The Marist Baseball team played their first home game of the season against the SUNY Albany on Tuesday afternoon. Unfortunately for the Red Foxes, the game did not live up to expectations as they fell to the Great Danes with a final score of 10–2.
Albany got off to a quick start when junior Nick Kondo hit a single on the first pitch of the game. A few pitches later, Marist catcher, Niko Amory, quickly subdued their initial threat. Amory threw Kondo out trying to steal second base.
After that first pitch and hit allowed by Marist freshman Zane Kmietek, only one more hit was scraped by for the rest of his outing. His final stat sheet totaled 5.0 IP, 2H, 3 SO, with a total of 76 pitches thrown — a solid outing to say the least.
The Red Foxes jumped out to an early lead in this crushing loss. It all started with a second inning, two-out rally. The senior from the Bronx, Randy Taveras, worked a full count and ripped a double in the right center field gap. To much surprise, on the next pitch, Taveras took off and stole third base.
At the plate with this golden opportunity was sophomore Gene Napolitano, providing a clutch RBI single. After a Nick Cantone single to right field, the situation was set for Amory, who ended up hitting an RBI double to boost the Red Foxes lead to 2–0.
Once the University of Albany got out of their second inning slump, they did not allow a run for the rest of the game.
Marist did have their opportunities though. In the bottom of the third inning, freshman Brian Hart was left stranded on second. In the bottom of the fourth inning, with the bases loaded, Hart flew out to left field. And in the bottom of the sixth inning, Napolitano was left on second base — yet again, another runner left in scoring position. The chances were there for the Red Foxes, they just could not capitalize on them.
Kmietek held Albany scoreless in his five innings pitched. The one bright spot on this cold and chilly day was the freshmen. “I am from Connecticut, the cold is not anything new to me, and it was not too much of a factor out there,” Kmietek said.
“As the innings started to go on, I started to execute my slider a little bit better,” Kmietek said. “It started off a little loopy in the beginning, but then started to get a lot tighter and better as the game progressed.”
Kmietek was happy with his performance and is excited to keep working to become even more productive in the future. “I did throw a couple good changeups today and plan to focus on this a lot more before my next start,” Kmietek said.
The 2–0 lead held until the top of the seventh inning. It all started when Jason Bottari ripped an RBI single to center for the Great Danes. Once Albany got that first run, there was no looking back. They quickly put four runs on the board in one inning.
From that point, Marist did not have anything going and their bats looked flat. Albany was able to bury the Foxes after their six run ninth inning. A few pitching changes, errors, and hits accumulated to a disastrous inning for Marist.
In the last at bat for Marist, with runners on first and second base, senior Frankie Gregoire grounded out to second base and clinched the game for Albany. The unfortunate day for the Foxes ended the way it began, by leaving runners stranded on base.
Marist now moves to 10–16 on the season and do not return home again until April 13. Their next contest will be a double header with division foe Monmouth University on Sat. April 6.
Edited by Meaghan Roche