ANNAPOLIS, Md. – UMBC freshman Hunter Dolshun (Warwick, N.Y./Warwick Valley) smacked his first career homerun, a two-run shot to left, to cap a five-run sixth inning as the UMBC baseball team defeated Navy, 8-3, Wednesday afternoon at Max Bishop Stadium.
The homerun finished off an inning in which UMBC (2-6) scored five times on just three hits. Dolshun's shot brought around junior Ryan Sliwak (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh/Nassau CC) who had just tripled to deep right to score sophomore Mark Esposito (Bethany, Conn./Amity Regional).
Sophomore Cam Maxey (Mechnicsville, Va./Atlee) pitched 3.2 innings of relief to earn the win. The side-armer yielded just one run on one hit while also striking out one batter. Junior Kevin Ladner (Succasunna, N.J./Roxbury) pitched a scoreless ninth inning to complete the win.
Michael McCormick (0-1) took the loss for Navy (6-8) after surrendering four unearned runs over the course of 5.1 innings.
After McCormick sent the Retrievers down in order in the top of the first, the Mids opened the scoring in the bottom half against UMBC starter Shane Vlasic (Ashburn, Va./Broad Run) as Kash Manzelli singled through the left side to bring in Travis Blue. The Retriever defense then picked its starter up as sophomore Kevin Lachance (Clifton, Va./Centreville) and junior Vince Corbi (Medford, N.J./Shawnee) turned a slick inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.
Navy doubled its lead in the next inning on a fielder's choice, but Vlasic held strong from there going 4.1 innings and giving up just the two unearned runs on three hits. The veteran right-hander struck out one while walking one as well.
The UMBC offense woke up in the top of the third, pulling level with two runs. Dolshun drew a one-out walk to start the rally and two batters later Corbi reached on an error to give the Retrievers first and third. After Corbi advanced to second on a wild pitch, Lachance rolled a soft one to the left side and gained first on an errant throw as Dolshun came into score. Then, down 0-2 in the count, junior Jake Barnes (Annandale, Va./Annadale) shot a single up the middle to score Corbi from third.
Neither team scored in the fourth or fifth inning, allowing UMBC to break the game open in the top of the sixth. Barnes initiated the inning by doubling to left and then screened the shortstop on a ball off the bat of junior Anthony Gatto (Hauppauge, N.Y./Smithtown West), and came into score as the ball rolled into the outfield. Gatto then stole second and took third on a wild pitch before junior Brandon Coluccio (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township/Brookdale CC) drew a walk. Gatto then scored on a fielder's choice of the bat of Esposito.
Sliwak then launched his triple to deep right field, scoring Esposito to push the lead to 5-2. Dolshun followed and cracked a deep drive over the left field fence for a 7-2 lead.
UMBC padded its lead in the top of the eighth with Sliwak slapping a fly ball to left allowing Esposito to race home on a sacrifice fly.
Navy pushed back for one run in the top of the eighth, but wasted opportunities throughout as the UMBC staff combined to strand six runners on base.
UMBC will now open the 2014 home schedule by hosting Albany this weekend at Alumni Field. The Retrievers are scheduled to play a doubleheader on Saturday and then concluding the three-game set with a single game on Sunday.
- UMBC improves to 21-18 all-time against Navy. The win is the Retrievers first in Annapolis since March 27, 2010.
- The first nine runs of the game were all unearned.
- Dolshun is the second Retriever freshman to hit a home run this year. Classmate Andrew Casali (New Canaan, Conn./New Canaan) hit a round-tripper in UMBC's season-opening series at William and Mary on March 1.
- Wednesday marked Vlasic's third career start against Navy.