GORHAM, Maine – Sophomore OF Nick Grady (Whitefield, Maine/Erskine Academy) was 6-for-9 over two games with seven runs batted in to lead the University of Southern Maine Huskies to a Little East Conference doubleheader split with the UMass Dartmouth Corsairs Friday afternoon at the USM Baseball Stadium in Gorham, Maine.
The Corsairs earned an 8-7 come-from-behind victory in the opener, while the Huskies took the spilt with an 18-8 seven-inning win in the second game. The second game was called due in the seventh inning due to the 10-run rule.
With the split, Southern Maine stands at 20-16 overall and 6-8 in the Little East Conference. The Corsairs are 15-20 overall and 8-6 in the conference. Both teams concluded their Little East Conference schedules. The Corsairs are guaranteed a spot in the six-team tournament; however the Huskies' fate rests in the hands of other games in action.
Grady was a one-man offensive unit in the second game, finishing the game 5-for-5 at the plate with five RBI and three runs scored. Grady finished a double shy of hitting for the cycle collecting a homerun, a triple and three singles in the win. The Huskies hit four homeruns in their second game winning, including senior 1B Mike Eaton's (Sabbatus, Maine/Oak Hill) team-leading 12th of the season. Freshman 3B Forrest Chadwick (Gardiner, Maine) and freshman 2B Troy Thibodeau (Danvers, Mass./New Hampton) each had homeruns.
Trailing 6-1 after three and a half innings, the Huskies pulled to within two runs of the Corsairs with three runs in the bottom of the fourth. Eaton started the rally with a two-run homerun to center field and was followed by a solo shot from Grady.
USM took the lead in the bottom of the fifth, plating five runs on four hits and three Corsairs fielding errors. Thibodeau, Grady and Chadwick each had RBIs in the inning for the 9-6 USM lead. The Huskies blew the game open in the bottom of the sixth with four runs to lead 13-6. Chadwick nailed his seventh homerun of the season in the sixth inning with a three-run shot to right-center field, while Grady plated the Huskies fourth run of the inning with an RBI single.
The Corsairs took two runs back in the top of the seventh on RBI singles from freshman OF Wayne Bolz (Billerica, Mass.) and freshman 2B Bedward Ortiz (Worcester, Mass./Doherty), but the Huskies responded with five runs in the bottom half of the inning for the 18-8 final. USM sophomore Brennan Perry (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) earned the win on the mound firing 4.1 innings of solid relief pitching allowing three earned runs on five hits and three walks. Senior P Shane Campbell (Marlboro, Mass.) was saddled with the loss for the Corsairs, allowing nine earned runs on nine hits and a walk.
In the opener, the Corsairs rallied from a 6-3 deficit heading into the eighth inning to pick up the 8-7 victory. Trailing 6-3 in the top of the eighth, the Corsairs scored four runs on three hits. Senior C Matt Ryan (Uxbridge, Mass.) keyed the UMD surge with one of his three homeruns of the day, knocking out a three-run homerun over the right field fence to pull the Corsairs even with the Huskies. Junior 1B Anthony Fiorita (North Reading, Mass./St. John's Prep) drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI single down the left field line.
The Huskies bounced back to knot the score up in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI single from junior OF David Ricker (Winthrop, Maine), but the Corsairs answered with an RBI single of their own from junior 3B John Granahan (Hanover, Mass.) for an 8-7 lead. Corsair junior P Pat Lavey (Cranston, R.I./Cranston East), who entered the game in the seventh inning, earned the win, retiring the Huskies in order in the bottom half of the ninth.
The Corsairs' Ryan finished the game with five runs batted in on a 2-for-5 performance at the plate, hitting a pair of homeruns.
Southern Maine returns to action on Saturday (12:00 p.m.) at Bates College. UMass Dartmouth hosts Suffolk University on Monday (3:00 p.m.).