GORHAM, Maine -- Senior Nick Grady (Whitefield, Maine/Erskine Academy) and junior Troy Thibodeau (Danvers, Mass./New Hampton) each had two hits and scored two runs, and freshman right-hander Shyler Scates (Jefferson, Maine/Erskine Academy) tossed six innings to lead the University of Southern Maine Huskies past the Bowdoin College Polar Bears 9-4 in a non-conference game at USM Baseball Stadium Tuesday afternoon.
The Huskies have now won five straight and improve to 30-6 overall. It is the 13th 30-win season in the program's history; all coming under veteran head coach Ed Flaherty. Bowdoin has now lost three of its last four after a 12-game winning streak, and drops to 22-12.
Grady led the Huskies' 10-hit attack with two hits, including a double, and two RBI. Thibodeau hit his second home run of the season and to record his 10th multiple-hit game of the season. Junior Matt Verrier (Norway, Maine/Oxford Hills) hit his third home run of the season in the eighth. Freshman Sam Dexter (Oakland, Maine/Messalonskee) also had two hits.
Scates, the first of four Southern Maine hurlers, improved to 3-1 on the season giving up two earned runs on ten hits while striking out two.
Junior Kyle LeBlanc (Newburyport, Mass./Newburyport), sophomore Erik Jacobsen (Milton, Mass./Milton Academy) and freshman Chris Nadeau (Norfolk, Mass./St. Sebastian's) each had two hits to lead the Polar Bears. Bowdoin senior right-hander Henry Van Zant (Westport, Conn./Green Farms Academy) pitched seven innings giving up five runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out three to take the loss. Van Zant drops to 5-2 on the season.
The Huskies jumped on Van Zant for three runs in the first inning to take the lead. With two outs, senior Tucker White (Deerfield, N.H./Coe-Brown Northwood) was hit by a pitch and junior Forrest Chadwick (Gardiner, Maine) walked. Grady doubled to left-center to drive them both in. Senior John Carey (South Portland, Maine) followed with a single to drive in Grady and give the Huskies the 3-0 lead.
Bowdoin answered with a single run in the second on an RBI single up the middle from LeBlanc, but Chadwick threw out a potential second run at the plate to end the inning.
The Huskies responded with two more runs in their half of the inning to make it 5-1. Senior Anthony Pisani's (Cheshire, Conn./Notre Dame) sacrifice fly and an RBI ground out by White plated Southern Maine's runs.
The Polar Bears got a run back in the fourth to cut the USM lead to 5-2. Lefeber led off with a double and McGarry singled to put Bowdoin runners at first and third. Scates got a 4-6-3 double play that scored Lefeber, and struck out the next batter to escape the inning.
Bowdoin knocked on the door once again in the fourth. Senior Luke Regan (West Roxbury, Mass./St. Sebastian's) led off with a single and advanced to second on a single by Jacobsen. Scates got a popout for the first out, but Nadeau singled through the left side to load the bases. Scates was able to get a strikeout and a fly out, though, to escape the inning unharmed.
Scates went on to retire eight straight batters before sophomore right-hander Andrew Richards (South Portland, Maine) relieved him in the seventh with two on board and no outs. Richards stranded the runners getting the first three batters he faced.
The Huskies added a single run in the seventh on Pisani's sacrifice squeeze that scored sophomore Jake Glauser (Goffstown, N.H.), and scored twice in the eighth on Verrier's home run to increase the lead to 9-2.
Bowdoin added a couple of runs in the ninth on RBI groundouts from Lefeber and senior Tim McGarry (Kennett Square, Pa./Kennett).
The Huskies return to action tomorrow (4:00 p.m.) when they travel to Lewiston, Maine, to take on Bates College in a non-conference game at Leahey Field. Bowdoin will host Middlebury College on Saturday (12:00 p.m.) in a NESCAC doubleheader at Pickard Baseball Diamond.