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Baseball unable to seal series win in first games at home

Hofstra baseball dropped its rubber match against University at Albany, SUNY 6-4 on Sunday to lose the home-opening series.

“Definitely hate losing the tie-breaker game. It’s not a good way to go into CAA play,” said head coach John Russo. “It’s something we want to put pride into and win on Sundays.”

After a 9-8 win Saturday in the first game of the twin bill to extend the team’s win streak to nine games, Hofstra dropped the following two games to Albany.

In the Sunday matchup, the Great Danes (7-5) responded to a two-run third inning from the Pride with four runs of their own in the top half of the fourth.

Marc Wangenstein scored on a wild pitch thrown by Teddy Cillis, advancing Patrick Lagravinese to third base. The next batter, Matt Codispoti, drove him home on a RBI single into left field.

A few batters later, Nick Condo brought home two more runs on an infield hit to shortstop. Hofstra’s Austin Gauthier threw a costly error, which caused both runners to cross the plate to make it 4-2 in favor of Albany.

The Pride tried to claw its way back on sacrifice fly runs batted in from Parker Quinn and Gauthier in the following innings, but was not enough to hold off the road team.

“We had a few chances to do some damage with runners in scoring position. We didn’t do much offensively,” Russo said. “We weren’t as good as what we needed to be.”

Cillis was given the loss, his first of the season. He went five innings with eight strikeouts and four runs allowed (two earned). Seamus Brazill and Brad Camarda relieved Cillis, allowing three hits and two runs combined.

John Clayton received the win in a six-inning performance, striking out five batters and surrendering three runs (two earned). Dan Yankowksi got the save in 2.2 shutout innings with three strikeouts.

For the series, Albany was struck out 33 times by Hofstra pitchers. Offensively, the Pride was fanned 32 times.

Vito Friscia, Tyler White and Mikey Riesner contributed two hits each in the contest. Friscia picked up his team-leading 11th RBI of the season while continuing his hit streak to eight consecutive games.

“Our offense right now is surrounded around Vito,” Russo said. “He’s really swinging the back good.”

Gauthier added two runs batted in, totaling five for the series.

Hofstra (9-4) returns to action March 23 for its first taste of CAA play, flying down to North Carolina to face UNCW (14-6) in a three-game set.

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