Hartford Takes Series from UMBC with Doubleheader Sweep

Curtis Schickner was named to the All-Academic Team for the third straight year
Curtis Schickner was named to the All-Academic Team for the third straight year

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Hartford (14-36, 5-13 AE) clinched the four-game series win over UMBC (10-36, 2-16 AE) Sunday afternoon by taking both games of the doubleheader at Fiondella Field.  The teams split two games yesterday but the Hawks won game one, 3-2, in eight innings and then outslugged the Retrievers to win game two, 16-9.

Sophomore Shane Vlasic (Ashburn, Va./Broad Run) (2-8) pitched 7.1 innings for the Retrievers in the opener but took the loss when Hartford's Simon Kudernatsch singled to left center bringing Trey Stover around to score the winning run.

Brian Hunter (2-4) earned the win for the Hawks pitching an eight-inning, complete game, yielding two runs on four hits and striking out seven hitters.

UMBC got on the board right away as pinch runner D.J. Smith (Millersville, Md./Old Mill) came around to score on an RBI single to center by freshman Anthony Gatto (Hauppauge, N.Y./Smithtown West).  Hartford hit right back though, tying the game with a solo run in the bottom half of the inning.

Both pitchers settled down however, combining to give up only three hits over the next two and a half innings until the hosts took the lead with a run in the bottom of the fourth.

UMBC responded right away in the top of the fifth, scoring one run to once again tie the game. After a ground out, sophomore Rob McCabe (Philadelphia, Pa./St. Joseph's Prep) and Smith each drew walks to give the Retrievers runners on first and second with just one out.  Two batters later, senior Brian Klukowicz (Clifton, N.J./St. Peter's Prep) singled to center to bring in McCabe from second.

Neither team cracked for the next two innings, but Hartford recorded the walk-off win in the eighth with Kudernatsch's RBI single.

In the second game of the day, Hartford scored two runs in each of the first three innings and then plated seven in the fourth to jump out to a 13-0 lead.

UMBC struck back with a five-run sixth, capped by a two-RBI double by Smith which scored juniors Jason Allinder (Snow Hill, Md./Snow Hill/Chesapeake CC) and Tom Gilchrist (Olney, Md./Sherwood/Chesapeake CC).

After Hartford scored three in the bottom half of the frame, the Retrievers made a game of it with four runs in the top of the seventh.  Senior Curtis Schickner (East Windsor, N.J./Lawrenceville Prep) drew a one-out walk to start the rally and moved to second on a single by classmate Max Himmelstein (Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown).  Senior Mike Lafferty (Baltimore, Md./Mount St. Joseph's) followed with a single of his own and Gatto pushed in two runs with a double to right center.  A ground out by Allinder brought in Lafferty and then Gatto scored on a wild pitch to finish the scoring.

UMBC now returns home to host local rival Towson on Wednesday at the Baseball Factory Field. First pitch between the Retrievers and Tigers is set for 6 p.m.


-           This is the first time UMBC has lost a series to Hartford since the Hawks took all four games from Apr. 6 – Apr. 8, 2007. 

-          Vlasic struck out two batters in game one and three pitchers combined for four strikeouts in game two to push the Retrievers' streak to 60 straight games with at least one K.

-          UMBC stole two bases in the first game to bring its season total to 51.