Albany Takes Finale and Series from Baseball with 5-2 Win

Senior Jason Allinder
Senior Jason Allinder

BALTIMORE – Albany starter Ryan Stinar (Forest Hill, Md.) went six innings, yielding just one earned run and Derek Zielinski shutout out UMBC for the following three innings as Albany downed the Retrievers, 5-2, to clinch the America East series win, Sunday afternoon at Alumni Field. 

Stinar (1-0) earned the win in his first career start while Zielinski picked up the save in his first relief appearances this spring. UMBC freshman Riley Stephenson (Frederick, Md./Boonsboro) fell to 0-3 on the year after surrendering five earned runs on eight hits over four innings of work.

After a scoreless opening frame, Albany (6-10, 3-3 AE) threatened to score first as Josh Nethaway singled to lead off the inning and two batters later moved to second on a single to left by Jeff Welsh. Stephenson regrouped and got the next two batters to fly out and strikeout to end the inning.

In the bottom half for UMBC (5-9, 3-3 AE), sophomore Anthony Gatto (Haupauge, N.Y./Smithtown West) singled up the middle with one out and then stole second for his first swipe of the season. He was stranded there, however, after a fly out and ground out.

The visitors took the initiative in the top of the third, starting with a lead-off single to left by Matt Hinchy.  Nolan Gaige then reached on a bunt down the third base line and both runners moved over on a sacrifice bunt.  The Great Danes took the lead as the next batter, Greg Muller flied out to deep center to bring in Hinchy.  Nethaway then singled through the left side to bring in Gaige to double the lead.

The Retrievers went down in order in the bottom of the third and the Danes took advantage, pushing the lead to 5-0 with three more runs in the fourth.  Brian Bullard led off with a triple to the right-centerfield gap and came home on a single to left.  Two more runs then came in on a fielder's choice and sac fly.

Both teams went down in order in their next at-bats, but UMBC rallied in the bottom of the fifth for two runs to cut the lead to three, 5-2.  Gatto once again reached, this time on a chopped single to third.  He was erased as sophomore Ian Glassman (Basking Ridge, N.J./Rutgers Prep) grounded into a fielder's choice.  Junior D.J. Smith (Millersville, Md./Old Mill) then drew a walk and both runners moved on a ground out.  Both runners then came into score as freshman Kevin Lachance (Clifton, Va./Centreville) singled to second and the second baseman kicked the ball into the outfield.  That is all the hosts could get, though, as a ground out ended the inning.

Albany gained runners on first and second with no outs in the sixth, but sophomore Kevin Ladner(Succasunna, N.J./Roxbury) and junior Jon Cohn (Scottsdale, Ariz./Notre Dame Prep) combined to send the Great Danes back to the dugout with nothing.

The Retrievers looked to cut into the lead in the bottom of the sixth as sophomore Jake Barnes(Annandale, Va./Annadale) walked and senior Jason Allinder (Snow Hill, Md./Snow Hill/Chesapeake CC) singled to put runners on first and second.  A strikeout, pop out, and liner cut the rally short, leaving the gap at three.

Cohn continued to stymie Albany, providing an opening for his lineup.  UMBC made another comeback bid in the eighth as Allinder reached on an infield single, freshman Manny Colon(Williamstown, N.J./Buena Regional) walked and Gatto was hit by pitch all with one out.  The rally was once again cut short, however, with a strike out and ground out to second.

After freshman Mike Gomez (Nutley, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) threw a perfect top of the ninth, UMBC had one more chance, but could not get anything off of Zielinski.

UMBC has two mid-week games this week, beginning with a single game against Delaware State at Alumni Field on Tuesday, Mar. 26.  The Retrievers then head to Northern Virginia to take on George Washington on Wednesday.

DAWG BITES

-          Albany now takes a 36-10 lead in the all-time series between the schools.

-          UMBC is now 3-3 against schools from New York this season (1-2 vs. Albany; 2-1 vs. Binghamton)

-          The Retrievers and Great Danes will meet again this season for a three-game series in Albany, N.Y. on Apr. 27-28.

-          Allinder picked up multi-hit games in both of the contests in which he played this weekend.

-          Cohn has now thrown back-to-back scoreless outings over the course of 6.2 innings of work.

-          Gomez has now held the opponents off the board in six of his eight appearances.