Baseball Splits Hartford Doubleheader
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Riding a season-long five-game winning streak, the University at Albany took to the road once more after a seven-game home stand to face Hartford in the team's penultimate America East series of the 2017 regular season. The Great Danes saw their winning streak snapped in the first game of Friday's doubleheader, 4-3, but bounced back to win the second game 6-3.
The Great Danes and Hawks traded single runs through the first inning and a half. In the top of the first, UAlbany got on the board behind a solo home run to right field from Connor Powers. Hartford tied the game in the bottom of the first, before UAlbany scored once again in the top of the second. Marc Wangenstein hit a lead off triple to left center, and scored in the next at-bat when Travis Collins hit a sacrifice fly to center.
UAlbany took a 3-1 lead in the top of the fourth after a scoreless third when, with two outs, Collins hit a solo home run to left.
Hartford scored once in the bottom of the fifth, and once in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game at three. After a scoreless ninth, the Great Danes went into their second extra innings session in their last three outings. Hartford scored in the bottom of the 10th to win the first game 4-3.
Collins led the Great Danes with two hits and two RBIs. Great Dane starter J.T. Genovese lasted 4.1 innings, giving up two runs on seven hits with one strikeout and three walks. Dominic Savino (3-3) pitched 5.1 innings in relief, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits with two strikeouts and two walks.
UAlbany scored three runs on eight hits and committed one error. Hartford scored four run on 11 hits with no errors.
Hartford scored first in the second game, taking a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. UAlbany responded quickly, scoring one run in the top of the second, a solo home run from Collins.
Hartford regained its two-run lead in the bottom of the third with their third run of the game. After a scoreless fourth inning, the Great Dane offense came alive to the tune of four runs to take a 5-3 lead. With one out in the inning, Alex Thul reached on an error by Hartford's third baseman. Nick Kondo next hit a single to right center, and advanced to second while Thul was thrown out at third on the play. Patrick Lagravinese next worked a walk, leading to both Thul and Lagravinese stealing third and second, respectively. The next batter, Evan Harasta, hit a single up the middle, scoring both Thul and Lagravinese. After a pitching change for the Hawks, Connor Powers came up to bat and hit a two-run home run to right.
UAlbany scored once more in the top of the sixth. With two outs in the inning, Thul hit a double to right center, and scored in the next at-bat when Kondo hit a single to center. The 6-3 lead for the Great Danes would prove to be the final score.
Kevin Donati led UAlbany in the second game with three hits. Harasta and Powers each had two RBIs. Great Dane starter, Brendan Smith, lasted 1.0 inning, allowing two runs (one earned) on two hits with two strikeouts and one walk. Kenny McLean (4-3) pitched 3.0 innings in relief, allowing one run on five hits with one strikeout. After Angelo Spedafino faced two batters and recorded one out, Hunter Torres pitched the final 2.2 innings, allowing no runs on three hits with four strikeouts, earning his third save of the season.
UAlbany scored six runs on 11 hits and committed two errors. Hartford scored three runs on 10 hits with one error.
The series finale will be played Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Next, the Great Danes will host their final home game of the 2017 season when Sacred Heart visits on Tuesday, May 16. The team will close the regular season on the road at Maine for three games next weekend, before starting the America East Tournament on May 24.