Saturday, May 16, 2009

University of Albany Baseball Clinches America East Postseason Berth With Doubleheader Sweep of Hartford - UAlbany Sports 2009

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

West Hartford, Conn. – Senior centerfielder Dave West hit two home runs in the fourth inning, including a grand slam, to lead UAlbany to a 15-3 win over Hartford in the first half of an America East Conference baseball doubleheader on Saturday, May 16 at the University of Hartford Baseball Field. The Great Danes also recorded a 10-4 win over the Hawks in the nightcap. UAlbany clinched a berth in the conference’s postseason tournament, scheduled for May 21-23, hosted by top-seeded Binghamton at Union-Endicott High School.

UAlbany got the scoring started early in game one, as catcher Ryan Gugel scored Gary Pitcheralle, who reached on a throwing error and advanced on a single by Brendan Rowland. First baseman Mike Tirri added a second run for the Great Danes in the second inning with a solo home run out to right centerfield.

Hartford was able to cut the lead to one with a single run in the bottom of the third. Brady Stouffer recorded a single and stole second to move into scoring position. The short stop made it home on a double by Ben Sobocinski that landed in left center.

UAlbany followed with 10 runs in the fourth as senior centerfielder Dave West drove a solo shot out to left field to lead off the frame. The Great Danes then loaded the bases, as Pete Eichner reached on an error while Kyle Crean was hit by a pitch and Tirri sneaked a base hit through the right side. Designated hitter Jim Banks drove in two baserunners with a single into right field. Sean Donovan knocked an RBI single through the left side, while Pitcheralle dropped a bunt single to third to add another run in the frame. Rowland drove in Banks before Mike Thatcher walked Gugel to bring Donovan across home. Matt Govoni took over on the mound for Hartford, and with no outs, West recorded his second home run of the inning, clearing the bases with a grand slam to left center. Govani induced two groundouts and got Banks to line out to first to get Hartford out of the inning.

The Great Danes added three additional runs in the top of the fifth to build up a 15-1 advantage. After Donovan recorded a lead off single, Rowland and West drew walks to load the bases. Eichner doubled into right center to send all three baserunners home. Hartford scored one run in the bottom of the frame, as catcher Alex Bulger led off with a single and was driven home on a base hit by Mike Amendola. The Hawks added one final run in the bottom of the seventh, as Andrew Siano reached on a single down the left field line and crossed home on a ground out by Rodger Wilmot.

Freshman left-hander Ryan White went six strong innings to pick up his second win of the spring. He scattered seven hits while striking out three and walking two.

UAlbany’s offense stayed hot to start the second game, as the Great Danes scored four runs in the top of the first before Hartford recorded an out. UAlbany recorded four straight base hits to start the game, with Gugel’s bases-loaded shot sending home two baserunners. After West drew a walk, Eichner sent a base hit through the right side to score two more runs, leading Hartford to head to the bullpen early, bringing in Andrew Smith to take over for starter Zach Tarner. Smith issued a bases-loaded walk and hit Donovan with a pitch to bring in the final two runs in the frame.

Andy Drexel broke up the shutout in the bottom of the second with a solo homer out to centerfield to lead off the frame for Hartford. Gugel added another run for UAlbany in the top of the fifth, sending a homer of his own to right center. Rowland gave UAlbany an 8-1 advantage in the top of the seventh with a solo shot to deep left field.

Hartford (15-32, AE 7-15) attempted a rally in the bottom of the eighth. Gorski and Suchy hit back-to-back singles before Freethy loaded the bases with a fielder’s choice play. Stouffer and Sobocinski recorded consecutive RBI singles to send two runs home, while Freethy crossed home when UAlbany turned a double play. Closer Alexander Beaulieu got Siano swinging to end the inning for the Great Danes.

UAlbany (24-29-1, AE 15-9) increased the lead to 10-4 in the top of the ninth with runs scored by Ralph Keppler and Pitcheralle. Keppler reached on a base hit and was driven in on an RBI single by Pitcheralle, who scored on a Rowland double. Hartford added two additional runs in the bottom of the ninth to pull within 10-6 on a two-RBI single by Sobocinski that scored Freethy and Sgro.

UAlbany starter Zach Kraham tossed six innings of three-hit ball, striking out two. Beaulieu fanned two in 1.1 innings of work to seal the win for the Great Danes.

UAlbany, which will make a trip to the postseason for the third time in the last four seasons, earned the No. 2 seed for the next week's conference tournament. The Great Danes will meet Stony Brook in first-round play on Thursday at 8:00 p.m.


(Game 1)

UAlbany 110 (10)30 0 - 15 17 1
Hartford 001 010 1 - 3 7 2

UAlbany: Ryan White, Austin Chase (7) and Ryan Gugel.

Hartford: Cory Beahm, Mike Thatcher (4), Matt Govoni (4), Myles Kelly (6) and Alex Bulger.

(Game 2)

UAlbany (24-29-1, AE 15-9) 600 010 102 - 10 11 0
Hartford (15-32, AE 7-15) 010 000 032 - 6 9 0

UAlbany: Zach Kraham, Cory Warrings (7), Sean Gregory (8), Alexander Beaulieu (8) and Ralph Keppler.

Hartford: Zach Tarner, Andrew Smith (1), Bob Rogers (2), Brendan Floyd (7) and Ben Sobocinski, Mike Amandola (2).

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