1991 & 1997 NCAA Division III National Champions

Southern Maine Sweeps Plymouth State, 6-2 and 17-7 (8 inn.)

Junior Nick Grady (second from right) gets congratulations from his teammates after hitting a two-run homer against Plymouth State on Saturday.
Junior Nick Grady (second from right) gets congratulations from his teammates after hitting a two-run homer against Plymouth State on Saturday.

            GORHAM, Maine -- Senior David Ricker (Winthrop, Maine) and junior Nick Grady (Whitefield, Maine/Erskine) combined for six hits and eight RBI to give the University of Southern Maine Huskies a 17-7, eight-inning victory over the Plymouth State University Panthers in the second game of the teams' Little East Conference baseball doubleheader Saturday afternoon at the USM Baseball Stadium.  The Huskies took the opening game of the twin bill by a 6-2 count.

            The sweep improves the Huskies' overall mark to 16-14, and 7-3 in Little East play.  The Panthers have dropped their last three games, and slipped to 12-18 overall and 2-8 in the conference.

            In the opener, the Huskies got a strong combined pitching performance from seniors Ben Ives (Portland, Maine/Deering) and Dustin Stanton (Cornish, Maine/Sacopee Valley) and junior Nick Douglass (Poland, Maine).  Ives picked up his seventh win of the season going five innings, allowing five hits, one earned run and a walk while fanning three.  Stanton and Douglass combined for four shutout innings of relief.  Douglass picked up his fourth save throwing 2.2 hitless innings while striking out a season-high six.

            Sophomore John Carey (South Portland, Maine) and junior Brett Barrett (Keene, N.H.) each had three hits for the Huskies.  Barrett hit his first home run of the season in the fourth inning and had two RBI.

            For the Panthers, senior Mike Cappiello (Westfield, N.J.) was the lone repeat hitter with a pair of singles.  Starting pitcher Bobby Chatfield (Sharon, Conn./Housatonic Valley Regional) absorbed his four loss of the campaign after going 6.2 innings surrendering nine hits, six runs (five earned) and two walks to go along with seven strikeouts.

After three scoreless innings, the Panthers took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Cappiello scored on a double play.  Barrett erased the deficit with his two-run homer in the home half of the inning.

            PSU tied the game in the next inning when pinch runner David Foote (North Andover, Mass.) scored on junior Steve Beard's (Middleton, Mass./Masconomet Regional) groundout.  The Huskies answered right back with three runs on Grady's two-run single and an RBI squeeze bunt by sophomore Forrest Chadwick (Gardiner, Maine).

            In the nightcap, the Huskies put the game away in the home half of the eighth with a seven-run outburst.  The Panthers had closed to within three (10-7) with a trio of unearned runs in their half of the inning.  Junior Brendan Cosgrove (Merrimack, N.H.) and rookie Paul Reny (South Portland, Maine) walked with the bases loaded to force home the first two runs before junior Rew Wilson (Niantic, Conn.) scored on a wild pitch.

            The Huskies combined seven hits and two walks into seven runs that invoked the 10-run rule.  Grady had a two-run double and Chadwick stroked an RBI triple to highlight the inning.  Sophomore Matt Powers (Portland, Maine/Deering) ended the game with his RBI single up the middle.

            Grady had a single, double and his fifth home run of the year while Ricker had a single and two triples.  Both drove in four runs.  Chadwick finished the nightcap with three hits, including a triple.  Seven of the nine USM batters in the lineup had at least two hits.

            Sophomore Logan Carman (Newfields, N.H./Laurel Springs, Calif.) pitched into the eighth inning allowing only five hits, three earned runs and one walk while striking out four.

            Beard had a two-run triple and reached base three times.  Starter Jonathan Bishop (Woburn, Mass.), the first of four PSU hurlers used, took the loss.  Sophomore Jeff Runnals (Wolfeboro, N.H./Kingswood) put in a solid 3.1 innings of relief work to keep the Panthers within striking distance.

            Southern Maine is slated to play nationally-ranked Wheaton College tomorrow (Note time change - 12:00 p.m.).  Plymouth State's next action will be a non-conference doubleheader at Colby College on Sunday (12:00 p.m.).