New London, CT - The Albertus Magnus College Men's Baseball team dropped two hard-fought games to host Coast Guard Academy on Monday afternoon by the scores of 5-4 and 4-1.
The first game featured an exceptional pitching performance by sophomore starter Matt Finkenzeller (Wolcott, CT/Sacred Heart) who had another quality start pitching 6 1/3 innings and walking just one while giving up four runs. Junior catcher Malcom Mendez (New York City, NY/Lower East Side) belted a two-run home run to give the Falcons the 4-3 lead entering the bottom of the sixth inning.
Coast Guard would respond with one run in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 4-4. Albertus would try to take the lead in the top half of the 7th when senior outfielder Kyle Calechman doubled to give the Falcons second and third with one out. Coast Guard closer Tyler Vieira (Dumfries, VA/Potomac Senior) struck out the next two hitters swinging to keep the game tied 4-4.
Following a scoreless bottom of the seventh, the Falcons stranded freshman outfielder Zak Sokolis (Meriden, CT/Maloney) at second base with one out entering the bottom of the eighth inning. After having the first batter of the inning 1-2, a hbp gave Coast Guard a base runner to lead off the bottom of the inning. After a fly ball out of center field and a ground out to second base, Coast Guard had a runner in scoring position with two outs. After another walk, sophomore outfielder Nolan Gallagher (New Milford, CT/New Milford) hit a ground ball up the middle with a play coming in at the plate. The throw from centerfielder Sokolis was strong but up the first base line giving Coast Guard the walk-off 5-4 victory.
The second game featured a strong pitching performance from junior pitcher Cullen Burnell (Litchfield, CT/Litchfield) who went 4 innings giving up 4 runs only two of which where earned while striking out five and walking two. Sophomore James Diddell (Westfield, NJ/Blair Academy) through a complete game four hitter while striking out six and walking one.
The Falcons threatened in the fifth inning trailing 4-1 leaving runners are second and third before a called third strike ended the Falcon threat.
The young Falcons drop to 3-9, 0-0 GNAC this season while Coast Guard improves to 12-7 overall this season.
Albertus travels to Newburgh, NY to take on host Mount Saint Mary College in non-conference action with the first pitch scheduled for 4:00 pm.