|Hunter Ralston||Connor Harding|
SCRANTON - Freshman starter Hunter Ralston (Duryea, Pa./Pittston Area) pitched a gem in game one of a doubleheader with Albright on Saturday at Volpe Field, tossing a complete game while scattering just three hits to lead The University of Scranton baseball team to a 2-1 win.
In game two, Albright rallied from a deficit in the top of the seventh to take a 3-2 victory over the Royals. With the split, Scranton moved to 1-4 on the year, while Albright went to 4-3.
Offense was tough to come by for both teams on a cool, windy day at Volpe Field in both games Saturday, as Scranton did just enough at the plate to help Ralston earn his first collegiate win.
The first run of the entire game one contest did not come until the bottom of the fifth, as with two away and junior Connor Harding (Vestal, N.Y./Vestal) on first, senior Kevin Haag (Ossining, N.Y./Ossining/Bridgton Academy (Maine)) knocked home Harding on an RBI double down the left field line, giving Scranton the 1-0 edge.
After a quiet Albright sixth, Scranton tacked on an insurance run in the bottom half, as sophomore John Boscarino (Wayne, N.J./Wayne Valley) knocked home freshman pinch-runner Anthony Tramonte (Mineola, N.Y./Chaminade) on an RBI single from second, giving Scranton the 2-0 edge entering the top half of the seventh.
There, Albright made things interesting after finally getting to Ralston. With one away, Scranton made an error, which enabled Albright to finally crack the scoreboard with an RBI double to slice the Royals' lead in half.
With a runner on second, Albright connected on a single, putting runners on the corners with one away. With the tying run on third and the go-ahead run on first, Ralston, however, wiggled out of the jam, as he forced a double play to end the game and give the Royals their first victory of the 2020 season.
Overall, Harding was the lone player in the Royals lineup to have multiple hits, going 2-for-3 from the leadoff spot. Ralston, meanwhile, was terrific in the win, allowing two of the three hits he surrendered in the final inning and the other in the sixth (he tossed 5 and a third of no-hit baseball in the win). He also finished with four strikeouts, as well.
In game two, Albright jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first, which was countered by Scranton in the bottom of the second when Harding brought home junior Matthew Pinto (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa) on an RBI bunt single.
The Royals pitching staff was once again strong well into the later portions of the game, as the contest entered the bottom of the sixth still tied up at one. There and with two outs, Harding knocked home Tramonte on an RBI single up the middle with two outs, giving Scranton a 2-1 edge entering the seventh.
But, there, Albright rallied, scoring on an error to tie the game, then an RBI single with one out to take the lead. Down by one entering the bottom half of the frame, Scranton went down in order in the inning, preserving the one-score win for Albright.
Overall, Harding once again led the offense going 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a walk. On the mound, Scranton's pitching staff was strong in a losing effort, allowing just five hits and one earned run, as freshman Daniel Johnson (Whitehouse Station, N.J./Immaculata) took the defeat (0-1).
The University of Scranton baseball team returns to action on Sunday, taking on SUNY Brockport in a single, nine-inning contest at Volpe Field. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.