Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Baseball Falls To Manhattan, 9-4, In Non Conference Action

Riverdale, N.Y. – Kevin Nieto went 2-for-4 with a pair of home runs to lead Manhattan over UAlbany, 9-4, in non-conference baseball action at Van Cortlandt Park on Wednesday, April 1. The Jaspers plated runs in each of the first four innings and were able to hold off the Great Danes’ attempts to rally the rest of the way for the five-run win.

Manhattan (12-9) took an early lead by pushing across three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Batting with the bases loaded and no outs, Chad Salem grounded out to short which brought in the first Jasper run. Three batters later, Austin Sheffield singled in two more with a shot to center.

UAlbany threatened to score in the top half of the second inning by loading the bases with nobody out, but Manhattan pitcher Matt Jordan settled down by fanning the next two batters and forcing Gary Pitcheralle to ground out to the shortstop. Nieto first of two home runs in the next half inning and an RBI-double to right one frame later by Sheffield extended the Jasper advantage to five runs through three frames.

The Great Danes came back by scoring two runs in the top of the fourth. Sean Donovan doubled to center field before Mike Tirri, who drove in three of the four runs for UAlbany, followed up by going yard for the second time of his career with a shot that sailed over the fence in right. However, Manhattan jumped ahead by six in the bottom half of the same inning when Nieto blasted his second home run of the afternoon with two runners on base. Tirri hit an RBI-single and was singled in by Pitcheralle two batters later to trim the deficit to four in the sixth inning, but that was as close as UAlbany would come the rest of the way.

UAlbany’s Ryan White got the nod to start and fell to 0-2 with the loss. He surrendered four hits and four runs which were all earned while striking out three. He was relieved by Jeff Kaier to start the third, who gave up four runs which were earned. Chris Ott, Dave Noble and Alexander Beaulieu combined to surrender one run which was earned over the next 4.1 innings to close out the game. The Great Dane pitching staff recorded 10 strikeouts in eight innings, and issued only three walks.

Manhattan’s Jordan picked up the win on the mound to improve his record to 2-2. He gave up only one hit in three innings of work. Mike Tibbets surrendered two earned runs in the next two innings, while Costigan gave up one earned run and two overall. Mike Giordano, Mike Gazzola and Tom Moran each pitched one scoreless inning to seal the victory.

UAlbany (5-16) opens up America East Conference action when it welcomes UMBC to Varsity Field for a pair of doubleheaders on April 4-5. The first game each day is slated to begin at noon.

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