1991 & 1997 NCAA Division III National Champions

Southern Maine Wins 15th Straight, Down UMass Boston 12-6

Junior Matt Verrier hit his first home run of the season Tuesday night against UMass Boston as the Huskies defeated UMB 12-6.
Junior Matt Verrier hit his first home run of the season Tuesday night against UMass Boston as the Huskies defeated UMB 12-6.

            BROCKTON, Mass. -- Freshman right-hander Shyler Scates (Jefferson, Maine/Erskine Academy) pitch seven strong innings to earn his second victory of the season as the nationally ranked University of Southern Maine Huskies defeated the University of Massachusetts Boston Beacons, 12-6, in Little East Conference action Tuesday night at Campanelli Stadium.

            The Huskies, ranked 17th in this week's ABCA Division III poll and 18th in the D3baseball.com poll, extended their current winning streak to 15 games and improved to 21-3 overall.  The Huskies remain undefeated in LEC play at 5-0.  The Beacons dropped their third straight game, and sixth in the last seven, to slip to 10-14 overall and 4-3 in LEC play.

            Scates scattered eight hits and walked only one to pick up his second win.  Scates struck out three in his longest outing of the season.  Sophomore Andrew Richards (South Portland, Maine) came on to get the final four outs, including two strikeouts.

            The Huskies never trailed taking a 2-0 lead in the first inning as rookie Sam Dexter (Oakland, Maine/Messalonskee) opened the game with a triple, and scored on a single by junior Forrest Chadwick (Gardiner, Maine).  Chadwick scored on a two-out single by junior Chris Bernard (Scarborough, Maine).

            Junior Matt Verrier (Norway, Maine/Oxford Hills) increased the Huskies' lead to 3-0 with a solo home run in the fourth inning.

            The Beacons responded in home half of the fourth on a two-run single by sophomore Patrick Murphy (Stamford, Conn./Trinity Catholic).

            Senior Nick Grady (Whitefield, Maine/Erskine Academy) extended his hitting streak to 21 games with a two-run double in the fifth inning, and later scored on senior John Carey's (South Portland, Maine) ground out as the Huskies expanded their lead to 6-2.

            USM added a single run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly from Grady, and two unearned markers in the eighth on Bernard's RBI triple and an RBI single by senior Anthony Pisani (Cheshire, Conn./Notre Dame).

            A leadoff double by junior Jose Pena (Boston, Mass./O'Bryant) in the eight ended Scates' night.  Freshman Ryan Browner (Georgetown, Mass.) came on to record two outs before an infield error brought home a run and kept the Beacons' inning alive.  Richards relieved Browner and a second error loaded the bases for Murphy who slammed a bases-clearing triple to left-center field to close the gap to 9-6.

            Southern Maine added three insurance runs in the top of the ninth in a Carey RBI single, an error and a double steal.

            Dexter, Carey and Bernard each had two hits for the Huskies.  Grady had three RBI.  Murphy finished the night with five RBI for the Beacons.  Senior right-hander Mike Boughton (New Britain, Conn.) started on the hill for the Beacons and went five innings took the loss.

            Southern Maine returns home on Wednesday (3:30 p.m.) to host Endicott College.  UMass Boston travels to Salem State University on Wednesday (3:30 p.m.).