Huskies Face Oswego in an Elimination Game on Saturday (12 p.m.)
GORHAM, Maine -- Senior left-hander Nick Powers (Malden, Mass.) tossed a complete game to give the fourth-seeded New England College Pilgrims a 10-2 first-round win over the top-seeded University of Southern Maine Huskies Friday afternoon in the first day of the NCAA Division III Baseball Regional Tournament at Ed Flaherty Field.
The loss pushes the Huskies, 34-8, into the losers bracket needing four wins to advance out of the regional tournament. The Huskies will play second-seeded Oswego State on Saturday at 12 p.m. in an elimination game. Oswego fell into the losers bracket of the four-team, double-elimination tournament after losing to third-seeded MIT 5-4 in Friday's second game.
The Pilgrims, 26-15, won their eighth straight game, and move into the winners bracket game against MIT tomorrow at 3:30 p.m.
Powers scattered nine hits and walked just one while striking out five to earn his seventh win of the season against one loss. The southpaw limited the Huskies to just four hits over the final six innings.
NEC banged out 12 hits off four USM hurlers, and took advantage of four Husky miscues. Seniors Christian Aybar (Pawtucket, R.I.) and Evan Delaney (Hadley, Mass.) each had three hits for the Pilgrims.
USM junior pitcher Ben Lambert (Saco, Maine) suffered his first loss of the campaign after nine straight wins. Lambert surrendered five runs (two earned) on five hits and one walk over 2.1 innings. Senior Tanner Laberge (Windham, Maine) pitched well in long relief going five innings.
Junior Andrew Hillier (Bangor, Maine) was the lone bright spot offensively for the Huskies with a double and two singles.
Sophomore Joe Maestu (Naples, Fla.) gave the visitors a 2-0 lead lashing a two-out, two-run double down the left-field line in the second inning.
The Pilgrims bunched four hits and benefited from two USM errors in the third inning to increase their lead to 5-0 and knock Lambert out of the game. Senior Xavier Nunez (Lawrence, Mass.) had the big hit in the frame, a two-run double inside the chalk down the right-field line. All three runs were unearned.
With one out in the home half of the third, the Huskies got three straight singles off Powers to load the bases, but were only able to plate one run on senior Jake Dexter's (Oakland, Maine/Messalonskee) sacrifice fly.
USM picked up a single run in the sixth on junior Dylan Hapworth's (Winslow, Maine) RBI single through the left side.
NEC put the game away with five runs in the eighth inning. Junior Luis Atiles (Roxbury, Mass.) had a two-run single, and Powers helped his own cause with an RBI single.