WASHINGTON - A game that looked bleak heading into the last at-bat for Gallaudet University turned into a near miss victory as a three-run rally ended on a double play as visiting SUNY Poly swept the host Bison on a picturesque Saturday afternoon. The Wildcats held onto a 5-4 win after they rallied to beat the Bison, 4-2, in the first game in a North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) doubleheader at Hoy Field.
Gallaudet (3-18, 1-3 NEAC) hit into five double plays and left 15 runners on base in the twinbill with SUNY Poly (6-7, 2-0 NEAC), formerly known as SUNYIT. GU outhit SUNY Poly in both games as the Bison had 12 hits in the first game and eight in the second. Fielding and situational hitting continues to be Gallaudet's Achilles' heel. The Bison had five errors in the second game and a major error in the first game, which allowed the Wildcats to score three runs late to take control of the game.
SUNY Poly led 4-1 after two innings as both teams settled into the second game of the doubleheader. The Wildcats scored a crucial insurance run in the top of the seventh before Gallaudet faced its last three outs down four runs, 5-1.
Starting left-handed pitcher Jeff Albright (2-0) walked the first two batters and surrendered back-to-back singles to junior Brad Stockdill (New Castle, Pa.) and senior Tom Pangia (Hammonton, N.J.). The latter of which scored sophomore Zack Crawford (Newnan, Ga.) and left the bases loaded for closer Joseph Redmond (four saves) to deal with in the bottom of the seventh.
Freshman Dylan Hayes (Endicott, N.Y.) had a perfect sacrifice bunt that scored junior Peter LoDuca (Great Neck, N.Y.) from third base and move the runners over to second and third base. Redmond then issued a walk to junior Chase Magsig (Hudsonville, Mich.) to load the bases back up with one out. Sophomore Justin Strong (Charlotte, N.C.) singled up the middle as SUNY Poly shortstop Dante Rose knocked the ball down, which kept it from getting to the outfield, as only one run scored. Gallaudet had the bases loaded and the game-tying run only 90 feet away when senior Mitchell Bensman (Russia, Ohio) stepped to the plate. On the first pitch, Bensman hit a hard shot to first baseman Tyler Vyce, who threw home to get the second out, and catcher Dylan Gorski threw the ball back to Vyce to turn the double play and end the game.
Hayes (0-5) took the loss as he threw a complete game and allowed five runs (one earned) on five hits, seven walks and one strikeout. The right-hander had two wild pitches, two balks and one hit batter while LoDuca had three passed balls.
In the first game, Gallaudet held a 2-1 lead heading into the eighth inning. Rose came to the plate with one out and a runner on second base. He grounded out to Bensman at shortstop but a routine play turned awry as a throwing error allowed Rose to make it to second base and place a runner at third base. Raymond Smith then singled to right field to knot the game at two and end the day for starting pitcher Blake Phillips (Dalton, Ga.). Junior Ben Coleman (St. Paris, Ohio) came in from the bullpen and hit his first batter before Joseph O'Rourke singled up the middle to score two runs. The Wildcats ended the three-run inning when they hit into a double play.
Phillips (2-5) allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits, two walks as he struck out three in 7.1 innings pitched. Reliever Alex Helenek (2-1) earned the win for the Wildcats as he pitched the last three innings of scoreless relief as he surrendered two hits.
Gallaudet will host Cazenovia College (7-8, 2-0 NEAC) tomorrow (Sunday) for a NEAC doubleheader starting at noon.