BALTIMORE – Coming off of a season-high offensive output in Wednesday's 17-5 win over Delaware State at Alumni Field, the UMBC baseball team travels to New York for the second straight weekend, this time to the state capital, to face Albany for a three-game America East series. The Retrievers and Great Danes will play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 12:00 p.m. and then finish the series with a single game on Sunday.
UMBC (7-18, 3-6 AE) banged out 13 hits and drew 12 walks en route to the mid-week win over the Hornets. Freshman Hunter Dolshun (Warwick, N.Y./Warwick Valley) went 2-for-4 with three RBI and three runs scored to extend his hit streak to 14 games.
The Retrievers are currently on the outside looking in at the four-team America East tournament, sitting in sixth. UMBC only won one at home to start the conference schedule against Albany, but responded by winning the series against Maine the next weekend. Last week, UMBC was swept by Binghamton in Vestal, N.Y.
Albany (7-16, 4-5 AE) took two of three from UMBC in Baltimore back on March 15-16 to start the conference season for both teams. Since, the Great Danes were swept by Stony Brook before winning two of three at home versus UMass Lowell. Albany rallied to beat Marist, 7-6, in ten innings on Tuesday as Richard Bacon doubled in Alex Lushkevich for the winning run.
The series opener will feature a pair of right-handers as sophomore Riley Stephenson (Frederick, Md./Boonsboro) takes the ball for the Retrievers and junior Matt Gallup (1-2, 8.37 ERA) throws for the hosts. Stephenson (1-3, 5.72 ERA) pitched 5.1 innings against Albany on March 16, allowing two unearned runs, but was no-decisioned as the Great Danes rallied late.
In game two, senior Mac Gill (Bethesda, Md./Walter Johnson) looks to get back on track while freshman Stephen Woods (1-2, 7.32 ERA) goes for Albany. Gill (1-3, 3.44 ERA) started the season with four straight quality starts, which in included an 8.1-inning start in the series opener against Albany on March 15. The veteran righty held the Great Danes to two runs while scattering eight hits as the Retrievers walked-off with the win in the bottom of the ninth.
Two southpaws get the ball in the finale as sophomore Joe Vanderplas (Fairfax, Va./Fairfax/Tennessee) heads to the bump for UMBC and Albany counters with senior Kevin Archibold (1-0, 1.38 ERA). Vanderplas (0-2, 2.91 ERA) went four innings in his first America East start against Albany, limiting the opposition to one run on five hits.
Dolshun has paced the Retriever offense as of late and is hitting a team-best .342 for the season and .333 in conference play. During his hit streak, the rookie infielder/catcher is hitting .392 (20-for-51) while also drawing nine walks. Classmate Andrew Casali (New Canaan, Conn./New Canaan) is currently riding an 11-game hit streak and has raised his average to .287 this season.
Evan Harasta is hitting a team-best .301 for Albany while Craig Lepre has driven in 18 runs for the Great Danes. Josh Nethaway went 5-for-13 and drove in five runs in the teams' first series of the year, launching a home run in the second game to spark Albany's rally.
Albany leads the all-time series with UMBC, 30-11, with all of the meetings coming since 2004 when UMBC joined the America East.
- UMBC has not won at Albany since earning a 10-8 win on May 11, 2007.
- The Retrievers stole three bases in the series against the Great Danes earlier this year and have swiped 34 bags total this season.
- Dolshun has also reached base in 19 straight games while junior Jake Barnes (Annandale, Va./Annandale) holds a 12-game streak and Casali is on an 11-game run.
- Dolshun is batting .423 (11-for-26) as the lead-off hitter in an inning.