1991 & 1997 NCAA Division III National Champions

Southern Maine Sweeps Eastern Connecticut 5-0 and 4-3

Junior Ben Lambert threw eight shutout innings against Eastern Connecticut in game one (file photo by Jason Johns).
Junior Ben Lambert threw eight shutout innings against Eastern Connecticut in game one (file photo by Jason Johns).
Lambert and Dexter Combine on Four-Hitter in Game One

            MANSFIELD, Conn. -- Junior Ben Lambert (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy) and senior Jake Dexter (Oakland, Maine/Messalonskee) combined for a four-hit shutout as the University of Southern Maine Huskies blanked the Eastern Connecticut State University Warriors 5-0 in the opening game of the teams Little East Conference baseball doubleheader Saturday afternoon at the ECSU Baseball Stadium.

            The Huskies would go on to sweep the twin bill taking a 4-3 decision in the nightcap.  The sweep gives the Huskies a three-game winning streak and a 15-3 overall mark.  The Huskies sit atop the LEC standings at 6-1.  The Warriors slip back to .500 at 11-11 overall and 4-4 in the conference. 

Game One

            Lambert and EC senior Jordan Muchin (West Hartford, Conn./Conard) were locked in a pitchers' duel through the first eight innings until the Huskies put the game away with four runs in the top of the ninth.

            The lone run over the first eight frames came in the third when junior Andrew Olszak (Danvers, Mass.) walked with one out, advanced to third on a single from Dexter, and scored on junior Andrew Hillier's (Bangor, Maine) sacrifice fly to right.

            In the ninth, the Huskies loaded the bases before three consecutive singles from sophomore Sam Troiano (South Portland, Maine), junior Kip Richard (Kennebunk, Maine) and senior Jack Sylvia (Glastonbury, Conn.) pushed four runs across.

            Lambert allowed four hits and four walks while striking out seven over the first eight innings, improving his record to 4-0 and lowering his ERA to 0.81.  Eastern's best threat against Lambert came in the sixth when the Warriors loaded the bases with one out, but the right-hander got a strikeout and fly out to end the inning.  Dexter hurled a hitless ninth inning.

            Troiano was the lone repeat hitter for either team going 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI.

            Muchin, 3-2 in the season, went the distance for the Warriors allowing five runs (four earned) on nine hits and two walks while striking out seven. 

Game Two

            Down 1-0 heading into the fourth inning, the Huskies struck for two runs in the fourth and fifth frames to go ahead 4-1.  The Warriors fought back with two runs in the sixth to trail by a run, and had the potential tying run thrown out at home in the eighth.

            In the fourth, senior Devin Warren (Smithfield, Maine/Messalonskee) had a one-out single, stole second, and scored on Troiano's two-out double.  Troiano scored when Sylvia followed with a single.

            Dexter led off the fifth with a single and moved to second when junior Dylan Hapworth (Winslow, Maine) walked.  Warren drove in Dexter with a single, and senior Zach Quintal (Eliot, Maine/Marshwood) brought Hapworth around when he singled.

            The Warriors loaded the bases with two outs in the home half of sixth against USM junior right-handers Gage Feeney (Cutler, Maine/Washington Academy) and Colton Lawrence (Farmington, Maine/Mt. Blue) before an infield error allowed rookie Matt Malcon (East Lyme, Conn.) and senior Alex Parkos (Meridan, Conn/Xavier) to score unearned runs.  Senior southpaw Henry Curran (South Portland, Maine) came on for USM to get the final out of the inning.

            Dexter came on in the eighth and surrendered a one-out double to junior Jake LeFevre (Mansfield Center, Conn./Edwin Smith).  After a ground out with no advance by LeFevre, sophomore pinch hitter Jack Rich (Meriden, Conn./Wilcox Tech) singled to center field, and Warren threw out LeFevre at home to end the inning.  Dexter retired the side in order in the ninth to earned his fourth save of the season.

            Warren and Sylvia led the Huskies' 11-hit attack with two hits apiece.  Feeney earned the win working five-plus innings.

            LeFevre and Malcon had two hits apiece for the Warriors.  Junior John Parker (Brunswick, Maine), the first of three EC hurlers, took his fourth loss against one win after allowing three runs on six hits over four-plus innings.  Parker did not walk a batter and struck out three. 

Up Next

            The Huskies are back in action tomorrow afternoon (1:30 p.m.) hosting Nichols College at Ed Flaherty Field.  The Warriors travel to Dean College on Wednesday (3 p.m.) for their next game.