Pioneers Comeback Falls Short as Albany Takes Matchup on Late Home Run

Pioneers Comeback Falls Short as Albany Takes Matchup on Late Home Run

ALBANY, N.Y.— A leadoff home run by Eric Muller in the bottom of the eighth inning gave the University of Albany the 14-13 edge over the Sacred Heart baseball team in the last non-conference game of the season on Tuesday afternoon. The Pioneers (18-33) erased a five-run deficit in the top of the seventh before the Great Danes (22-23) tied the score in the bottom half of the inning.

SHU recorded 15 hits on the day with senior Keith Klebart and freshman Austin Markmann leading the way with three hits each. Redshirt junior PJ DeFilippo and freshman Stephen Thibault also recorded two hits. Klebart, Markmann and DeFilippo all picked up two runs batted in. 

Albany got off to the early 3-0 lead on RBI double by Connor Powers and a two-run homer by Kevin Donati in the bottom of the first inning. The Pioneers got one run back on junior Dan Schock's RBI single in the top of the second after DeFilippo opened the inning with a double. 

The Great Danes continued to capitalized off the long ball as Nick Kondo and Travis Collins both hit three-run jacks in the bottom of the second to take the 9-1 lead. Junior Alex Perry scored the Pioneers lone run in the third on a passed ball. SHU added two more in the top of the fourth as Markmann plated the RBI single up the middle and later scored on a wild pitch by Angelo Spedafino. Graduate Franklin Miller did a stellar job out of the bullpen holding Albany to just three hits over three and two third innings.

Freshman Elijah Brown led off the top of the seventh inning with a solo home run to kick start the Pioneers rally. Klebart and DeFilippo added back-to-back two RBI doubles to tie the game at 9-9. Markmann gave the Pioneers the lead with the RBI single up the middle. He later scored on an error by Charlie Peltz. Thibault and senior Ted Shaw added back-to-back RBI singles to give the Pioneers the 13-9 lead.

Albany answered with a four-run bottom of the seventh inning as Kondo picked up the RBI single. Powers added the RBI groundout to second. Donati pulled the two RBI single to first base with Kondo hustling in from second to tie the game at 13-13. Junior James Taubl relieved graduate Mike Lembo in the bottom of the eighth as Mueller lined the offering from the left hander over the left field fence for the Great Danes fourth home run of the game. Dominic Savino held the Pioneers to one hit in the last two innings to take the ballgame.

The Pioneers wrap up the regular season with a pivotal four-game series at LIU Brooklyn for  a spot in the Northeast Conference Baseball Tournament. The series opens Thursday, May 18 at 3:00 p.m.