(Old Westbury, NY) - Continuing a challenging early-season schedule that includes some of the best competition in the northeast, the Albertus Magnus College baseball team headed to SUNY Old Westbury on Saturday to square off with CUNY powerhouse, Baruch, and Skyline Conference power Old Westbury. The result, a split that saw the Falcons lose 12-6 to Baruch before defeating the host Panthers 12-8, left Albertus with continued confidence that the remainder of the 2011 season will be a successful one.
The opener saw Albertus jump out to a 4-0 lead in the third inning after the Falcons capitalized on two Baruch errors that led to the four-run outburst. Freshman Zak Sokolis and junior Jon Almonte both delivered RBI singles during the frame. Baruch, however, rallied for a run in the bottom of the third, and three more the next inning to tie the game at four.
The top of the fifth inning saw the Falcons pull ahead, 6-4 after Sokolis doubled home sophomore Robert Gambardella, and an Almonte single brought home Gambardella to give Albertus the two-run edge. However, the lead would be short lived as Baruch scored five times in the bottom of the fifth inning, and three more times two innings later to break the game wide open.
Sokolis continued his outstanding start to the 2011 season, going 3 for 5 with 2 RBI's and a run scored, while Almonte, senior Kyle Calechman, and freshman Jesse Castaldi had two hits apiece. Overall, both teams had 13 hits, but four Albertus errors and eight walks led to the sixth consecutive defeat for Albertus.
The nightcap proved to be a different story as Albertus exploded for 17 hits overall, only three of which were necessary during a six-run second inning that proved to be enough for the Falcons to score their biggest win of the season. The big blow was a two-run double for Gambardella, and Calechman, senior Bobby Bengivengo, and junior Malcom Mendez also collected RBI's.
Albertus would score single runs in the fourth, fifth, sixth, and eighth innings, and two more in the ninth to secure the win. Sophomore Matthew Finkenzeller notched the win, pitching more than six effective innings, while Bengivengo and freshman Joseph Martinez combined to allow only one unearned run during nearly three innings of relief work.
Offensively, Gambardella had a monster game, as he went 4 for 5 with 4 RBI's and a run scored. In addition, freshman Victor DeSimone went 3 for 4 with 2 runs scored, and four other Falcons had two hits apiece.
Albertus, now 3-6 overall, heads to Newbury College for a 6:00 p.m. doubleheader on Tuesday, March 22.