1991 & 1997 NCAA Division III National Champions

#12 Southern Maine Blanks Wisconsin-La Crosse 2-0

Junior pitcher Ben Lambert (photo by Bonny Brown-Denico).
Junior pitcher Ben Lambert (photo by Bonny Brown-Denico).
Lambert and Three Relievers Combine on Five Hitter

            AUBURNDALE, Fla. -- Junior Ben Lambert (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy) combined with three relievers to spin a five-hit shutout as the #12 University of Southern Maine Huskies defeated the University of Wisconsin La Crosse 2-0 in a non-conference baseball game Sunday morning at the Lake Myrtle Park complex.

            The win was the third straight for the Huskies on their seven-game Florida swing, and improved their overall record to 4-1.  The Eagles, on their season-opening nine-game Florida trip, slipped to 0-2 after their second loss in two days to a top 25 team.

            Lambert went seven innings allowing three hits and two walks while striking out eight to earn his first win of the season.  Senior Jake Dexter (Oakland, Maine/Messalonskee), the third USM reliever, earned his first save of season getting the final four outs.

            The Huskies score both of their runs in the sixth inning taking advantage of two extra-base hits, a walk and an infield throwing error.  Senior Zach Quintal (Eliot, Maine/Marshwood) doubled with one out, and junior Andrew Olszak (Danvers, Mass.) walked.  Dexter forced Olszak at second, but the ensuing throw trying to turn an inning-ending double play was errant allowing Quintal to score.  Junior Dylan Hapworth (Winslow, Maine) slammed a triple to bring Dexter home with an insurance run.

            Lambert and UWL senior starter Mason McMahon (Maple Grove, Minn.) did not allow a hit over the first three innings.  Lambert set down the first nine men in order, while McMahon retired 10 in a row after walking Quintal leading off the first inning.

            UWL threatened in the sixth against Lambert putting runners on the corners with two outs, but the right-hander got out of trouble with a strikeout.

            The Huskies had only two base runners against McMahon over the first five frames.  Dexter got the first USM hit with a one-out single in the fourth.

            The Eagles put the leadoff man on board in the eighth inning, but junior Colton Lawrence (Farmington, Maine/Mt. Blue) came on to induce a double play.  After Lawrence surrendered a walk and single to put runners on the corners, Dexter came in to get a strikeout to end the threat.

            UWL junior Chase Scharnek (Waukesha, Wis.) had a one-out single in the ninth to bring the tying run to the plate, but the Huskies' defense turned a double play to end the game.

            McMahon and junior Zach Pronschinske (Arcadia, Wis.) combined to limit the Huskies' offense to just three hits over eight turns at bat.  McMahon walked two and struck out six in six innings.  Pronschinske retired all six batters he faced, including two on strikeouts.  UWL junior Jack Dwyer (Milwaukee, Wis.) was the lone repeat hitter in the game with singles in the sixth and eighth innings.

            Southern Maine is back in action on Monday (10 a.m.) taking on The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) in Winter Haven.  UWL will take in Benedictine University (Ill.) on Monday (9:30 a.m.) at Lake Myrtle Park.