Balzano and Heath Lead Baseball to Doubleheader Split of Albany
ORONO, Maine -- The University of Maine baseball team split a doubleheader with Albany on Saturday afternoon at Mahaney Diamond. The Black Bears won the first game 9-4, before dropping the second game 6-4. Sam Balzano (Portland, Maine) had four hits on the day, while Scott Heath (Westbrook, Maine) drove in four runs.
Maine moves to 20-26 on the season with the split and 7-10 in America East play. Albany sees its record move to 10-31 overall, 5-15 in conference play.
In the first game, Albany jumped out to a 3-0 lead after five innings of play.
Maine tied the game with three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Brian Doran (Ayr, Ontario) led off the inning and singled to right field. He moved to third base on a pair of wild pitches. Jonathan Salcedo (Providence, Rhode Island) walked. Luke Morrill (South Thomaston, Maine) reached on a fielder's choice and Doran scored. Balzano followed with a single to left field. Colin Gay (Franklin, Massachusetts) reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases. Heath followed with a double to left field scoring both Morrill and Balzano to tie the game at 3-3.
The Black Bears took the lead with six runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Doran led off the inning and was hit. Lucien DellaFera (Colts Neck, New Jersey) then reached on a bunt. Both runners advanced a base on a wild pitch and scored when Salcedo singled to left field. Morrill followed with a bunt single and Salcedo advanced to second. Both runners advanced on a sacrifice by Balzano. Heath followed with a two-run single to left, plating Salcedo and Morrill. Alex Calbick (Burnaby British Columbia) then belted his team-leading fourth home run of the season over the right field fence, extending Maine's lead to 9-3.
Richard Bacon doubled and scored when Jeff VanMoser singled to shortstop in the top of the ninth inning for the Great Danes to make it a 9-4 final.
Tommy Lawrence (West Haven, Connecticut) got the start for the Black Bears and pitched his fourth straight complete game. He allowed four runs on eight hits while striking out four. He improves to 7-4 on the season.
Kevin Archbold went 6.2 innings for the Great Danes and allowed three runs on six hits while striking out six batters. Daniel Castro pitched the final 1.1 innings and suffered the loss. He falls to 0-2.
In the second game, it was the Black Bears that struck first with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second inning. Albany retired the first two batters of the inning, before Nick Bernardo (Albany, New York) belted a triple to the right center field fence. He scored when Morrill singled to shortstop. Salcedo, who walked, scored when Balzano singled.
Albany answered back and scored three runs in the top of the third inning to take the lead. Cory Kingston singled up the middle and D.J. Hoagboon singled to center field. Brian Bullard drove home Kingston with a single to center field. Josh Nethaway drove home Hoagboon and Bullard with a single to left.
The Great Danes pushed their lead to 6-2 in the top of the fifth inning. Kingston singled to center field and advanced to second on a balk. He scored when Bullard doubled. Evan Harasta doubled to left field and Bullard scored. Nethaway followed with Albany's third straight double driving home Harasta.
Maine got one run back in the bottom of the frame. Balzano singled to right field and scored when Troy Black (Mississauga, Ontario) grounded out.
Maine threatened in the bottom of the seventh inning. Balzano walked and Heath singled to center field. Balzano scored when Black doubled down the left field line, but that is as close as the Black Bears would get.
Jeff Gelinas (Saco, Maine) went 4.1 innings and allowed six runs on eight hits. He falls to 3-4 on the season. Jacob Gosselin-Deschesnes (Montreal, Quebec) surrendered four hits in 1.1 innings. Burk Fitz Patrick (Berwyn, Pennsylvania) pitched a scoreless seventh inning.
Brendan Ryan went six innings for Albany on the mound and allowed four runs on seven hits. He struck out four batters and improves to 2-2 on the season. Terry Dugdale earned the save in the game for the Great Danes.
The two teams complete their three game weekend series on Sunday, May 11. First pitch is scheduled for 1 PM.