BALTIMORE--The UMBC baseball team picked up its first win of the season as it defeated Army, 8-4, on Saturday at The Baseball Factory Field at UMBC. The Retrievers (1-1) evened their record to .500, while the Black Knights (1-5) dropped their fifth game this season.
Senior Will Delawter (Frederick, Md./Catoctin/Chesapeake JC) was nearly perfect for the Retrievers, going 4-for-5 on the day with a doubles, two runs scored, and two RBI. Delawter was 4-for-4 entering his final at bat on the day, where he went down swinging.
Redshirt freshman Dave Divita (1-0) (Mayfield Village, Ohio/Mayfield) earned the win in the first appearance of his collegiate career after fanning four and letting up two runs (none earned) on four hits in four innings of work.
The Black Knights Joey Henshaw (0-2) remains winless on the season after giving up six runs on nine hits, while walking four in four innings pitched.
The Retrievers got things started off in the bottom of the first with a leadoff double by junior Brad Brainer (Chester, Md./Kent Island/Chesapeake JC), and a walk by junior Wink Nolan (Ellicott City, Md./Calvert Hall/Maryland). Brainer then advanced into scoring position thanks to a sac fly by senior Joe Fowler (Wilmington, Del./St. Mark's) and Delawter's RBI double brought Brainer home and put Nolan into scoring position. A groundout by junior Shawn Retz (Baltimore, Md./Western Tech/Catonsville C.C.) plated Nolan and the Retrievers ended the inning with a 2-0 lead.
The Black Knights were quick to reciprocate, however, as they added two runs in the top of the third after Tony Capozzi singled, stole second, advanced to third after a Clint Moore single, and crossed home plate thanks to Kevin McKague's groundout RBI. A single by Chris Simmons then plated Moore as the Black Knights knotted the score at two.
The Retrievers took the lead for good in the bottom of the inning after Nolan led off with a double and Fowler reached on a fielder's choice. A single by Delawter put Fowler on third, who gave the Retrievers the lead after Retz's RBI double and freshman Rich Conlon (Vienna, Va./James Madison) plated Delawter and Retz with a single through the right side to score the winning run for the Retrievers and give them a 5-2 lead over Army.
The Retrievers also added insurance runs in the fourth, sixth, and seventh, to take an 8-2 lead over the Black Knights thanks to an RBI single in the fourth by Delawter that plated Brainer, an RBI single by Conlon in the sixth that scored Delawter, and an RBI double by Nolan in the seventh that brought in senior Steve Russo (Lancaster, Pa./Conestoga Valley).
Army rallied in the eighth to cut the Retriever lead to four off J.P. Polchinski's two-run homer, but junior Ryan Morse (Frederick, Md./Catoctin/Chesapeake JC) pitched one scoreless and hitless inning in the ninth to ensure the Retrievers the 8-4 win.
The Retrievers held the advantage on hits, 14-9, over the Black Knights, but committed two errors, while Army was perfect in the field.
The two teams will meet on Sunday for the series finale, as UMBC looks for their first opening series win since 2006, at 1:00 p.m. at The Baseball Factory Field at UMBC.
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