1991 & 1997 NCAA Division III National Champions

NCAA Regional: Southern Maine Edges Salisbury 1-0 to Stay Unbeaten

Sophomore Ben Lambert, seen here earlier in the season, combined with junior Jake Dexter for a 1-0 shutout of Salisbury University Friday night (file photo by Jason Johns).
Sophomore Ben Lambert, seen here earlier in the season, combined with junior Jake Dexter for a 1-0 shutout of Salisbury University Friday night (file photo by Jason Johns).
Lambert and Dexter Combine for Seven-Hitter

            AUBURN, N.Y. -- Sophomore Ben Lambert (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy) and junior Jake Dexter (Oakland, Maine) combined on a seven-hit shutout as the University of Southern Maine Huskies remained unbeaten in the NCAA Division III New York Regional Tournament defeating Salisbury University 1-0 Friday evening at Falcon Park.

            The win was the second straight in the tournament for the Huskies and improves their overall record to 29-13.  USM will take Swarthmore College on Saturday at approximately 5:15 p.m. in a battle of the two remaining unbeaten teams.  Swarthmore defeated host SUNY Cortland 3-2 to stay unbeaten.

            Lambert and Salisbury senior left-hander Austin Heenan (Melfa, Va.) were locked in a scoreless pitcher duel into the seventh inning when the Huskies scored the lone run of the game.  With two outs, senior Kyle Heath (Westbrook, Maine) was hit with a pitch.  Heath, running on a 1-2 pitch, came all the way around when junior Zach Quintal (Eliot, Maine/Marshwood) lashed a double into the left field corner.

            Lambert, who threw 140 pitches in his 7 2/3 innings of work, surrendered a leadoff single to senior Scott Adroin (Germantown, Md.) to start the eighth.  Junior pinch hitter Ron Villone (Riverdale, N.J.) sacrificed Adroin along to second before Lambert retired senior Simon Palenchar (Salisbury, Md.) on a foul out.

            Dexter was summoned in from second base to take over on the mound and retired four consecutive Salisbury hitters to earn his single-season record 13th save.  Dexter broke his own record of 12 saves set last season, and now has 26 career saves.

            Heenan, 10-4 on the season, allowed just three hits in his complete game effort.  The southpaw struck out eight, but also walked eight and hit two batters.  The only USM hits he gave up prior to Quintal's double were infield singles to sophomore Andrew Olszak (Danvers, Mass.) in the second inning and freshman Jason Komulainen (Gorham, Maine) in the fifth.

            The Huskies defense made some key plays behind Lambert.  In the second inning, Komulainen threw out Palenchar at third base after muffing Lambert's throw for an error on a sacrifice bunt attempt.  In the fifth, Heath threw out junior Jack Barry (Laurel, Md.) trying to advance on a blocked pitch in the dirt at third base to end the inning.  The Seagulls had a couple of sparkling double plays in the second and fifth innings to bail Heenan out of trouble.

            Adroin went 3 for 3 with a walk in the game to be the only batter with multiple hits in the game.

            In other games Friday, Baldwin Wallace University stayed alive eliminating Westfield State University 3-2.  In the second elimination game, St. Joseph's College-Long Island knocked off Amherst College 3-2.

            Saturday's game schedule has been altered due to pending weather overnight and in the morning.  Cortland will play St. Joseph's College-L.I. at Onondaga Community College at 2 p.m.  Salisbury faces Baldwin Wallace at Falcon Park, also at 2 p.m.  After the Southern Maine-Swarthmore game at Falcon Park, the winners of the two early games will play an elimination game starting at 8:45 p.m.