UAlbany baseball clinches America East Championship berth with doubleheader sweep of Maine

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Orono, M.E. (NEWS10) — The Great Danes clinch an America East Championships berth behind dominant pitching in a doubleheader sweep of Maine. UAlbany threw a scoreless frame in 15-of-17 innings played Friday. 

“I’m extremely proud of this group,” coach Jon Mueller said. “They put in the work in the weight room, during practice and bought into what the coaching staff was selling. Weber had a three pitch mix and good power today facing one of the top arms in the country. Steven Turk stepped up in game two and gave us six innings of four hit ball. The offense was patient and took advantage of opportunities this afternoon. This team earned the right to be the No. 1 seed in Division A.”

Key Stats Game One

  • Ray Weber (7-1) allowed no runs on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts. 
  • Rob Manetta (1) earned his first collegiate save with a scoreless eighth inning.
  • Johnny Marti went 2-for-2 with a two-run home run and two walks.
  • Will Feil went 2-for-4 with one run and one RBI. He gave UAlbany a 1-0 lead with a single in the eighth inning.
  • Maine Starter Nicholas Sinacola (8-3) took the loss after going eight innings and allowing three runs on seven hits with two walks and 14 strikeouts. 
  • Sinacola set the America East single-season strikeouts record in the game that now stands at 128. 
  • The Black Bears’ Scout Knotts went 2-for-4.

Key Stats Game Two

  • Steven Turk (1-0) pitched six innings in relief and allowed two runs on four hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
  • Johnny Marti went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run and one walk. 
  • Marc Wangenstein went 2-for-4 with a three-run inside the park home run and two runs scored.
  • Jason Bottari moved to tied-third in program history for stolen bases in a single season with his 24th.
  • Maine starter Noah Lewis (4-5) pitched three innings and allowed five runs on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
  • The Black Bears’ Quinn McDaniel went 1-for-4 with a solo home run. 

How it Happened Game 1

  • Ray Weber and Maine starter Nicholas Sinacola were in a full game pitcher’s duel. Neither player allowed more than one baserunner until Maine had two runners on in the bottom of the fourth. Weber escaped the jam with a foul out. 
  • Both pitchers ran into a jam in the sixth inning. UAlbany loaded the bases in the top half behind two singles and a walk. Sinacola got Brad Malm to strike out to escape his jam.
  • Maine also loaded the bases in the bottom half behind two singles and a catcher’s interference. Weber escaped the jam when he battled back from down 3-0 in the count to strike out Maine’s Quinn McDaniel. 
  • After a scoreless seventh inning, the game headed to extra innings. John Daly led off the eighth inning with a single and moved to second on a Marc Wangenstein sacrifice bunt. With two outs, Will Feil singled and drove in the game’s first run.
  • With a 1-0 lead, Johnny Marti hit a home run to right field that gave UAlbany a 3-0 lead. Rob Manetta completed the save in the bottom half to give UAlbany an important game one victory.

How it Happened Game 2

  • UAlbany starter Anthony Germinerio lasted only one pitch before he left with an injury. Steven Turk entered the game in relief and allowed two runs on a wild pitch and single that gave Maine an early 2-0 lead. 
  • The Great Danes tied the game in the third inning when Dolan Ocasal scored on a wild pitch and Brad Malm hit a sacrifice fly.
  • After a scoreless bottom half, UAlbany took the lead on a Marc Wangenstein three-run inside the park home run to go ahead 5-2. 
  • In the fifth inning, Jason Bottari stole his 24th base of the season, which put him tied-third in program history for stolen bases in a single season. 
  • The Great Danes added to their lead when Johnny Marti hit his second home run of the day, this time a two-run shot to right field, in the seventh inning. The home run gave UAlbany a 7-2 lead and was Marti’s team-leading sixth of the season. 
  • In the eighth inning, UAlbany added insurance runs when John Daly scored on a passed ball and Chris Fisher hit a sacrifice fly to give the Great Danes a 9-2 lead.
  • Maine added one run in the bottom of the ninth, but could not score any more runs and UAlbany took a 9-3 victory to complete the doubleheader sweep.
  • With the victory, UAlbany clinched a berth in the America East Championships schedule to begin May 27 at Stony Brook. With the loss, Maine must sweep the Great Danes in Saturday’s doubleheader for a chance at the playoffs.

Next: UAlbany and Maine will conclude the regular season with a doubleheader on Saturday, May 22 starting at 12:00 p.m. Maine is still fighting for the final spot in the America East Championships.

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