WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Senior right-hander Steve Miller (Newark, Del./Dickinson) threw a complete-game, seven-inning effort to lead the UMBC baseball team (10-34, 2-14 AE) past Hartford (12-36, 3-13 AE) in the series opener, 7-3, but the Hawks rallied with a 16-10 win in game two as the squads split Saturday's doubleheader at Fiondella Field.
By scattering six hits and not giving up a run until the bottom of the seventh, Miller (1-8) earned his first career win, and gave the Retrievers the advantage in the four-game series.
After a scoreless first inning, UMBC gave its starter some support, tallying twice against Hartford starter Alex Fiste (0-1) in the top of the second.
Senior Brian Klukowicz (Clifton, N.J./St. Peter's Prep) led off the inning with an infield single and moved around to third without the ball leaving the infield, advancing to second on a balk and then to third on a wild pitch. JuniorJason Allinder (Snow Hill, Md./Snow Hill/Chesapeake CC) continued the trend bringing Klukowicz home with an RBI ground out. Two batters later, junior Tom Gilchrist (Olney, Md./Sherwood/Chesapeake CC) doubled the Retrievers' lead with his fourth homerun of the season.
The very next inning, UMBC broke the game open, scoring four runs on just two hits to push the lead to 6-0. Freshman Jake Barnes (Annandale, Va./Annandale) was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, and stole second to give UMBC a runner on second with no outs. Senior Curtis Schickner (East Windsor, N.J./Lawrenceville Prep) brought Barnes around with a double to left and then scored himself, along with classmate Max Himmelstein (Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown) on a three-run bomb by Klukowicz, his seventh of the year.
Miller continued to shut down the Hawks, giving up no more than one hit in each of the first six innings. He received more support in the top of the sixth as Klukowicz raced home on another wild pitch to put the Retrievers' lead to 7-0.
Hartford finally got on the board in the bottom of the seventh, scoring three times, but could not get any closer as UMBC won its first seven-inning game of the year.
In game two, both teams jumped on the other team's respective starter with Hartford jumping out to a 9-4 lead after just three innings.
UMBC cut the lead to three, 9-6, with two runs in the top of the fifth as Himmelstein and Allinder each drove in a run for the visitors.
The Retrievers could not get any closer as the Hawks responded with one run in the bottom of the fifth and then after a single Retriever run in the sixth, batted around and scored six runs in the seventh to put the game out of reach.
Sophomore Mac Gill (Bethesda, Md./Walter Johnson) (1-8) took the loss of the Retrievers after giving up nine runs on nine hits in just three innings of work.
Hunter Englehart picked up the win despite surrendering nine runs on 13 hits in 6.1 innings of work. Austin Barnes earned the save for the Hawks, yielding just one run on three hits over 2.2 innings.
Gilchrist led a group of five Retrievers with multi-hit games in the second game of the day, going 3-for-5 while scoring two runs
- UMBC is now 19-13 against Hartford since joining the America East in 2004.
- The Retrievers did not commit an error in game one on Saturday, playing error-free baseball for the fourth time this season.
- Miller struck out two batters in the opener and Matt Siggins struck out one in game two to extend the Retrievers' streak to 58 straight games with at least one K.
- UMBC stole a combined six bases on Saturday, bringing its season total up to 49.
- The Retrievers' connected for six doubles in game two, matching their season-high which was set against Navy on Mar. 9 and equaled against Coppin State on Mar. 17.