MANSFIELD, Conn. – Senior righty Jordan Muchin's (West Hartford) third complete game in five starts was not quite good enough in the first game, and Eastern had the potential tying run thrown out at the plate in the eighth inning of the second game as the University of Southern Maine swept Eastern Connecticut State University, 5-0, 4-3 in Little East Conference baseball action Saturday afternoon at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.
In the opener, Muchin carried a four-hitter into the ninth inning on the short end of a 1-0 score before Southern Maine (15-3, 6-1 LEC) batted around and tacked on four insurance runs on five hits and an infield error. Pitching against USM for the fourth straight regular season, Muchin had his record against Southern Maine evened off at 2-2.
In that first game, Ben Lambert pitched eight shutout innings, allowing only four hits and fanning seven as he combined with reliever Jake Dexter as the Huskies, ranked first in New England, shut out Eastern (11-11, 4-4 LEC) for the first time in 15 seasons in this series.
In the second game, Eastern scored two unearned runs in the sixth on a leadoff single by freshman Matt Malcom (East Lyme), a walk, hit-by-pitch and costly two-out infield error inning to cut the visitors' lead to 4-3. In the eighth, junior Jake LeFevre (Mansfield Center) doubled with one out – his drive to right nearly clearing the fence – and he was later cut down at home attempting to score the tying run on sophomore pinch hitter Jack Rich's (Meriden) two-out single to center on a perfect throw from Devin Warren.
LeFevre, Malcom and sophomore Luke Broadhurst (Stafford) were the only Eastern players with more than one hit, each collecting two of the team's 11 hits on the day. Making his fourth and fifth starts of the year in right field, senior Ryan Hood (Arlington, MA) was superb, recording 12 putouts and picking up an assist by completing a double play with a catch and throw to first in the fifth inning of the opener to keep the score 1-0.
Eastern visits Dean College Wednesday at 3 p.m. in a non-conference makeup game.