UMBC Splits Doubleheader with Albany to Open America East Play

BALTIMORE – Freshman Andrew Casali (New Canaan, Conn./New Canaan) lined a single up the middle in the bottom ninth and senior Brandon Coluccio (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township/Brookdale CC) scored from second as UMBC walked off with a 3-2 win over Albany in game one of an America East doubleheader, Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field.  Albany came back and took game two, 9-7, behind a pair of three-run homeruns. 

Senior Mac Gill (Bethesda, Md./Walter Johnson) threw his third straight quality start of the season, but was no-decisioned as Albany rallied to tie it at 2-2 in the top of the ninth.  Sophomore Michael Gomez (Nutley, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) earned the win, his first of the season, after entering in the top of the inning to relieve Gill.

Reliever Ryan Stinar (0-2) took the loss for Albany, despite giving up the one run on one hit.  The right-hander from Forest Hill, Md. also walked two and struck out two.

Both starters, Gill and Kevin Archibold, worked out trouble throughout, combining to strand 13 runners on base.  Gill tossed 8.1 innings for UMBC (3-7, 1-1 AE) yielding just the two runs while scattering eight hits.  The Retriever veteran also struck out three and walked none.  Archibold was equal for Albany (2-7, 1-1 AE), hurling 7.0 innings and giving up two runs on seven hits.

After both teams went scoreless in the first, UMBC broke through in the bottom of the second as freshman Hunter Dolshun (Warwick, N.Y./Warwick Valley) slapped a two-out single to right and sophomore Mark Esposito (Bethany, Conn./Amity Regional) came around to score from second.

The Retrievers doubled their lead in the next frame, but wasted a chance to break the game open.  Freshman Connor Hax (Bowie, Md./Bishop McNamara) started the inning with a single up the middle in his first collegiate at-bat.  Casali followed by sending a single to right-center and then junior Vince Corbi (Medford, N.J./Shawnee) loaded the bases by reaching on a bunt down the third base line.  A double play ball brought Hax in from third, but the inning died on a pop up to second.

Gill kept Albany off the board until the top of the seventh when Craig Lepre doubled the left-center to bring in Matt Hinchy who had led off the inning with a single.

In the top of the ninth, Josh Nethaway singled to start the inning and moved to second on a sac bunt.  Gomez then entered for the Retrievers and struck out Cory Kingston swinging.  Charlie Peltz pulled the Great Danes level, though, by singling to left with two down.

UMBC avoided extra innings as Coluccio led off the ninth with a walk, took second on a wild pitch and then raced around the bases on Casali's two-out single.

The Retrievers started game two brightly, jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the third inning.  Sophomore Joe Vanderplas (Fairfax, Va./Fairfax/Tennessee) held Albany at bay through four innings, but made way for the bullpen before the fifth.

Junior Bobby Applegate (Somerdale, N.J./Sterling/Gloucester County College) took the loss after getting just two outs in the fifth, giving up four runs.

Cameron Sorgie (1-2) gave up three runs on four hits in two innings of work but earned the win for Albany.  Matt Gallup pitched the seventh inning, giving up just one hit, to earn his first save of the year.

Neither team scored in the first two innings, but Dolshun cracked his second career homerun to start the third inning for the Retrievers.  UMBC added three more runs in the inning as sophomore Kevin Lachance (Clifton, Va./Centreville) and junior Jake Barnes (Annandale, Va./Annandale) collected RBI singles and put the hosts up 4-0.

Albany edged back in the top of the fifth as Lepre singled through the right side with two down to score Hinchy and cut the lead to 4-1.

The Great Danes pulled level in the next frame as Nethaway hit a three-run homer to left, his first of the season.  Three batters later, Lepre shot a single to center to give the visitors the lead, 5-4. 

UMBC stranded a runner on base in the bottom of the inning and Albany took advantage by scoring four more in the sixth, three courtesy of a homerun by Hinchy.

Down 9-4 going to the bottom half, the Retrievers rallied beginning with a single through the left side by Esposito.  Coluccio followed with a walk and two batters later Dolshun drove a single up the middle to cut the lead to 9-5 as Esposito scored.  Hax then singled to bring around Coluccio and Casali followed with an RBI ground out.

Sophomore Denis Mikush (Burke, Va./Robinson) held Albany scoreless in the seventh, but UMBC could not make one last rally in the bottom half.

UMBC and Albany will conclude the three-game series with a single game on Sunday.  First pitch at Alumni Field is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.


-          With the split, Albany now leads the all-time series 29-11. 

-          Dolshun has hit a homerun in two of the last three games.

-          UMBC opened America East play with a win for the second straight year (2013: 7-4 vs. Binghamton).

-          The Retrievers also opened their home schedule with a win for the second year in a row. (2013: 5-3 vs. Mount St. Mary's).