SMITHFIELD, R.I. — The University of Maine committed a season-high four errors Tuesday afternoon, opening the door for Bryant University’s 9-3 baseball victory at the Bryant Baseball Complex.
Coach Steve Trimper’s Black Bears (13-12) wrapped up a rain-marred, five-day road trip with a 1-3 record. UMaine returns to action Friday at 4 p.m. in the first of a four-game weekend set against Iona at Mahaney Diamond in Orono.
Bryant (19-7), a first-year Division I program ranked third in this week’s New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association poll, scored five runs in the first three innings to take control. UMaine is not ranked.
Senior Chris Foundas (3-0) scattered eight hits and allowed only two runs in six innings to earn the win for the Bulldogs. Four Bryant relievers combined to limit the Bears to five hits and on run over the last three innings. Closer Mark Andrews struck out three of the five batters he faced to earn his eighth save.
Pat McKenna paced the hosts with two triples and three RBIs. Bryant had 11 hits.
Kevin McAvoy stroked two doubles and a single with an RBI to pace UMaine’s 13-hit attack. George Tager singled three times and Ian Leisenheimer smacked a two-run home run in the third inning.
The Bears left 11 runners on base and went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
Freshman righthander Keith Bilodeau (1-4) surrendered seven hits and six runs, three earned, in 5¤ innings.
Bryant scored three times in the first inning, which was indicative of the Bears’ struggles.
Pat McKenna reached on an error by Kyle Stilphen and moved up on an errant pickoff throw by Bilodeau. After a sacrifice bunt, McKenna scored on a wild pitch.
One out later, consecutive singles by Pat O’Connor, Jeff Vigurs, Jordan English and Mike DelPonte made it 3-0.
The Bears got two runs back in the third when Myckie Lugbauer reached on a fielder’s choice and rode home on Leisenheimer’s fourth homer of the season.
However, Bryant came back with two runs in the bottom of the inning. An infield single, a fielder’s choice with an error, a sacrifice bunt, another fielder’s choice and an RBI groundout made it 5-2.
The Bears had squandered a scoring opportunity in the second when McAvoy doubled and Jarrett Lukas was hit by a pitch with one out. UMaine couldn’t push a run across.