GORHAM, Maine -- The University of Southern Maine baseball team benefitted from two solid starting pitching outings by junior southpaw Logan Carman (Newfields, N.H./Laurel Springs) and senior right-hander Ryan Yates (Norway, Maine/Oxford Hills), and some timely hitting to sweep Keene State College, 4-1 and 15-1 (seven innings), in a Little East Conference doubleheader at USM Baseball Stadium Saturday afternoon.
With the sweep, the Huskies snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 27-6 overall and 9-1 in LEC play. The Owls had their seven-game winning streak snapped with the loss in the opener, and dropped to 18-18 overall and 7-5 in the conference.
Carman pitched 8.1 innings giving up one run on six hits while striking out five to get the win in game one. Carman improved to 8-0 on the season. Yates, who pitched 6.0 solid innings giving up one run on five hits while striking out four, earned the win in game two to improve to 5-0 on the year.
Junior Forrest Chadwick (Gardiner, Maine) was 3-for-4 with five RBI — all in the nightcap — to lead USM at the plate on the day. Chadwick relieved Carman with one out in the ninth and retired the two batters he faced to earn his fourth save of the season. Freshman Sam Dexter (Oakland, Maine/Messalonskee) was 4-for-7 with two doubles and three RBI, and senior Anthony Pisani (Cheshire, Conn./Notre Dame) went 4-for-9 with two RBI on the day.
Senior Greg Bates (Salem, N.H./Salem) led Keene State offensively going 3-for-8, including two doubles. Junior Nick Vita (Spofford, N.H./Keene) went 2-for-6 with a home run, and sophomore Ian Seawards (Dover, N.H.) was 2-for-6.
Senior right-hander Spencer Hutchinson (Broad Brook, Conn./East Windsor), who pitched 1.1 innings giving up four runs — two earned — was tagged with the loss in game one and dropped to 1-2 on the season. Senior Chris Crutcher (Londonderry, N.H./Southern New Hampshire) pitched 1.1 innings giving up five runs on seven hits to take the loss in game two and dropped to 2-3 on the year.
Dexter finished 2-for-3 with an RBI, and Pisani and Grady each had a hit and an RBI as the Huskies took advantage of some early scoring opportunities. Although being outhit 6-5, Southern Maine was able to put two runs on the board in both the first and second innings to take a 4-1 lead, and Carman made it stand up while getting some timely help from his defense. Carman now has an outstanding 2.14 ERA in nine appearances this season.
The Huskies scored their two runs in the first inning with two outs. Grady got the scoring started with an RBI single to left center that brought around senior Tucker White (Deerfield, N.H./Coe-Brown Northwood). Chadwick advanced to third on the play and was awarded home plate when an errant Keene State throw went into the dugout, making the score 2-0.
The Owls got a run back in the second to cut the USM lead to 2-1. Sewards singled and freshman Brett Dootson (Marlborough, CT/RHAM) reached on a fielder's choice as Sewards beat the throw to second base. Seawards then advance to third on a fly out and later scored on a successfully executed double steal with Dootson.
The Huskies answered right back with two more runs in the bottom half of the inning. Junior Matt Verrier (Norway, Maine/Oxford Hills) doubled to lead off the inning and advance to third on a passed ball. After junior Troy Thibodeau (Danvers, Mass./New Hampton) walked, Dexter doubled down doubled down the left field line to drive in Verrier and make it 3-1. After a Keene pitching change, Pisani drove in Thibodeau from third on a RBI ground out to take the 4-1 lead.
Keene put a runner into scoring position when Bates doubled with one out in the third and advanced to third on a single by sophomore Tanner Luopa (Keene, N.H.), but Carman was able to escape as he got a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Owls' freshman Alan Schiff (East Hartford, Conn./East Catholic) relieved Hutchinson with one out in the second and pitched 5.2 solid innings giving up no runs on two hits while striking out two.
Chadwick singled three times and drove in five to highlight the Huskies' 18-hit attack as they defeated the Owls 15-1 in seven innings. Pisani also recorded three hits to go along with an RBI and two runs scored. Dexter and Thibodeau each went 2-for-4 with two RBI, and senior John Carey (South Portland, Maine) was 2-for-3 with three runs scored.
Yates won his fifth straight game and now has a 2.73 ERA in six appearances this spring.
The Huskies went ahead 6-0 after two innings thanks to a five-run second. An RBI triple by Thibodeau, an RBI double by Verrier, and a two-run single through the left side by Chadwick sparked the Huskies five-run second inning.
Southern Maine added a single run in the fourth, and exploded with eight runs in the fifth to blow the game open. The Huskies eight-run fifth inning was highlighted by another two-run single by Chadwick and a two-run single by Zach Fernandes (Eliot, Maine/Marshwood). Thibodeau also had an RBI double, and Grady and Dexter each hit RBI singles during the inning.
Vita accounted for the lone Keene run in the sixth with his solo shot to left field, but Yates settled down to get the next three batters. Southern Maine sophomore right-hander Dylan Morris (Bangor, Maine) came on in relief in the seventh and struck out two of the three batters he faced to secure the win by way of the ten-run rule.
Southern Maine returns to action tomorrow (12:00 p.m.) when it travels to Western Connecticut State University for a rescheduled LEC doubleheader. Keene State will travel to Springfield College for a non-conference game on Tuesday (3:30 p.m.).