USM Splits on Opening Day
Huskies Rally in 9th to Down M.I.T., Fall to Trinity by a Run
HARTFORD, Conn. -- The University of Southern Maine baseball team opened its 2019 season splitting a pair of games Saturday at the Bantam Baseball Bonanza held at Trinity College. The Huskies scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to defeat M.I.T. 3-2 in their first game of day. In the nightcap, host Trinity built an early 5-0 lead, then hung on to down USM 5-4.
In the opening game of the event, M.I.T. scored in the bottom of the 10th inning to take an 8-7 win over Nichols College. The tournament concludes Monday when M.I.T. takes on Trinity.
Down a run heading into their final turn at bat, the Huskies plated two runs to take the win over M.I.T. Junior Andrew Hillier (Bangor, Maine) opened the ninth drawing a walk and scored on classmate Dylan Hapworth's (Winslow, Maine) double to tie the game at 2-2. Senior Jake Dexter (Oakland, Maine/Messalonskee) singled to put runners on the corners. After a walk to senior Devin Warren (Smithfield, Maine/Messalonskee) loaded the bases, a popup was called on the infield fly rule. The ball was not handled cleanly and Hapworth was able to scamper home as the throw to the plate was errant.
Junior Colton Lawrence (Farmington, Maine/Mt. Blue) picked up the win with two innings of scoreless relief work. Lawrence did not allow a hit or walk and struck out three. USM's three hurlers combined for 15 strikeouts in the game.
Southern Maine took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Dexter's sacrifice fly. M.I.T. plated a pair of unearned runs in the third inning on a passed ball and a sacrifice fly from senior Alec Kushner (Cooper City, Fla.).
The host Bantams built a 5-0 lead with a solo run in the first and four unearned runs in the third. Junior Mark Lauder (Chappaqua, N.Y.) had a sacrifice fly to drive in the first-inning run, and an RBI single in the third. Senior Johnny Stamatis (Ridgefield, Conn.) drove in two runs with a double, and rookie Mike Guanci (Wakefield, Mass.) plated the final Bantam run with a single.
The Huskies clawed their way back into the game with two runs in the fourth on an RBI single from Warren and RBI groundout by sophomore Jason Komulainen (Gorham, Maine).
USM cut the gap to one with two runs in the seventh. Sophomore Sam Troiano (South Portland, Maine) led of the frame with a walk, and later score on a Hiller sacrifice fly. The second run scored on a two-out infield error.
The Huskies threatened in the eighth and ninth innings, but could not get a timely hit to tie the game.
USM junior Andrew Olszak (Danvers, Mass.) was the lone repeat hitter for either team in the game with a pair of singles. Junior right-hander Gage Feeney (Cutler, Maine/Washington Academy) was the tough-luck loser allowing five runs, only one which was earned.
Southern Maine's game tomorrow at the Bantam Baseball Bonanza with Brockport has been cancelled due to bad weather forecast for the Hartford area. USM heads to Florida for a seven-game swing opening on Friday against Amherst College.