STANDISH, Maine – Sophomore James Sinclair (Portland, Maine/Deering), senior Henry Curran (South Portland, Maine) and senior Jake Dexter (Oakland, Maine/Messalonskee) combined for a one-hit shutout and sophomore Sam Troiano (South Portland, Maine), junior Dylan Hapworth (Winslow, Maine) and junior Andrew Hillier (Bangor, Maine) each belted home runs to lead the third-ranked University of Southern Maine Huskies to a 4-0 win over the St. Joseph's (Maine) College Monks in a non-conference baseball game Thursday afternoon at Larry Mahaney Field.
With the win, Southern Maine improves to 17-6 overalll USM is 67-16 all-time against the Monks and have won the last four over SJC. Suffering their second straight loss, the Monks are now 20-8.
Sinclair earned the win on the mound for USM pitching 6.2 innings, allowing just a single base hit and a walk, while striking out six. Curran and Dexter pitched the final 2.1 innings, combining for four strikeouts, and did not allow a base runner to close the game. Sinclair, who improved to 3-0 with the win, got enough run support out of the Huskies 10-hit attack.
Scoreless through three, USM went ahead of the Monks 2-0 in the top of the fourth. Troiano led off the inning with a solo home run to left field, before Hillier doubled the USM advantage with a two-out solo home run to left-center. Troiano's home run was his third of the season and eight of his career, while Hillier's was his first of the season.
With a 2-0 lead in hand, Sinclair retired the next seven SJC hitters in order before allowing his first hit of the game, a single up the middle in the bottom of the sixth. Sinclair bounced back quickly and retired another three in a row before being replaced by Curran with two outs in the bottom of the seventh.
Still ahead 2-0 and in the top of the eight, USM received a pair of insurance runs with one swing of the bat from Hapworth who collected his third home run of the season with a two-run hoem run. Hapworth collected his team-leading 23rd and 24th RBIs of the season driving in Troiano, who led off the inning with a single. Up 4-0 all on home runs, Curran worked a clean bottom of the eight, and Dexter retired three straight in the ninth for the USM win.
Kevin Aylward had SJC's lone hit finishing the game 1-for-3 at the plate. Johnathan Flynn took the loss, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk in 4.0 innings. Matt Poff allowed a pair of runs in relief on four hits in four innings of work, while Jonathan Marchia pitched the final inning. Marchia did not give up a hit.
Southern Maine hosts Keene State on Saturday (12:00 pm) in a Little East Conference doubleheader. .
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