AUBURNDALE, Florida — Senior right hander Ryan Yates (Norway, Maine/Oxford Hills) pitched 7.2 innings giving up one run on six hits while striking out five to earn the win and lead the University of Southern Maine Huskies baseball team over the No. 21 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks, 7-1, at Lake Myrtle Park Wednesday afternoon.
The win was the fourth straight for the Huskies as they improve to 10-3 overall. The loss snaps a four-game winning streak for the Warhawks, ranked 21st in this week's ABCA poll, as they drop to 7-3 overall.
Yates improves to 1-0 on the year. Sophomore right-hander Andrew Richards (South Portland, Maine) came on for Yates with two outs in the eighth and got the final four UWW batters to ground out to finish the game. UW-Whitewater senior right-hander Tom Kerndt (Lansing, Iowa), who went seven innings giving up seven runs on 10 hits, was tagged with the loss and drops to 2-1 on the season.
Junior Matt Verrier (Norway, Maine/Oxford Hills) went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI to lead Southern Maine at the plate. Four other Huskies tallied two hits on the day. Freshman Sam Dexter (Oakland, Maine/Messalonskee) went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, senior Nick Grady (Whitefield, Maine/Erskine Academy) went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored, junior Troy Thibodeau (Danvers, Mass./New Hampton) finished 2-for-4 with a run scored, and senior Tucker White (Deerfield, N.H./Coe Brown Northwood) was 2-for-5 with an RBI double.
UWW was led by senior Steve Bartlein (South Milwaukee, Wis.) who went 1-for-4 with an RBI single, and junior Dylan Friend (Burlington, Wis.) who singled and scored a run. Seniors Samuel Keller, Jr. (Milwaukee, Wis./Riverside), David Clodis (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic), junior Michael Gonzalez (Delavan, Wis./Delavan-Darien), and sophomore Mikole Pierce (DePere, Wis.) also had hits for Whitewater.
Making just his second appearance of the spring, Yates did not allow a Whitewater batter past first base until the fourth inning when Friend singled and scored two batters later on an RBI single from Bartlein. After Friend scored, Yates didn't allow another Whitewater runner past first base before being relieved by Richards in the eighth.
The Huskies wasted no time getting a run across as Dexter reached on a Whitewater error to open the Huskies first inning, stole second and scored on White's RBI double. The Huskies tacked on three more in the top of the second to take a 4-0 lead. An RBI single by Dexter and a sacrifice fly to right field by sophomore Jake Glauser (Goffstown, N.H.) highlighted the inning.
In the fifth, Grady singled and scored on a two-out error by Whitewater, giving Yates and the Huskies a 5-1 lead. Southern Maine tacked on two more runs in the seventh on an RBI single by Verrier and a sacrifice off the bat of senior Anthony Pisani (Cheshire, Conn./Notre Dame) that scored Verrier and gave the Huskies a 7-1 cushion.
The game concludes the Huskies' nine-game spring trip. They return to action in a non-conference game at Endicott College on Tuesday (3:30 p.m.). The Huskies' scheduled Little East Conference opening doubleheader at Western Connecticut State University on Saturday has been postponed due to unplayable conditions at WCSU. The Warhawks also concluded their spring to Florida, and return to the field for a home doubleheader against Ripon College on Saturday (1:00 p.m.).