North Attleboro, Mass. - Freshman Elijah Spataj (Cheshire, Conn.) hit a pair of home runs, including a grand slam in game two, as the Albertus Magnus College baseball team split a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) doubleheader to Anna Maria College on Saturday afternoon at the New England Baseball Complex.
FINAL (G1): Anna Maria 11 | Albertus Magnus 5
FINAL (G2): Albertus Magnus 11 | Anna Maria 10
RECORDS: Albertus Magnus (7-4, 1-1) | Anna Maria (8-9, 1-1)
KEY HIGHLIGHTS (Game 1)
- Anna Maria jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after scoring all three runs in the bottom of the first behind a three-hit, one error inning.
- In the top of the third, sophomore Avery Shugrue (Hamden, Conn.) scored the Falcons first run of the game after scoring on a passed ball, but a fly out to right field stranded two players on base ending the visitors' rally, 3-1.
- Anna Maria tacked on an additional three runs in the bottom of the third, including a two-run RBI single from Jackson Dobek, to push its lead to five, 6-1.
- Spataj recorded the Falcons only run in the fourth, 6-2, as the rookie hit a deep ball over the left field fence for his first home run of the season.
- Albertus continued swinging the bat and found themselves down one, 6-5, after Spataj, Matt Warren (Wolcott, Conn.) and Joseph Matthews (Anaheim, Calif.) each recorded an RBI single in the top of the fifth.
- In the bottom of the sixth, the AMCATS came alive at the plate scoring five runs on six hits to put the game away, 11-5.
KEY STATS (Game 1)
- Spataj finished the game 3-for-4 at the plate with a run scored and two RBI.
- Matthews tallied two of the Falcons' nine hits.
- Sophomore Nick Miller (Union, N.J.) earned the loss and falls to 1-2 on the year.
- Anna Maria had four players register at least two hits, including three from Noah Holland.
KEY HIGHLIGHTS (Game 2)
- Albertus opened game two scoring four-runs on two hits and a AMCAT error to take the early lead until a half inning later as a pair of RBI's from Kosta Drosidis and Dobek cut the lead in half, 4-2.
- The Falcons recorded an impressive at bat as the visitors drove in six runs, including a grand slam from Spataj, to take a commanding 10-2 lead entering the bottom of the second.
- Shortly after, Anna Maria found themselves within one, 10-9, after scoring eight runs over three and a half innings of play.
- A RBI from Daniel Kennedy (Manchester, Conn.) in the top of the sixth gave the Falcons a two-run cushion, 11-9, but Anna Maria continued to fight back as the hosts scored a run in the bottom of the sixth, 11-10. However, a strikeout from the AMCATS ended the inning and left the game-winning run on base.
- Anna Maria saw its comeback fall short as the hosts were unable to get a rally going or even a runner on base during its final at bat.
KEY STATS (Game 2)
- Matthews was 3-for-3 at the plate with two RBI.
- Four different players from Albertus drove in two runs.
- Along with Matthews, Warren finished with two RBI.
- Senior Daunte Brinkley (Hartford, Conn.) picked up the win for Albertus and improves to 1-1 on the season.
- Sophomore Dan DeBartolomeo (Fairfield, Conn.) earned his first save as well as recorded a strikeout.
Albertus resumes non-conference play on Monday, March 25 with a home tilt against Coast Guard Academy. First pitch is set for 4PM at Rochford Field.