1991 & 1997 NCAA Division III National Champions

#3 Southern Maine Overcomes Tufts 10-6 on Senior Day

Senior Day 2019 (photo by Jason Johns).
Senior Day 2019 (photo by Jason Johns).

#3 Southern Maine Rallies to Down Tufts 10-6

            GORHAM, Maine -- The third-ranked University of Southern Maine Huskies spotted the visiting Tufts University Jumbos a three-run lead in the first inning before rallying for a 10-6 Senior Day victory on Sunday at Ed Flaherty Field.  The win was the 11th straight for the Huskies, and their 16th in the last 17 games. 

            USM finished the regular season with a 32-5 overall record.  The loss snapped the Jumbos three-game winning streak.  Tufts completed its regular season at 26-8.  Both teams will advance to their respective conference championship tournaments that begin this week.

            The Jumbos scored three times in their opening turn at bat without the benefit of a hit.  A costly two-out infield miscue with the bases loaded brought in the first two runs. After junior JP Knight (Boston, Mass./Roxbury Latin) was hit by a pitch re-loading the bases, senior Eric Schnepf (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater Raritan) drew a walk from USM senior starter Dalton Rice (Waterford, Maine/Oxford Hills) force home the third run.

            Southern Maine chipped one run off the deficit with a single score in the first, and would take the lead for good scoring three times in the third.  Sophomore Sam Troiano (South Portland, Maine) drove in the first run in the third with a single.  Senior Devin Warren (Smithfield, Maine/Messalonskee) drove in the second run with a double, and Troiano came around on the play after an outfield error.

            The Huskies added two runs to their lead in the fourth on RBI singles from sophomore Jason Komulainen (Gorham, Maine) and junior Andrew Hillier (Bangor, Maine).

            Tufts senior Casey Santos-Ocampo (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier), who reached base five times in the game, scored in the fifth on a groundout to make 6-4.  Southern Maine came back in the home half to score two on back-to-back RBI singles from Komulainen and junior Andrew Olszak (Danvers, Mass.).

            Santos-Ocampo led off the seventh with a single and came all the way around on a double by sophomore Kyle Cortese (Billerica, Mass.) to keep the Jumbos within striking distance (8-5).

            Warren brought home two unearned runs in the eighth inning with his second double of the game.

            Santos-Ocampo doubled in the ninth and later scored on a one-out single by rookie Peter DeMaria (Chatham, N.J.).

            Southern Maine banged out 14 hits in the game, led by Olszak and Hillier with three apiece.  In five games this week, the Huskies scored ten or more runs in every game, and had 12 or more hits.  Santos-Ocampo had three hits and a walk for Tufts.

            Senior right-hander Tanner Laberge (Windham, Maine) picked up his fourth win of the season coming on in relief of Rice.  Laberge allowed one run on two hits and two walks over 4.1 innings.  He struck out two.  First-year southpaw Lucas Gustavson (Ashland, Mass.), the second of six Tufts hurlers used, was tagged with the loss.

            Southern Maine will host the 2019 Little East Conference Baseball Championship Tournament that begins Wednesday (12 p.m.).  Top-seeded USM will play sixth-seeded Castleton University in the opening game.  Tufts travels to Colby College for the NESCAC tournament that starts Friday.  The Jumbos will face Middlebury College (6 p.m.).