ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The University at Albany baseball team dropped its series opener against the Maine Black Bears, 10-12. The Great Danes were down eight runs after six innings, but a late comeback was not enough to turn things around. Michael Whalen collected a team-high five RBIs, including a three-run home run in the first. 

Head Coach Jon Mueller: “I think the same things that have hurt us in the past couple of series hurt us again today. We were sloppy in the middle of the game and lost the free pass battle. Playing back from a 12-4 deficit to have a chance to win the game at the end, I give a lot of credit to our offense. But Maine took advantage of all the stuff we gave them. I don’t think the ball left the infield in the fourth inning, the fifth inning they scored four runs. Until we clean that up we are going to have the same results. We’re going to have to start winning these, start attacking more on the mound, and we’ll get better results moving forward. There were still some bright spots today.”

Key Stats:

  • UAlbany pitchers
  • Brad Malm and Johnny Marti both finished with three hits. Malm went 3-6 with a triple and three scored runs. Marti finished 3-5 with a home run, one RBI and two scored runs.
  • Michael Whalen led UAlbany’s offense with five RBIs. He went 2-5 with a three-run home run while also crossing home twice. 
  • Josh Loeffler (2-6) and John Daly (2-5) had multiple hits as well. Both scored one run for the Great Danes.
  • Jason Bottari (1-4), Carson Dunkel (1-2) and Chris Fisher (1-3) had the remaining hits for UAlbany. Fisher also picked up two RBIs.
  • UAlbany left 12 runners on base while also stranding nine Black Bears.
  • UAlbany recorded five walks, whereas Maine recorded six.
  • Five batters struck out for both teams.

How it Happened:

  • Ray Weber started on the mound for the Great Danes, Trevor LaBonte started for the Black Bears.
  • Maine took a 4-0 lead in the top of the opening inning when Scout Knotts hit a grand slam to left field scoring Joe Barmanti, Quinn McDaniel and Jeremiah Jenkins.
  • In the bottom of the same inning, Michael Whalen cut Maine’s lead to one with a three-run home run to left field, driving in Brad Malm and Johnny Marti who both singled to get on base.
  • The Black Bears extended their lead to 6-3 off a two-run homer by Jordan Schulefand, scoring Mike Pratte.
  • Chase Carroll took the mound for the Great Danes to start the fifth.
  • In the top of the fifth, Maine added four more runs. Bramanti scored on a wild pitch, Ryan Turenne and Knotts scored on an error, and Pratte scored on a passed ball.
  • Marti got one run back for the Great Danes off a solo home run to right field in the bottom of the same inning.
  • In the sixth, Nicholas Jessen entered the game to pitch for UAlbany.
  • The Black Bears made it 12-4 in the top of the sixth. Connor Goodman drove in Bramanti with an RBI double to left field and Jake Marquez singled to right field, bringing home Goodman.
  • Tyler Nielsen replaced LaBonte on the mound for Maine midway through the seventh.
  • In the bottom of the seventh, Brad Malm crossed home on a wild pitch after he hit a leadoff triple to left-center. 
  • Colin Fitzgerald came in to pitch for Maine halfway through the same inning.
  • Still in the seventh, Whalen scored another run for the Great Danes, also on a wild pitch. He was hit by a pitch to get on base. 
  • In the bottom of the eighth, Whalen picked up his fourth and fifth RBIs of the day, hitting a two-run single to bring home Josh Loeffler and Malm, who both singled. 
  • Steven Turk took the mound for the Great Danes at the beginning of the ninth.
  • In the bottom of the ninth, Chris Fisher made it a two-run game when he hit a single to right-center, driving in John Daly and Jason Bottari.
  • Maine made a pitching change midway through the ninth when Matthew Pushard entered the game.