Casali and Corbi Hit Back-to-Back Homers but UMBC Drops Both Games of Doubleheader at Hartford
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Hartford lefty Sean Newcomb tossed a complete-game two-hitter in game one and but the UMBC bats mounted a rally in game two, ultimately falling short, as the Retriever baseball team dropped both games of the doubleheader, Saturday afternoon in America East play at Fiondella Field.
Newcomb (5-2) entered the game with the tenth-best ERA in the country and limited the UMBC (13-23, 6-11 AE) offense in the complete game effort, as Hartford won 4-0. The lefty struck out nine while issuing two walks. Senior Mac Gill (Bethesda, Md./Walter Johnson) pitched well for the Retrievers, but Hartford (26-17, 12-4 AE) scored once in the first and never looked back. Gill (1-5) surrendered just four runs, three earned, while striking one out and walking one as well.
Freshman Andrew Casali (New Canaan, Conn./New Canaan) and junior Vince Corbi (Medford, N.J./Shawnee) hit back-to-back round trippers in the second game to cut into the Hartford lead, but the Hawks completed the sweep on the day with a 9-3 win.
Sophomore Kevin Lachance (Clifton, Va./Centreville) drew a lead-off walk in the top of the first in game one, but was erased immediately on a double play ball. Newcomb then got a swinging strike out to send the Retrievers down. In the bottom half, Ryan Lukach hit a 1-out single up the middle to plate Adam Touhey and give the hosts the lead. Gill avoided further damage, however, inducing a 4-6-3 inning-ending double play.
Both pitchers held the opposition off the board in the second, and Newcomb worked around a two-out single by senior Rob McCabe (Philadelphia, Pa./St. Joseph's Prep), before Hartford added to its lead with an RBI ground out by Lukach.
The pitchers continued to battle in the middle innings with neither team able to scratch a run in the fourth. The Hawks doubled their lead in the bottom of the fifth, though, as Lukach singled in another run and then James Alfonso followed with another run-scoring single to round out the scoring.
In the ninth, Lachance was hit-by-pitch to start the inning and then Casali singled to center to put two on with no outs. A fly out, ground out, and pop out, however, put an end to the rally and closed out the game.
Hartford started game two hot, scoring four first-inning runs against sophomore Riley Stephenson (Frederick, Md./Boonsboro). The Hawks added another run in the second, but the Retrievers answered in the top of the third.
After two outs to start the inning, Casali smacked the first pitch he saw over the right field fence, and then junior Vince Corbi (Medford, N.J./Shawnee) pulled his first career jack over the left field fence to cut the lead to 5-2. Freshman Hunter Dolshun (Warwick, N.Y./Warwick Valley) followed with a double to right and then sophomore Mark Esposito (Bethany, Conn./Amity Regional) yanked a single to left to put runners on the corners with two down. Hartford starter Brian Hunter was then able to get a line out to cut the rally short.
Hartford answered in the bottom half and knocked Stephenson out of the game with three runs to push the lead to five at 8-3. The Hawks put two more runners on but junior Bobby Applegate (Somerdale, N.J./Sterling/Gloucester County College) worked out of it.
Neither team pushed a run across in the fourth before the Hawks pushed their lead to seven, 9-2, on an RBI single to right by Aaron Wilson.
The Retrievers got one back in the top of the sixth as Esposito laced a lead-off single to left and eventually came around to score as the Hartford shortstop threw errantly on a ground ball off the bat of McCabe.
The Retrievers and Hawks finish the three-game set on Sunday afternoon with first pitch scheduled for 12:00 p.m.
- With the two wins, Hartford evened the all-time America East series between the two clubs at 21-21. UMBC still leads the all-time series, 23-21.
- The Hawks have won eight straight matchups with the Retrievers at Fiondella Field.
- UMBC last hit two home runs in the same game during a 7-3 win at Hartford on May 5, 2012. That was also the last time the Retrievers defeated the Hawks in Connecticut.