#6 Southern Maine Downs Endicott 6-3
BEVERLY, Mass. -- Senior Dalton Rice (Waterford, Maine/Oxford Hills) earned his first win of the season going seven-plus innings as the #6/#7 University of Southern Maine Huskies defeated the Endicott College Gulls 6-3 in a non-conference baseball game Wednesday afternoon at North Field.
The win extends the Huskies winning streak to six games, and improves their overall record to 10-2. The Gulls had their three-game winning streak stopped by the loss and fall to 7-6 overall. The two teams will meet again at USM on April 17.
Rice worked into the eighth inning giving up two runs on seven hits and six walks while striking out six. Senior Henry Curran (South Portland, Maine) came on after Rice walked the leadoff batter in the eighth to strand the runner at second after a sacrifice and two strikeouts. Senior Jake Dexter (Oakland, Maine/Messalonskee) pitched the final inning.
Southern Maine was held to five hits in the game by five Endicott hurlers, but took advantage of three fielding miscues.
Endicott grabbed a 2-0 lead against Rice in the second inning on an RBI single up the middle from rookie Christian Allaire (Sandown, N.H./Timberlane Regional) and an RBI squeeze bunt from senior Matt Bald (De Pere, Wis./West De Pere).
The Huskies came right back in the next inning to score three times. The Huskies loaded the bases with one out on a single and two infield errors. Junior Andrew Hillier (Bangor, Maine) walked to force home the first run, and classmate Dylan Hapworth (Winslow, Maine) was hit by a pitch to tie the game. The third run scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of senior Devin Warren (Smithfield, Maine/Messalonskee).
The game remained at 3-2 until the Huskies put up an insurance run in the seventh, and two more in the ninth. In the seventh, senior Zach Quintal (Eliot, Maine/Marshwood) walked to leadoff the frame, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and took third on a single from sophomore Sam Troiano (South Portland, Maine). Quintal scored when the Gulls turned a double play.
Senior Jack Sylvia (Glastonbury, Conn.) drove in the Huskies' two runs in the ninth with a single to make it 6-2. Endicott sophomore Nickolas Perkins (Nashua, N.H./Cushing Academy) drove in the Gulls' final run with a single.
Perkins and Bald each had a pair of singles for the Gulls. Junior starting pitcher Joseph Oriola (Pembroke, Mass./St. John Paul II) was tagged with the loss. Oriola worked three innings giving up three unearned runs on one hit and two walks while striking out two.
Southern Maine is scheduled to play its home opening doubleheader on Saturday (12 p.m.) hosting Little East Conference foe Rhode Island College. Endicott is at home tomorrow afternoon (3:30 p.m.) against Eastern Nazarene College.