There were few clouds in the skies over MCU Park today, as temperatures in the mid 40s brought about 100 college baseball fans out to the ballpark for a Division I doubleheader.
Nevertheless, fans of both schools, as well as some Cyclones fans, bundled up and made the trip to Coney Island for some early baseball.
Game 1 : SUNY – Albany: 7 NYIT: 2
In the first game of the day, Albany immediately got on the scoreboard in the Top of the 1st. With Frank Valentino on the mound for the Bears, Kyle Sacks hit a 1-out single to right and went to 2nd on a walk to Connor Powers. Evan Harasta popped out to the pitcher, but Matt Hinchy singled, scoring Sacks and both Powers & Hinchy advanced on the throw, making it 2nd & 3rd. Valentino got Garrett Longhurst to fly out to end the inning.
The Bears had a chance to score in the Bottom of the 2nd, but left 2 men in scoring position.
The Great Danes would add 2 more in the Top of the 4th. Longhurst drew a 1-out walk and a single by Patrick Lagravinese made it 1st & 2nd. Karson Canaday grounded out to make it 2nd & 3rd with 2 away. Kevin Donati singled, scoring Longhurst and a throwing error by Bears 3B Frank Sanacore allowed Lagravinese to score. Donati was out trying to advance to 2nd on the error, ending the inning with Albany up 3-0.
The Great Danes blew it open in the Top of the 6th. Hinchy led off with a single to left and stole 2nd on a Longhurst strikeout. Lagravinese walked and Canaday reached on a fielder’s choice to make it 1st & 3rd with 2 outs. Donati singled, scoring Hinchy and moving Canaday to 3B. Miller got hit by a pitch to load the bases and a triple by Sacks cleared the bases and knocked Valentino out of the game for Michael Sinnott. With Eric Mueller running for Sacks, Powers did not live up to his last name and popped out to short to end the inning with Albany up 7-0.
NYIT finally got some runs in during the Bottom of the 6th. Thomas Joannou led off with a single to center, Anthony Martelli went down looking and Joe Daru walked to make it 1st & 2nd, knocking starter Ryan Stinar out of the game for Brendan Ryan. A wild pitch by Ryan made it 2nd & 3rd. Anthony Caradonna singled to left, scoring Joannou and moving Daru to 3rd. A sac fly by Chris Rula made it 7-2, which is how it would stay as David Kosakavich went down swinging to end the inning and the Bears left 2 men in scoring position in the Bottom of the 7th but failed to bring them home.
Game 2: NYIT: 4 Albany: 0
The NYIT Bears made sure to get revenge in the 2nd game and did so early in the Bottom of the 1st off Albany’s Joe Romero. Thomas Joannou led off with a single to right, stole 2nd & went to 3rd on a single by Anthony Martelli. A passed ball sent Joannou home and Martelli to 2nd. Joe Daru went down swinging, by a single to left by Anthony Caradonna scored Martelli. A walk to Chris Rula made it 1st & 2nd. Jeff Tabares doubled to center, scoring Caradonna and moving Rula to 3rd. Jake Lebel whiffed at air, but Matt DeAngelis singled to right, scoring Rula and moving Tabares to 3B. Frank Sanacore, who was the #9 hitter on the day came up, worrying the fans who were scoring about having to redo their scorecard. DeAngelis stole 2nd, but Sanacore grounded out, ending the inning with NYIT up 4-0. Romero was pulled after the 1st inning.
That would be more than enough run support for NYIT Bears starter David Plotkin, who was lights out, even taking a no-hitter into the 4th inning. He ran in to trouble in the Top of the 7th, giving up 2 straight walks to Connor Powers and Matt Codispoti, leading to a coaching visit from NYIT Manager Bob Malvagna. After talking it over, he left Plotkin in. Plotkin gave up a single to Patrick Lagravinese to load the bases.
David Plotkin did what most MLB & MiLB pitchers never do anymore, which is get themselves out of a jam they created. Plotkin got Karson Canaday to fly out to shallow center, keeping the bases loaded with 1-out. Tre Todd pinch-hit for Kevin Donati and went down swinging. Plotkin he got Will Miller to ground out to third to end the game, giving the Bears a win and a complete game shutout for David Plotkin.