Baseball Walks Off with Game One Win, Falls in Game Two to Setup Sunday Rubber Match Vs. Albany

Freshman Kevin Lachance
Freshman Kevin Lachance

BALTIMORE – Freshman shortstop Kevin Lachance (Clifton, Va./Centreville) lifted a deep fly ball to center for a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh and classmate Jesse Smith(Mechanicsville, Va./Lee-Davis) raced home from third as the UMBC baseball team earned a 4-3 walk-off win versus America East rival Albany, Saturday afternoon in game one of a doubleheader at Alumni Field.

Later in the evening, Albany (5-10, 2-3 AE) leveled the series at a game apiece with a 13-1 win behind seven strong innings from starter Kasceim Graham.

Lachance led the Retrievers (5-8, 3-2 AE) at the plate in the opener, going 2-for-3 to go along with his game-winning sac fly.  Senior Tom Gilchrist (Olney, Md./Sherwood/Chesapeake CC), sophomore Ian Glassman (Basking Ridge, N.J./Rutgers Prep), and freshman Manny Colon (Williamstown, N.J./Buena Regional) also notched hits for the hosts.

Junior Mac Gill (Bethesda, Md./Walter Johnson) earned the win for UMBC, going the distance in the seven-inning contest.  The right-hander (2-0) scattered ten hits while giving up just three runs, all of which came in the top of the seventh.

Albany starter Cameron Sorgie (1-1) also went the distance, surrendering all four runs, though only one was earned, on five hits.

Both starters were in command early, holding the opposition off the board in each of the first three innings.  UMBC finally made the first mark with a solo run in the bottom of the fourth.

After Gill worked out of a bases load jam in the top half, his lineup gave him support with Lachance leading off the inning with a shot up the middle.  Junior Rob McCabe (Philadelphia, Pa./St. Joseph's Prep) then drew a walk on a full count, and Glassman laid down a sac bunt to give the Retrievers runners on second and third.  UMBC gained the lead as Sorgie uncorked a wild pitch to allow Lachance to speed home.

UMBC extended its lead in its next at-bats with two runs to push the score to 3-0.  Sophomore Jake Barnes (Annandale, Va./Annandale) started the inning by reaching on a fielding error and then moved to second on a passed ball.  Two batters later, Gilchrist singled up the middle to give the hosts runners on the corners with one down.  Another wild pitch brought Barnes home and Gilchrist took second on the play.  After freshman Mark Esposito (Bethany, Conn./Amity Regional) drew a walk, Lachance singled, but Gilchrist was cut down at plate.  Esposito, who took third on the previous play, came home as McCabe then reached on a fielding error.

The Retrievers looked poised for the victory but Albany rallied for three in seventh to force UMBC to take another set of swings in the bottom half.  The Black and Gold went on the attack right away as Colon singled through the right side.  Smith came on as a pinch runner and he moved to second as Gilchrist put down a bunt.  Junior Brandon Coluccio (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township/Brookdale CC) then reached on an error by the shortstop, sending Smith to third.  With Albany looking to pitch around Lachance, the freshman reached across the plate and lifted a ball to center to bring in Smith.

In the night cap, the Great Danes remained hot at the plate early, scoring three runs in the first three innings, and relied on Graham's pitching to knot the series.

Graham (3-2) held the Retrievers to just three hits over seven innings to earn the win.  Freshman Denis Mikush (Burke, Va./Robinson) could not match his sharpness from last week and took the loss.

Senior Jason Allinder (Snow Hill, Md./Snow Hill/Chesapeake CC) brought UMBC to within two, 3-1, as he led off the bottom of the fifth with a solo homerun to left.

The Retrievers could not get any closer, however, and the Great Danes extended their lead with eight runs in the eighth and two more in the ninth.

Nolan GaigeJosh Nethaway, and D.J. Hoagboon all notched three-hit games for Albany while Greg Muller went 2-for-5 and scored four runs.

UMBC and Albany will return on Sunday afternoon for a single game at Alumni Field.  First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

DAWG BITES

-          With the teams splitting the two games, Albany now leads the all-time series 24-10.

-          When Albany scored in the top of the seventh of game one, it snapped a 13-inning scoreless streak for the UMBC staff in conference play.

-          The Retrievers committed an error in the top of the fourth of game one breaking a streak of 35 innings without a miscue.

-          Freshman Cam Maxey (Mechanicsville, Va./Atlee) threw a career-high five innings in game two.

-          Allinder's homerun is his first of the season and second of his career.  He hit his first round-tripper on Apr. 30, 2011 at Maine.