Saturday, April 4, 2009

University of Albany Sweeps UMBC in America East Conference Baseball Doubleheader - UAlbany Sports 2009

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Albany, N.Y. – Senior centerfielder Dave West went 3-for-3 with two runs scored and three RBI to lead UAlbany to a 15-4 win over UMBC in the first half of an America East Conference baseball doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Varsity Field. Senior shortstop Sean Donovan went 3-for-4 with four RBI in the nightcap to lead the Great Danes to a 10-9 comeback victory.

The Great Danes got their first run of the day in the second inning of game one, as catcher Ryan Gugel drove a home run over the wall in right center. Left fielder Gary Pitcheralle led off the third frame with a single to short before stealing second. He then advanced to third on a wild pitch, while Kyle Crean drew a walk off UMBC pitcher Ed Bach in the next at bat. West sent Pitcheralle home with a double down the right field line. Gugel reached on an error by the shortstop with the bases loaded, sending Crean across home plate to tie the game at 3-3. UAlbany took a one-run lead on a base hit by Sean Donovan to short, scoring West. Rowland and Gugel both scored runs on a single through the right side by Mike Tirri. Third baseman Pete Eichner then grounded out to the first baseman to end the five-run rally for the Great Danes.

UAlbany loaded the bases again in the bottom of the fourth with back-to-back singles by Crean and West, while Rowland drew a walk. Gugel recorded an RBI groundout to score Crean, giving the Great Danes a 7-3 lead after four. After being held without a run for two innings, UMBC got a solo homer from Tom Meany in the top of the fifth.

UAlbany scored four more runs in the bottom of the frame. Tirri knocked out a double while Pitcheralle reached on a fielding error. Crean was hit by a pitch to load the bases for the Great Danes before West drove a double to left center, sending two runners home. A single by Rowland scored Crean and West to give UAlbany an 11-4 advantage.

The Great Danes tacked on four additional runs in the sixth. Tirri put down a bunt that led to another UMBC error and allowed two baserunners to score. Tirri, who advanced all the way to third on the play, scored on a base hit by Eichner. Eichner later wrapped up the scoring for UAlbany, crossing home on a single by Crean.

Right hander Dave Kubiak went the distance for the Great Danes on the mound, striking out five to earn the win. Bach took the loss for UMBC, going five innings and fanning two.

In the second game, the Retrievers held a 3-1 lead heading into the bottom of the third before UAlbany rallied for four runs in the frame. The Great Danes started at the top of the order, recording four consecutive singles. Pitcheralle scored on an RBI hit by West, while Crean scored the second run of the inning when Gugel was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. West crossed home plate on a fly out by Tirri, while Rowland was sent home on a Donovan base hit.

UMBC responded in the top of the fourth, scoring five runs to take an 8-5 lead. Wink Nolan and Brad Brainer knocked out consecutive hits before UAlbany starter Josh Willimott issued two straight walks to bring in a run. First baseman Shawn Retz scored on a wild pitch from reliever Sean Gregory before Meaney made it home on a ground out by Justin Lamborn. Designated hitter Max Himmelstein, who hit a single during his at bat, crossed the plate on an RBI single by Rich Conlon to end the scoring.

The Retrievers added a single run in the top of the fifth on a Himmelstein single that brought in Retz. UAlbany started to rally in the bottom of the sixth. Eichner singled to lead off the frame and was sent home on a sacrifice fly by Crean. The Great Danes then added three runs in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game at 9-9. Rowland and Gugel completed a double steal to move into scoring position and went home on a double down the left field line by Donovan. Pitcheralle singled to third to send Donovan home. UMBC reliever Ryan Morse walked Crean to load the bases, but he worked a fly out to get himself out of trouble and end the inning.

Needing a run in the bottom of the eighth, Tirri knocked a double to center field with two outs. Donovan knocked out an RBI single, sending Tirri across the plate, but was out trying to stretch the hit to second. Gregory struck out two of four batters faced in the top of the ninth to seal the win for UAlbany.

Gregory earned the win with six strikeouts in 5.2 innings. Pearson took the loss for UMBC, allowing the winning run in his one inning of work. Starter Austin Drewyer went six innings, striking out four.

UAlbany (7-16, AE 0-2) will close out the four-game series with UMBC (4-16, AE 0-2) on Sunday with a doubleheader starting at noon.

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