Two-Run Eighth Dooms UMBC’s Upset Bid at Stony Brook

Anthony Gatto was named to the America East All-Rookie Team
Anthony Gatto was named to the America East All-Rookie Team

BALTIMORE – UMBC broke a 5-5 tie in the top of the eighth with a run but Stony Brook came back and scored two in the bottom half and held off a comeback attempt to claim the series finale, 7-6, and pick up the sweep Sunday afternoon at Joe Nathan Field.

The Retrievers loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the ninth, but Seawolves' closer Frankie Vanderka struck out the final batter to register his fourth save of the season.

Both starters, UMBC sophomore Shane Vlasic (Ashburn, Va./Broad Run) and Stony Brook's Evan Stecko-Haley, were no decisisioned as the teams swapped the lead throughout the game with the hosts striking last.  Jasvir Rakkar (4-2) earned the win pitching 2.2 innings but giving up two runs on four hits while David Superdorck (Newmanstown, Pa./ELCO) (0-2) took the loss after yielding four earned runs in 6.1 innings or work.

After both teams threatened in the first inning, UMBC drew first blood as freshman Anthony Gatto(Hauppauge, N.Y./Smithtown West) led off with a double.  Sophomore D.J. Smith (Millersville, Md./Old Mill) followed with a single, moving Gatto to third, and then the Retrievers executed a perfect squeeze as freshman Vince Corbi (Medford, N.J./Shawnee) put the bunt down to score his classmate.

The hosts came back right away though, plating two runs in the second inning and adding single runs in the third and fourth to build a three-run cushion, 4-1.

UMBC knotted things in the sixth however, scoring three runs on four hits, but left two runners on base.  Junior Jason Allinder (Snow Hill, Md./Snow Hill/Chesapeake CC) hit a lead-off single and move to second as the next batter, senior Max Himmelstein (Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown), singled to left.  Two batters later, Gatto cut the lead to two by driving in Allinder with a double to deep center.  After a pitching change and a strike out, senior Michael Pesci (Parsippany, N.J./DePaul Catholic) singled to the shortstop hole, bringing in Himmelstein and Gatto, to tie the score.

An inning later, the Retrievers took their first lead of the game as senior Curtis Schickner (East Windsor, N.J./Lawrenceville Prep) scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Himmelstein.  Stony Brook rallied in the bottom half, tying the score on an RBI double by Steve Goldstein.  The left fielder went a perfect 4-for-4 on the day, driving in two and scoring one run.  Travis Jankowski joined his fellow outfielder with four hits, going 4-for-5 on Sunday.

In the top of the eighth, Pesci sparked the UMBC rally with a one-out double to left center. Following a strikeout, freshman Ian Glassman (Basking Ridge, N.J./Rutgers Prep) was hit by a pitch and Schickner drew a walk to load the bases.  Allinder then reached on a fielder's choice as Pesci raced home with the go-ahead run.  The Retrievers could not get anything else though, stranding the bases loaded.

In the bottom half, the Seawolves made their guests pay by scoring two runs and taking the lead for good, 7-6.

The Retrievers now return to Baltimore to host America East rival Binghamton next weekend for a regular season-finale three game series at the Baseball Factory Field.


-           With the win, Stony Brook has now swept the season series with UMBC each of the last three seasons and has won 21 straight games in the series.

-          Vlasic and Superdock each recorded a strikeout to extend the UMBC staff's streak to 63 straight games with at least one K.

-          The Retrievers have now scored five or more runs in 23 games this season, compared to just 17 times in 2011.