Albany State drops opening game in NCAA Baseball Playoffs
May 18, 2006
Tampa, Fla. - The Albany State University Golden Rams opened the NCAA South
Baseball Regional with a 14-0 loss to the nation's top team and #1 seed the
University of Tampa.
Tampa's Nick Peterson retired the Albany State hitters in order in the top
of the first. Then Tampa got its shot to make a good first impression at the
plate. After both Ryan Kennedy and Craig Corrado flied out to center, Orlando
Rosales reached first, drawing a walk. Next to the plate was the SSC Player
of the Year, Lee Cruz. Cruz fought Albany State's starting pitcher, Brandon
Griffin to a full count, then reached across the plate to hit a one-handed
two-run homerun to left field against the wind.
Jose Jimenez reached first on a goofy play as the next batter. He hit the
ball on a check swing down the first baseline for an apparent easy third out,
but the balled bounced off the bag and over the head of the first baseman,
for a single. Billy Wimberly, last week's SSC Player of the Week, then roped
a triple to the right center gap, driving in Jimenez for the third and final
run of the inning.
Peterson again set the Golden Rams down in order in the second. Troy Ferguson
led off the bottom of the second with a triple to center, and scored on the
next pitch as Kennedy single to left. After Kennedy stole second and advanced
to third on a ground out he was driven in by Cruz, who singled to left collecting
his third RBI of the game. SSC Freshman of the Year, Jimenez hit his 16th homerun
of the season to right. Tampa led after two, 7-0.
Peterson, allowed a walk to Albany State designated hitter Floyd Patterson,
with one out in the third. However, the next play found Patterson taking off
on the pitch for second as Anthony Clay hit a line-drive to center. Rosales
caught the fly ball but Patterson had already rounded second and didn't have
enough time to get back to first to avoid the inning ending double play. After
three innings pitched, Peterson had faced the minimum, striking out four.
The Golden Rams picked up their first hit of the contest as Tyrone Mingle
hit a line-drive single to right, with two out in the top of the fourth.
Tampa was able to manage two walks in each the third and fourth innings, and
one in the fifth, but were unable to convert those free passes into runs.
The top of the fifth saw Albany State load the bases against Peterson before
he was replaced by Jordan Williams. Williams threw a ball in the dirt, getting
away from the catcher. Rosenbaum hustled to corral the ball and made a perfect
throw home where Williams was covering to nail Patterson, who was trying to
score on the wild pitch. Williams struck out the batter on the next pitch to
end the inning.
With the bases full of Spartans in the bottom of the sixth, pinch-hitter JR
Hopf smacked a curve-ball to the right-center gap, clearing the bases. Mena
and Ferguson both reached on base on balls and then Kennedy hit a sacrifice
fly to left, allowing Hopf to score. Earlier in the frame Wimbley drew a bases
loaded walk, collecting his second RBI as Corrado scored. With five runs in
the sixth, Tampa led 12-0.
Pinch-hitter, Jamie McKean came to the plate in the seventh, with Kyle Frontz
on third and hit a long fly ball to center, deep enough for the runner to tag
and score the 13th run of the game.
With his first homerun of the season, Charlie Raley pushed the Spartan lead
to 14, in the eighth.
With his first post-season start as a pitcher for the Spartans, Peterson tossed
5.1 innings allowing no runs on only two hits and striking out eight batters
in earning his third victory of the season. Chris Whitney threw the seventh
and eighth innings and Justin Valdes closed out the game, giving up only a