Sunday, February 22, 2015

University of Albany Baseball Edged By Georgia Tech, 9-8, On Walk-Off Home Run - UAlbany Sports 2015

CONWAY, S.C. – Scoring six runs in the second inning Sunday at the Caravelle Resort’s Baseball at the Beach Tournament, the University at Albany baseball team held an 8-6 advantage into the bottom of the ninth, but Georgia Tech, the reigning ACC champion, rallied to score three runs on Arden Pabst’s walk-off home run to steal a 9-8 victory. The Great Danes close the opening weekend tournament with a 1-2 overall record, while Georgia Tech improved to 5-3 on the season. “Given the schedule, the guys were asked to compete at a very high level,” said head coach Jon Mueller. “We controlled the NC State game and this game, but we let Georgia Tech off the hook at the end of this one.” While the Yellow Jackets scored three runs in the bottom of the first, stringing together three singles and a double, UAlbany caught fire in the top of the second. Junior Evan Harasta led off with a double to left and sophomore Eric Mueller singled through the left side. Patient at the plate, freshman Shawn Blake drew a walk to load the bases, and rookie John Banes and senior Alex Lushkevich followed with RBI walks, bringing in two. With the bases still full, junior Karson Canaday took advantage with a bases-clearing double down the left field line for a 6-3 lead. Georgia Tech responded in the bottom half of the inning with one run on Kel Johnson’s RBI single. The Yellow Jackets added two more runs in the bottom of the third on a pair of doubles by Matt Gonzalez and Keenan Innis and Wade Bailey’s RBI single, tying the ballgame, 6-6. However, UAlbany relievers Joey Moore and Stephen Woods combined to hold Georgia Tech off the board through the next five innings. The Great Danes regained the lead, 7-6, in the top of the fourth, as Blake led off the inning with a triple to center and scored on a wild pitch. In the seventh, UAlbany tacked on an insurance run for an 8-6 advantage. Will Miller led off the frame with a single to left, advanced on Lushkevich’s sac bunt, and scored on a fielding error at third. However, in the bottom of the ninth, the Yellow Jackets rallied as Innis reached on a one-out fielding error and pinch hitter Daniel Gooden drew a walk, setting up Pabst’s heroics. Woods (0-1) took the loss for UAlbany, throwing 3.0 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) and struck out five. Senior starter Matt Gallup tossed the opening three frames, allowing six runs on nine hits, while striking out two. Georgia Tech’s Matt Phillips (1-0) earned the win, facing just one batter in the ninth. Totaling 10 hits as a team, Canaday (2-for-5, 3 RBI), Trevor DeMerritt (2-for-4), and Miller (2-for-4) each logged multi-hit performances. “When we play solid defense, we can play at a very high level,” added Mueller. “The guys competed very hard, which is a good sign for the rest of the season.” Up next, the Great Danes compete in the Bob Hannah Invitational in Newark, Del. Feb. 27-March 1.

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