese made a behind-the-back catch on a line drive back to the mound, and doubled up the Marist runner trying to return to first base. Charlie Peltz pitched 1.0 inning in relief, allowing two runs on two hits. Angelo Spedafino pitched the final 2.0 innings, allowing one hit with one strikeout and two walks.
Marist struck first in the second game, scoring two runs in the top of the first. The Red Foxes held a 2-0 lead until the bottom of the third inning, when UAlbany scored three runs to take a 3-2 lead. Marc Wangenstein drew a leadoff walk, and then Lagravinese hit a single to second base. Power hit a bases-clearing double to center to put UAlbany on the board. After Harasta flied out to left, Donati hit a single to left field, which allowed Powers to score.
Marist retook the lead with three runs in the top of the fourth. UAlbany added one run in the bottom of the fourth to cut the lead to 5-4. Matt Codispoti drew a lead off walk, and advanced to second on a passed ball in the next at bat. Nick Kondo struck out looking before Loreng hit an RBI single to short.
After a scoreless fifth, Marist scored three more times in the top of the sixth to take an 8-4 lead. UAlbany scored its final two runs of the game in the bottom of the sixth. After Kondo led off the inning with a strikeout, Loreng drew a walk. Wangenstein struck out in the next at-bat. When Lagravinese came up to the plate, Loreng stole second, and scored when Lagravinese hit a single through the left side. Lagravinese advanced to third on the play at the plate, and later scored himself when Powers hit an RBI double down the right field line.
The seventh and eighth innings went by without a score from either team, and Marist added an insurance run in the top of the ninth to bring the final score to 9-6. The Great Danes and Red Foxes tied the series at two games apiece.
Lagravinese and Powers each had two hits in the second game, and Powers drove in three runs. Great Dane starter Marcus Failing lasted 3.1 innings, allowing five runs (three earned) on five hits with one strikeout and one walk. He was relieved by Dominic Savino, who pitched 4.2 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on two hits with four strikeouts and two walks. David Hutchison and Joe Romero combined to pitch the final inning of the game, allowing one run on three hits with one strikeout between them.
“I think we beat an awfully good pitcher in the first game,” said head coach Jon Mueller. “I thought we played well, thought we pitched well. In the second game I thought we did swing the bats well again. But we were very sloppy defensively in that second game. In these late games on Sunday, the team that plays the best defense usually comes out on top. Tip your cap to Marist, they came back after we took the last game yesterday and the first game today. They really battled back and they got a good outing from the back end of their bullpen. We’ll move on, and I think we built some momentum this weekend, and we look forward to bringing that against UMBC next weekend.
After the game, about half of the UAlbany players had their heads shaved by representatives of Legends Barbershop in Mechanicville, who volunteered their services in support of today’s Coaches vs. Cancer event.
The Great Danes will return to University Field on Tuesday to host Central Connecticut State. Wednesday, the team will visit Iona, before returning home for a weekend series against UMBC.