The Hofstra baseball team fell to 4-14 on the year after getting swept in a three-game series this weekend to the University of Albany, SUNY at Salem Memorial Ballpark in Salem, Virginia.
A three-run sixth inning was not enough for Hofstra to topple Albany, losing 7-6 in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday.
Down 5-1 in the top of the sixth inning, designated hitter Nick Bottari, who found himself in the lineup for the first time in 13 days, singled home Steven Foster to close the deficit to three runs. Vito Friscia scrapped across another run for Hofstra, scoring Brad Witkowski on a fielder’s choice, which was followed by a Mikey Riesner RBI double to cap the inning – a 5-4 ballgame heading to the bottom of the sixth.
Albany’s Matt Hinchy delivered a clutch two-run home run, giving the Great Danes a 7-4 lead, one which they would never lose.
Hofstra showed fight in the following innings, but could not register enough runs to tie the game up. In the seventh, Witkowski roped a RBI single to push the game to two runs, but the Pride stranded two baserunners to close out the inning.
In the ninth inning, freshman Vinnie Costello launched his third home run of the year, a solo shot that made the game 7-6. A few batters later, Foster kept Hofstra’s hopes alive with a single, but Albany’s Dominic Savino managed to get the final two outs to seal the Game 1 victory. Savino recorded the save, pitching three innings while allowing two runs on four hits and two walks.
Jack McClure earned the win after a quality outing; he went five innings with just one earned run surrendered.
For the Pride, Teddy Cillis fell to 0-3, scattering nine hits and five runs (four earned) over five innings. He struck out four batters.
Both teams logged 11 hits in the game. Foster and Costello each had three hits for Hofstra, while Kyle Sacks picked up three for Albany. Bottari finished with two runs batted in.
In a game that lasted just seven innings, Hofstra dropped its fifth one-run game of the season, falling 4-3 in the second game of the doubleheader.
The Pride jumped out of the gate with a two-run first inning. Foster led off with a single, followed by a stolen base. Cillis then reached base on an error by Albany’s third baseman. Three batters later, Bottari recorded his ninth RBI of the year with a single to score Foster.
Not having a run batted in through the first 16 games of his final season, David Leiderman took advantage of the error earlier in the inning and smacked a single, which brought home Cillis.
Albany answered right back in the home half of the first and took the lead 3-2, thanks to RBI singles by Hinchy and Sacks. Marc Wangenstein gave the Great Danes the lead with a sacrifice fly to center field.
After a few quiet innings from each offenses, Hofstra tied it at 3-3 in the fourth. With the bases loaded and no outs, Parker Quinn managed to score Bottari on a fielder’s choice. But that would be all the scoring in the frame after Justin Smith grounded into a double play to end it.
Albany scratched across one run in the bottom of the seventh, a sacrifice fly by Travis Collins to give Albany the 4-3 win.
David Hutchison received the win, tossing the final inning without a run surrendered. Brendan Smith started for the Great Danes and went six innings, striking out five batters with three runs (one earned) allowed.
For Hofstra, Jorge Marrero scooped up the loss. The transfer gave up just one earned run over six innings, but Hofstra’s two errors had him allow four total. Marrero fanned six batters, walked three and allowed three hits. His season earned run average is now at 2.30 in 27.1 innings.
On the offensive end, both teams combined for just nine hits. For Albany, Collins, Hinchy and Sacks had one hit apiece. For Hofstra, Foster, Bottari and Leiderman logged two hits each.
John Rooney’s stellar performance was not enough to edge Albany in the series finale, losing 3-1 Sunday morning.
Sophomore southpaw Rooney, coming off a tough outing against Troy University, kept the Great Danes to two runs through six innings with seven strikeouts and just three hits.
Overall, Albany had a very tough time figuring him out. Besides walking four batters in the second inning – which allowed only one run to score – Albany’s biggest threat to Rooney came in the sixth inning, a RBI triple by Wangenstein to give them a 2-1 lead.
Rooney’s opponent, Kenny McLean, pitched just as well. The sophomore plated just one runner over 6.2 innings with six strikeouts and no walks. He picked up the win.
Hofstra’s sole run came in the sixth inning on a sacrifice from Riesner.
Steven Foster finished with another multi-hit game – his 10th of the year – which brings his season average to an eye-popping .361. He went 2-for-4 with a double and 7-for-12 overall in the three-game series.
Going 1-for-4, Bottari extended his hitting streak to four games.
For the series, junior Chris Weiss accumulated 3.2 innings in two appearances, allowing one earned run with four strikeouts. His season ERA is now at 2.81.
Hofstra has one more game before conference play begins. They take on New York Institute of Technology on March 21 in Old Westbury, New York at 3:30 p.m.