Sunday, April 5, 2009

University of Albany Baseball Completes Series Sweep of UMBC in America East Conference Action - UAlbany Sports 2009

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Albany, N.Y. – Ryan Gugel went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and five RBI, hitting two home runs, including a grand slam, to lead UAlbany to a 10-7 win over UMBC in the finale of a four-game America East Conference baseball series on Sunday afternoon at Varsity Field. The Great Danes also defeated the Retrievers, 9-1, in the early game.

In the first game of the day, UAlbany got on the board with two runs in the bottom of the first inning. With two outs, senior centerfielder Dave West singled and advanced to second on a UMBC throwing error. Brendan Rowland recorded an RBI single to left to score West and stole second to move into scoring position. Gugel followed with a single to send Rowland across home and give the Great Danes an early advantage.

UAlbany added three runs in the fourth frame. UMBC pitcher Brian Klukowicz issued consecutive walks to Sean Donovan and Pete Eichner, who followed with a double steal. After another walk to Gary Pitcheralle, Donovan and Eichner scored on back-to-back wild pitches. Pitcheralle was able to make it across home plate before Kyle Crean was picked off trying to steal second to give the Great Danes a 5-0 lead.

Donovan hit an RBI single that scored West to kick off a four-run inning for UAlbany in the fifth. Rowland made it home on a ground out by Mike Tirri before Eichner knocked a double into right center to score Donovan and Gugel.

The Great Danes held UMBC scoreless and without a hit until the sixth inning behind the pitching of freshman right hander Zach Kraham. Kraham’s no-hitter was broken up with back-to-back singles by Brad Brainer and Shawn Retz to open up the frame. After loading the bases, Brainer was walked in before Kraham dealt out one of his six strikeouts to end the inning. The Retrievers attempted a late rally in the top of the seventh, but Kraham was able to work his way out of trouble to seal the win for UAlbany.

UMBC (4-18, AE 0-4) struck first in game two, as lead-off hitter Brainer hit a home run on the first pitch of the game. Freshman hurler Austin Chase settled down and got three quick outs to end the inning, including one of his four strikeouts. West responded in the bottom of the frame for UAlbany, smashing a homer over the left field fence to tie the game at 1-1.

The score remained knotted until the fourth, when the Great Danes scored three runs behind a homer by Tirri that sailed out to right. Gugel, who drew a lead-off walk, and Donovan, who knocked out a single, both scored on the play. UAlbany then loaded the bases in the fifth to set up Gugel’s first career grand slam. Crean singled through the right side and West was walked before Rowland juiced the bases with a single up the middle. UMBC brought in Travis Pearson in relief, and Gugel drove the first pitch over the right field wall to give UAlbany an 8-1 lead.

The Retrievers scored two runs in the top of the sixth, as Brainer was walked in. Centerfielder Wink Nolan scored the second run of the frame before the Great Danes turned a double play to end the inning. Gugel hit his second homer of the game in the bottom of the seventh, a solo shot to left center, putting UAlbany up by a score of 9-3.

UMBC challenged in the top of the eighth, scoring four runs to pull within 9-7. Designated hitter Max Himmelstein knocked a two-RBI single up the middle to score Retz and Nolan. Catcher Dave Warrenfeltz followed with a base hit to center, sending Himmelstein and Tom Meaney home. Reliever Jeff Kaier entered the game to take over for Dave Noble and got the final two outs to end the Retriever rally.

The Great Danes added one last insurance run in the bottom of the inning, as Crean hit a single up the middle to score Pitcheralle, who walked and stole second earlier in the inning. Closer Alexander Beaulieu took over in the ninth, giving up a single to Brainer, but getting Nolan to line out to Crean at second base. Crean connected with Tirri at first to turn the double play and clear the bases before Beaulieu induced a ground out by Meaney to get the save.

Chase earned his third win of the season in the game with a five-inning performance. He scattered five hits and walked two, while allowing three runs. Starter Kevin Clark took the loss for UMBC, allowing seven earned runs despite issuing six strikeouts in four innings of work.

UAlbany (9-16, AE 4-0) will return to action on Tuesday afternoon with a non-conference contest on the road at Marist.

UMBC 000 001 0 - 1 3 2
UAlbany 200 340 x - 9 7 0

UBMC: Marty Zawacki, Brian Klukowicz (4), Josh Dick (5), Scott Wildesen (6) and Rick Phillips.

UAlbany: Zach Kraham and Ryan Gugel.

UMBC (4-18, AE 0-4) 100 002 040 - 7 13 2
UAlbany (9-16, AE 4-0) 100 340 11x - 10 12 1

UMBC: Kevin Clark, Travis Pearson (5), Michael Pesci (7), Ryan Morse (8) and Dave Warrenfeltz.

UAlbany: Austin Chase, Dave Noble (6), Jeff Kaier (8), Alexander Beaulieu (9) and Ralph Keppler.

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