Baseball Splits Series At NJIT

BOX ONE  I  BOX TWO

NEWARK, N.J. – In Sunday’s doubleheader at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium, the University at Albany baseball team split the twin bill with the hosting NJIT Highlanders. The Great Danes fell, 5-4, in the first game, but bounced back to win the series finale, 9-5.

Senior Josh Nethaway had another outstanding day at the plate, hitting a home run, while going 2-for-3 with four RBIs in the first game. In the nightcap, Nethaway went 1-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored, while lining his 52nd career double, which breaks UAlbany’s program record. Nethaway is also just one hit away from becoming UAlbany’s seventh member of the 200-hits club. The Fonda, N.Y. native totaled 10 RBIs and three home runs in the four-game series with NJIT.

Finishing with eight hits as a team in Sunday’s first game, senior D.J. Hoagboon also batted well, going 3-for-4 with a run scored.

NJIT (16-21) took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, sparked by Teddy Bickert’s leadoff home run. A walk, double by Mike Weckerle, and RBI groundout by Ed Charlton brought in another run.

However, UAlbany stole the lead in the top of the third when Hoagboon led off with a double, Evan Harasta walked, and Nethaway knocked his third home run in as many games to give the Great Danes a 3-2 advantage.

NJIT evened the score in the bottom half of the inning, as Mike Rampone belted a solo home run of his own.

The Great Danes took the lead again, 4-3, in the fourth when Jeff VonMoser and Hoagboon reached on consecutive bunt singles and Harasta was hit by a pitch, loading the bases. UAlbany brought one in on Nethaway’s RBI fielder’s choice.

In the bottom of the sixth, NJIT’s Tom Bouck lined a one-out double to right-center, and Scott Brosman followed with a two-run home run over the left field wall to give the Highlanders a 5-4 lead.

NJIT starter D.J. Roche (4-2) was able to close out the complete game in the seventh without giving up another run. He earned the win, allowing four runs, eight hits, while striking out eight.

For UAlbany, Andrew Jaurique (0-3) took the loss, throwing the final 1.2 frames, allowing two runs, two hits, and struck out three. Starter Matt Gallup tossed the opening 4.1 innings, getting tagged for three runs, three hits, while also striking out three.

In the nightcap, UAlbany took a 1-0 lead in the first when Craig Lepre knocked in Brian Bullard with a single through the right side with two outs.

The Great Danes then made it 3-0 in the third, as Bullard reached on an error, Nethaway lined a run-scoring double to right center, and Lepre hit Nethaway home with another single through the right side.

NJIT answered in the bottom of the inning with one run, stringing together three singles.

The Great Danes responded right back with a five-run top of the fourth to take an 8-1 lead. Hoagboon led off with a home run over the right field wall, and with one out, UAlbany loaded the bases with two walks and another single by Lepre. Patient at the plate, Alex Lushkevich and Richard Bacon drew back-to-back RBI walks, Adam Mund brought a run in with a sacrifice fly to center, and VonMoser capped the inning with an RBI single through the left side.

The Highlanders cut the deficit to four runs, 8-4, scoring one in the bottom of the fourth and two in the sixth, before UAlbany struck again. The Great Danes logged an insurance run in the top of the seventh on a walk and passed ball.

NJIT looked to rally in the bottom of the inning, scoring one run on a hit by pitch, double, and RBI single by Rex MacMillan, but UAlbany reliever Stephan Carey recorded the final outs. Carey threw the last two innings, allowing one run and three hits, while striking out two. Starter Brendan Ryan (1-2) earned the win, throwing five innings, allowing four runs, eight hits, while also striking out two.

Alex Daniele (3-3) took the loss for NJIT, tossing the opening 3.1 innings. He was credited seven runs (six earned), six hits, and struck out four.

Offensively for UAlbany, Lepre led the Danes’ eight-hit effort, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. VonMoser also had three hits with one run batted in.

Up next, UAlbany (9-29) will stay out of conference and on the road, playing at St. John’s Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. The game will air live on ESPN3.