Seven-Run Third Pilots Baseball To 8-5 Win At
Photo: Senior Kasceim Graham earned the win, striking out five.
|Season Stats||Box Score (pdf)
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Exploding for seven runs in the top of the third inning, the University at Albany baseball team never looked back as the Great Danes notched their first win of the season, overcoming UNC Greensboro, 8-5, Friday evening. UAlbany improved to 1-5 on the season, while the Spartans fell to 4-3 overall.
The pitching duo of senior Kasceim Graham (1-1) and freshman Ryan Stinar held UNCG to just five hits in the contest, while combining for nine strikeouts. Graham earned the victory, tossing six frames, allowing three runs, three hits, two walks, while striking out five. Stinar, the right-handed rookie, earned the save, allowing two runs, two hits, while striking out four in the final three innings.
Offensively, junior Josh Nethaway logged a game-high three runs batted in, going 1-for-5 with a double, while senior Nolan Gaige recorded two RBIs, also with a double. Junior Brian Bullard (2-for-3) and senior Greg Muller (2-for-4) recorded multi-hit games, leading the squad’s nine-hit attack.
After a quick first two innings, the Great Dane bats caught fire in the third, producing the season’s highest run total in just one frame. Leading off at the top of the order, UAlbany immediately loaded the bases, as Gaige was hit by a pitch, Gordon Madej singled to center, and Hoagboon laid down a bunt single. That’s when Nethaway lined a three-run double off starter Dylan Hathcock (2-1) to right-centerfield, giving UAlbany a 3-0 head start.
With one out, Joey Tracy drew a walk and Bullard followed with a perfectly placed drag bunt down the first base line that scored Nethaway. Rattled, the Spartans misplayed Adam Mund’s groundball and Evan Harasta followed with a groundout RBI, plating Tracy. Gaige took full advantage of the extra opportunities, belting a two-run double, handing the Danes a 7-0 lead.
The Spartans answered in the bottom half of the inning with three runs, as a single sandwiched between two walks to start the frame led to Zach Leach’s two-run single to centerfield. With two outs, Lloyd Enzor lined a ball up the middle, making the score 7-3.
The Great Danes added an unearned insurance run in the sixth after Madej reached on a walk, stole second, advanced to third on a fielding error, and scored on Muller’s single through the left side.
Comforted by a five-run lead, Graham did not allow a hit through the remaining three innings of his outing, and Stinar also held UNCG without a hit until the eighth. The Spartans produced two runs in the eighth, after Leach reached on a walk and crossed the plate on Enzor’s two-run home run with two outs. However, Stinar got out of the inning with a strikeout and faced just three batters in the ninth, as the Great Danes turned a double play to preserve the victory.
UAlbany and UNCG return to the diamond Saturday at 2:00 p.m. for game two of the weekend’s three-game series at UNCG Baseball Stadium. The Spartan’s Lee Gilliam (0-0, 0.87 ERA) and the Dane’s Derek Zielinski (0-2, 9.00 ERA) are scheduled to take the hill.