Colon Hits First Career Home Run, But Albany Sweeps UMBC in Doubleheader

Freshman Manny Colon
Freshman Manny Colon

ALBANY, N.Y. – Freshman catcher Manny Colon (Williamstown, N.J./Buena Regional) hit his first career home run, but it was the only run UMBC would score on the day as Albany swept the Retrievers in an America East doubleheader, Saturday afternoon at Varsity Field.

The Great Danes (19-16-1, 12-8 AE) won the first game 5-0 in seven innings behind a complete-game effort by Kasceim Graham and then swept the day with a 10-1 victory in game two as Austin Chase matched his teammate in going the distance.

The Retrievers (11-23, 5-15 AE) managed just six hits in the two games and have now lost nine of their last ten conference games.

In game one, junior Mac Gill (Bethesda, Md./Walter Johnson) tossed his second consecutive complete game, but ended up the loser as the Great Danes scored five runs on five hits.  Gill (2-4) did not walk a batter for the second-straight start while striking out one.

Both pitchers were in control early, working out of runner-on-base situations to keep the opposition off the board.  UMBC went hitless in the first two frames, but junior Rob McCabe (Philadelphia, Pa./St. Joseph's Prep) singled up the with two down in the third, before being stranded due to a pop up.

Gill stranded runners in the first and third innings with junior catcher Brandon Coluccio (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township/Brookdale CC) helping his pitcher out in the second by throwing out D.J. Hoagboon who was trying to steal second.

Albany made the first mark in the game, touching up Gill for four runs in the bottom of the fifth. Five straight hits, including two doubles brought in three runs before a passed ball allowed Nolan Gaige to cross the plate and make the score 4-0.

The Great Danes added another run in the sixth to complete the scoring as Hoagboon led off with a single and came around on a Brian Bullard one-out double.

Game two was shaping up to be a pitchers' duel as well with the starters limiting the opposition to just one combined hit in the first two innings. 

In the third, Jeff Welsh started the Albany half with a double down the left-field line, moved to third on a ground out, and then scored on a sac fly. The very next inning the hosts extended the lead to 4-0, scoring three runs on three hits.

Colon cut the lead to three, 4-1, almost immediately, driving the first pitch of the fifth inning over the right-field fence for his first UMBC round-tripper.  Two batters later senior Tom Gilchrist (Olney, Md./Sherwood/Chesapeake CC) singled to left and gained second on a wild pitch.  He was theft on base, though as the next two batters grounded out to third and first, respectively.

Albany pushed back immediately, sending three across the plate on just one hit in the bottom of the fifth, making the lead 7-1.  Three innings later, the Great Danes scored three more to cap the scoring for the day.

UMBC and Albany will complete the series tomorrow with a single game.  First pitch is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. at Varsity Field.

DAWG BITES

-          Albany now leads the all-time series 27-10 and has won four of the five meetings this season.

-          Colon is the third Retriever to hit his first career home run this season (Jake Barnes – Mar. 27 at George Washington; Kevin Lachance – Apr. 9 vs. Delaware).

-          The Retrievers are 5-9 against teams from New York this season (1-4 vs. Albany; 3-3 vs. Binghamton; 1-2 vs. Stony Brook).

-          McCabe went 1-for-3 and 1-for-4 in the two games to extend his current hit streak to five.

-          UMBC played error-free baseball in game one, the ninth such time the Retrievers have playec cleanly this season.  They are 4-5 in these games.