Vanderplas and Coluccio Lead UMBC to Sweep of Albany with 10-6 Win in Series Finale
ALBANY, N.Y. – Sophomore lefty Joe Vanderplas (Fairfax, Va./Fairfax/Tennessee) tossed six shutout innings and senior Brandon Coluccio (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township/Brookdale CC) went 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs as UMBC completed its first-ever sweep of America East rival Albany, defeating the Great Danes, 10-6, Sunday in the series finale at Varsity Field.
Senior Rob McCabe (Philadelphia, Pa./St. Joseph's Prep) also collected three hits, including an RBI single during a pivotal six-run third inning, as UMBC (10-18, 6-6 AE) won for the fourth straight game and leveled its conference record.
Vanderplas (1-2) earned his first career win in making his sixth start for the Retrievers. The southpaw scattered seven hits in the six-inning outing while striking out one and not walking a batter. Sophomore Denis Mikush (Burke, Va./Robinson) got the final two outs of the eighth to halt the Albany (7-19, 4-8 AE) rally and then junior Jonny Dierks (Easton, Md./Independence/Fort Scott CC) pitched a scoreless ninth.
Albany starter Kevin Archibold (1-1) took the loss for the Great Danes after surrendering six runs, four earned, on five hits over just three innings. The lefty struck out four batters but issued five free passes.
After both starters threw up zeroes in each of the first two innings, UMBC exploded for six runs in the top of the third. Sophomore Kevin Lachance (Clifton, Va./Centreville) drew a lead-off walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch, third on a passed ball, and then came around to score as freshman Andrew Casali (New Canaan, Conn./New Canaan) yanked a double down the left field line.
With junior Vince Corbi (Medford, N.J./Shawnee) batting, Casali moved to third on a wild pitch. Corbi then gained first on a fielding error and Casali scored to extend the lead to 2-0. Sophomore Mark Esposito (Bethany, Conn./Amity Regional) and junior Jake Barnes (Annandale, Va./Annandale) drew back-to-back walks to load the bases and two batters later, Coluccio cashed in with an RBI bunt single. McCabe and freshman Connor Hax (Bowie, Md./Bishop McNamara) both beat out infield rollers with the sackS full to score two and make the lead 5-0. Lachance then reached on a fielder's choice and Coluccio scored to cap the scoring for the inning.
Vanderplas sent Albany down in order in the bottom half and UMBC responded with three more runs in the top of the fourth. Barnes and Coluccio each drove in a run in the inning while McCabe scored from third on a wild pitch to extend the lead to 9-0.
Albany threatened in the bottom of the sixth, loading the bases with two out, but Vanderplas got Alex Lushkevich to ground into a fielder's choice to maintain the shut out.
The Great Danes did get on the board in the seventh against junior reliever Kevin Ladner (Succasunna, N.J./Roxbury), scoring three runs. The hosts then got another three runs in the bottom of the eighth to cut the Retriever lead to 9-6.
Brian Bullard paced the Albany attack with a 4-for-4 day at the plate while Richard Bacon went 3-for-5 and scored two runs.
UMBC added an insurance run in the top of the ninth as McCabe served a one-out double to left-center and Hax followed immediately with a single to center to push the lead back to four, 10-6.
Albany loaded the bases against Dierks in the ninth on two walks and a single, but the junior got D.J. Hoagboon to fly out to left to preserve the win and complete the sweep.
UMBC now returns home to host George Washington on Tuesday evening at Alumni Field before making the short trip to Joe Cannon Stadium to play Coppin State on Wednesday.
- The series sweep is UMBC's first against Albany and gives the Retrievers their second season series win over the Great Danes since joining the America East in 2004.
- It is also UMBC's first series sweep over a conference opponent other than Hartford.
- The Retrievers last won the season series against the Great Danes in 2008 when they won three of four games in Baltimore.
- UMBC cuts Albany's lead in the all-time series to 30-14.
- Casali's third-inning double extended his hit streak to 14, matching classmate Hunter Dolshun who had his streak snapped in Saturday's first game. The rookie is also riding a seven-game hit streak in conference play.