Saturday, May 9, 2009

University of Albany Baseball Takes First Half of Non-Conference Doubleheader with NYIT - UAlbany Sports 2009

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Senior catcher Ryan Gugel recorded a three-run homer as well as a double to lead UAlbany to a 7-3 win over New York Tech in the first game of a non-conference baseball doubleheader at Varsity Field on Saturday afternoon. The second game ended in a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the eighth inning after being called for rain.

NYIT took an early lead with one run in the second, as Christian Dienna, who led off the inning with a single, scored on a fielder’s choice by George Carroll. UAlbany responded with two runs in the bottom of the frame. Centerfielder Dave West knocked a lead-off single and scored on an RBI double down the right field line by second baseman Kyle Crean. Crean later crossed home plate on a sacrifice fly by Jim Banks.

The Great Danes increased their lead with Gugel’s three-run smash out to right centerfield that scored Brendan Rowland and Gary Pitcheralle. NYIT cut the lead to two runs, scoring a pair in the top of the fourth. Eric Cos singled with a bunt and advance to third on a double by Sebastian Grazziani. Cos scored on a base hit by Ryan Campbell, and was followed across the plate by Campbell, who made it home on a single by Brian Smith.

In the fifth, UAlbany took advantage of a hit by pitch and a walk which got Pitcheralle and Rowland on base. The baserunners advanced on a passed ball by Bears pitcher Eric Johnson and scored on Gugel’s RBI double to set the final score. UAlbany reliever Ryan White, who earned the win in his three inning performance, got three quick outs in the sixth, while closer Sean Gregory shut down the NYIT hitters in the seventh to seal the win for the Great Danes. Starter Matt Doran took the loss for the Bears, going 3.1 innings with one strikeout.

UAlbany took a 3-0 lead in the second inning of game two, as Gugel and Dave West knocked out back-to-back singles, with Gugel getting called out trying to make it home on the play. Third baseman Pete Eichner and catcher Ralph Keppler then hit consecutive doubles to score two runs, while Jamie Liebowitz followed with a single up the middle to send Keppler home.

NYIT scored two runs in the third and took a 4-3 lead with two additional runs in the fourth. Effery Valdez hit a base hit to score Campbell and Smith made it home on a double play in the third, while Carroll and Campbell both scored in the fourth on RBI singles by Grazziani and Smith.

The Great Danes tied the game at 4-4 in the fifth on an RBI single by Rowland that scored Pitcheralle, who hit a base hit to start off the frame. After three scoreless innings, the game remained tied and was forced into a 30-minute delay for lightening with no outs and one man on in the bottom of the eighth. The thunderstorms continued past the delay and the game was called as a tie.

Starter Zach Kraham went three innings for the Great Danes, fanning three opposing batters while allowing just two hits. Eric Cortland fanned two in a two-inning relief appearance for UAlbany. Preston Wasmund recorded two strikeouts in three innings of work for NYIT. Steve Falkner and Mike Roth both recorded single strikeouts in relief.

UAlbany (22-26-1) and NYIT (17-25-1) will conclude the four-game series with a nine-inning game at noon on Sunday. The Great Danes will honor their 11 graduating seniors in a pre-game ceremony.

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