Baseball Rallies For 7-6 Win Over Maine

Photo: Derek Zielinski earned the win on the mound Sunday.

Box Score  I  Season Stats

ORONO, Maine – Trailing 6-3 in the seventh, the University at Albany baseball team rallied for four unanswered runs en route to a 7-6 Easter Sunday victory over Maine at Mahaney Diamond. With the win, the Great Danes improve to 8-13 overall and 4-5 in the America East, while the Black Bears fall to 15-14 on the season and 6-3 in conference play.

UAlbany out-slugged Maine, 12-4 in the series finale, as Nolan Gaige (2-for-4), D.J. Hoagboon (2-for-4), Gordon Madej (2-for-5), Matt Hinchy (2-for-4), and Greg Muller (2-for-4) all had multi-hit games.

On the mound, UAlbany’s pitching staff held the Black Bears to four scattered hits. Coming out of the pen for the final three and a third frames, Derek Zielinski (2-3) earned the win, limiting Maine to one hit and one run, while striking out one. Starter Ryan Stinar threw the first five innings, allowing four runs (three earned), three hits, and recorded four strikeouts in the no-decision.

In the top of the first, UAlbany jumped all over Maine starter Shaun Coughlin, who earned the save in Saturday’s nightcap. The Great Danes tagged Coughlin for three consecutive hits, as Gaige singled, Hoagboon doubled, and Madej lined an RBI single up the middle for a 1-0 lead.

UAlbany made it 2-0 in the second on Brian Bullard’s unearned run. Bullard reached on a misplayed sac bunt and scored on Hoagboon’s one-out fielder’s choice.

Using a leadoff walk to their advantage, Maine cut the margin in half in the bottom of the inning, as Eric White lined a two-out RBI single to left, plating Alex Calbick.

After getting out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the fifth, UAlbany expanded its lead to 3-1 in the top of the sixth. With one out, Jeff Welsh drew a walk, advanced to second on a passed ball, and scored on Hinchy’s single up the middle.

However, the rest of the sixth was not so kind to the Great Danes, as Maine responded with five runs, taking a 6-3 advantage. To begin the Black Bears’ at-bats, a pair of hit batsmen sandwiched around Brian Doran’s double to right field loaded the bases and prompted a call to the bullpen. Reliever Andrew Jaurique looked to get UAlbany out of the jam, but a fielding error allowed one run to score and the bases remained full. Still composed, Jaurique forced a lineout and a run-scoring groundout before being replaced by Zielinski. With two outs, Maine drew back-to-back walks, a run-scoring wild pitch, and a two-run scoring single by Michael Fransoso to cap the inning.

The Great Danes fired back immediately in the seventh, however, with three runs, tying the ballgame. UAlbany loaded the bases to start things off, as Muller lined a leadoff single to left, Gaige single to second, and Hoagboon reached on a misplayed fielder’s choice. Madej and Nethaway followed with back-to-back RBI singles off hurler Jake Marks. Still with no outs, Welsh ripped a run-scoring single to right field off reliever Logan Fullmer before the Black Bears were able to cease the rally with a strikeout and double play groundball.

Zielinski sat the hosts down in order, sending UAlbany to the plate in the eighth.  With one out, Muller sparked the rally once again with a single to left, stole second, and scored on Hoagboon’s clutch two-out, game-winning liner to left.

Zielinski followed with perfect frames in both the eighth and ninth innings to seal the victory.

Fullmer (1-3) took the loss for Maine, throwing the final three innings, allowing one run and three hits, while striking out three.

The Great Danes return to action Tuesday, hosting Fordham at 3:30 p.m. on Varsity Field.