GORHAM, Maine -- Seniors Matt Verrier (Norway, Maine/Oxford Hills) and Troy Thibodeau (Danvers, Mass./New Hampton) combined to go 5 for 6 with three runs scored and three RBI as the #5/#6 University of Southern Huskies defeated the visiting Bates College Bobcats, 6-4, in a non-conference baseball game Wednesday afternoon at the USM Baseball Stadium.
The win was the fourth straight for the Huskies and improved their overall record to 28-8. The Bobcats dropped their second straight to slip to 18-14 overall.
Verrier was 3 for 3, including a double and his sixth home run of the season, with two runs scored and an RBI while Thibodeau was 2 for 3 with a run scored and two RBI. Senior Forrest Chadwick (Gardiner, Maine) had a double and a triple and scored twice. Rookie Matt Bender (Walpole, Mass.) had two hits.
Sophomore southpaw Dan Kinnon (Londonderry, N.H.), the second of six pitchers used by USM, picked up his third win of the season getting the only two batters he faced. Junior Andrew Richards (South Portland, Maine) picked up his sixth save of the season pitching 2.1 innings of shutout relief.
Senior Griff Tewksbury (Concord, N.H./St. Paul's School) was the big stick in the Bobcats 12-hit attack with a solo home run, a double and three RBI. Sophomore Samuel Warren (Norfolk, Va.), junior Mekae Hyde (Lewiston, Maine) and rookie Brendan Fox (West Hartford, Conn./Northwest Catholic) had two hits apiece.
Junior Sam Berry (South Hamilton, Mass./Tabor Academy) started on the mound and was tagged with the loss. Berry went three innings allowing five runs on six hits and three walks while striking out one. Five Bates relievers combined to allow only one run on six hits and a walk while fanning nine over the final five innings.
Tewksbury gave the visitors a 1-0 lead in the first inning hitting his sixth home run of the season over the fence in right-center field.
The Huskies responded in their half of the frame with an RBI triple from Chadwick and fielder's choice on a double steal attempt.
Thibodeau walked with one out in the second, moved up on a passed ball and took third on Bender's single to left. Sophomore Nick DiBiase (Portland, Maine/Deering) delivered Thibodeau with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Chadwick and Verrier set the table for Thibodeau in the third. Thibodeau's ground ball single found its way through the left side for two runs as Verrier did a good job screening the Bobcats' shortstop.
The teams traded runs in the fifth as Tewksbury drove in Fox with a sac fly, and Verrier hit a one-out solo home run to left-center to make it 6-2.
Bates scored twice in the seventh inning to slice the deficit to 6-4. Fox drove in junior Nate Pajka (Douglas, Mass.), who led off the inning with a triple, with a single. After a double play, sophomore Conor Reenstiema (Lincoln, Mass./St. Sebastian's) singled and Tewksbury brought him all the way around with a double just inside the right field line.
Bates had Tewksbury up as the potential tying run in the ninth, but Richards was able to get him on a short fly ball to right field.
Southern Maine will conclude its 2014 regular season on Friday (12:00 p.m.) hosting Little East Conference rival Eastern Connecticut State University for a doubleheader. Bates is back in action on Saturday (1:00 p.m.) hosting Tufts University in a NESCAC doubleheader.