Altoona, PA – The D'Youville baseball team got their first conference win of the season Saturday afternoon in a high-scoring affair against the Penn State-Altoona Lions, defeating them 12-8 in game one and losing 16-6 in game two.
The first game was broken wide open in the bottom of the second where the Lions would score seven runs, taking a commanding lead. D'Youville would answer in the third inning as Devon Kelly (Rochester, NY/Olympia) led off with a single. Khaled Numan-Ali (Cheektowaga, NY/Cheektowaga) then laid down a sac-bunt to move Kelly over, followed by a single from Dylan Haak (Depew, NY/Depew) to score Kelly. Justin Varney (Henrietta, NY/Rush-Henrietta) would then reach on fielder's choice and would be driven in by Travis Macrides (Manlius, NY/Fayetteville-Manlius), making the score 7-2 after three innings.
D'Youville had an explosive inning of their own in the top of the fifth, taking over the lead from the Lions. Numan-Ali led off with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Haak then singled, scoring Numan-Ali. Varney then singled; followed by a Justin Brackna (Cheektowaga, NY/Maryvale) walk to load the bases. Another single from Macrides would drive in both Haak and Vareny, making it a 7-5 game.
Patrick Mulligan (Buffalo, NY/Hutch Tech) then stepped to the plate and belted a double, scoring Brackna and Macrides to tie the game at 7-7. To cap off the scoring for the Spartans in the inning, Braden Bova (Lancaster, NY/Saint Mary's) singled up the middle, scoring Mulligan and giving D'Youville the lead at 8-7.
Altoona would tie it at eight with a run in the bottom of the inning, but the Spartans would respond in the sixth to take the lead right back. Varney led off with a single with Brackna singling right after him. Macrides would then step to the plate and continue to be a run producing machine as he homered to left field, giving D'Youville a 11-8 lead.
Down to the last inning, Kelly led off the seventh with a single. Haak would double two batters later to bring home Kelly and add an insurance run with the score 12-8 in favor of the Spartans. Altoona was unable to get another run across the plate and they would go on to lose by the same score.
The entire Spartan's lineup had an outstanding day at the plate. D'Youville was led by Macrides as he went 3-5 from the plate with two runs scored, a program record six RBI, and a home run. Each of the top four hitters in the team's lineup – Haak, Varney, and Brackna – each had three hits. Haak added three RBI with Kelly going 2-4 and two runs scored. Varney had a team high three runs with Mulligan adding two RBI.
Bryce Little (Arcade, NY/Pioneer) was outstanding on the mound as he earned his first career win. He went 4.0 innings, allowing one hit and striking out one to get the Spartans the win. Matt Critelli (Camden, NY/Camden) then pitched 2.0 innings, allowing one hit to pick up his first career save.
D'Youville carried their strong offensive performance over into game two of the doubleheader. Varney singled in the top of the first inning with one out. Brackna then singled to put two on for Macrides. He then singled to center field, driving Varney in to give the Spartans a quick 1-0 lead.
The Lions were then able to get their offense going early and do some major damage. They scored four runs in each of the first three innings and two runs in each of the fourth and fifth innings, bringing their total to 16.
With the game out of reach early, the Spartans continued to battle. In the top of the third, Brackna hit a solo homer to give the team a run. They then added two runs in the top of the fifth as Macrides drove in another two runs after Numan-Ali, Haak, and Brackna each got on base.
In the top of the seventh, Varney walked with two outs and was driven home by Brackna in the next at-bat. Moving to the eighth, Macrides led off with a single. After Logan Lipowski (Williamsville, NY/Williamsville East) and Mitchell Mason (Eden, NY/Eden) were hit by pitches, the bases were loaded. Josh Hammer (Amherst, NY/Sweet Home) then came up with two outs to bring home Macrides and bring the game to its final score of 16-6.
Brackna stayed red hot as he went 4-4 from the plate with two RBI and a home run. Macrides also continued to drive in runs with three RBI, setting the record for most RBI in a career for a D'Youville baseball player. He added three hits as well. Varney and Haak each also had two hits with Varney scoring a pair of runs.
One of the biggest parts of the day was Macrides setting the program record with RBI in a season and the program record career RBI. He now has 25 RBI this season and 66 career RBI.
The Spartans will next play this Wednesday, April 18 as they host the Keuka Wolfpack for a non-conference doubleheader. Game one will begin at 1:00pm and the doubleheader will be played at Niagara University.