BANGOR, Maine — After losing the opener of their North Atlantic Conference doubleheader against Waterville’s Thomas College, the Husson University Eagles looked to jump out to an early lead in the nightcap.
That’s exactly what they did,
The Eagles scored four first-inning runs and that was more than enough for senior righthander Chris Morris, who scattered six hits and allowed just one run in a complete-game performance as Husson triumphed 12-1.
In the opener, Thomas scored four two-out runs in the fifth inning to build a 6-2 lead and held on for a 6-5 victory.
Husson is now 12-13 overall, 5-1 in the conference. Thomas, which returned from its spring trip to Arizona on Wednesday night, is now 6-8 and 1-1.
The teams will play another noon doubleheader today.
“We’re a momentum team. Once we start hitting, we just won’t stop,” said Husson junior shortstop Ethan Guerette, who had two RBI singles in game two.
“When we come out and put the bat on the ball and put up runs before they do, we have a lot of momentum going into the rest of the game,” said Husson junior first baseman Chris Maguire, who went 3-for-3 and drove in four runs in the nightcap.
Kyle Vanidestine started the first-inning rally with a sharp single off the body of Thomas third baseman Josh Gray.
He stole second and scored on Guerette’s line-drive single to right center.
Shawn Smith walked and he and Guerette worked a double steal. Maguire, who homered in the opener, then ripped a two-run single to right.
“After that home run, I got a little antsy and was getting a little ahead of myself,” said Maguire. “So I just told myself to stay back. [Thomas pitcher Ben Goodall] threw me an outside pitch, a fastball, and I just drove it to right field.”
Two outs later, Chase Daniels capped the rally with a run-producing opposite-field triple down the right field line.
Danny Burke’s double and Tom Desjardins’ RBI single cut the lead to 4-1 in the third inning, but Husson got that run back in the bottom of the third on Daniels’ sacrifice fly.
Husson added two more in the fourth off reliever Cody Vigue on Maguire’s RBI single and Tom Crews’ sacrifice fly.
The Eagles added five more in the fifth with Vanidestine, Guerette and Maguire collecting RBI singles.
Hampden’s Morris struck out four and walked two while throwing 66 strikes among his 106 pitches.
“I was able to throw my fastball, curve and change-up for strikes and I attacked the strike zone,” said Morris. “You’ve got to change speeds against a good hitting team like that.”
“He did a helluva’ job,” added Thomas coach Greg King. “He was pitching in pitcher’s counts to almost every single batter. He kept our hitters off-balance with his off-speed stuff.”
Vanidestine, Guerette, Cody Haverly-Johndro and Arthers had two hits each to complement Maguire’s three hits.
Burke doubled and singled for Thomas.
In the opener, Thomas snapped a 2-2 tie with its decisive fifth-inning rally.
Jeff Richardson grounded a two-out single up the middle off Husson ace Nate Adams and Burke walked on four pitches.
Tim Costa dropped a soft single into right to load the bases.
Fort Kent’s Desjardins poked a looping liner into left for a two-run single before Mike Busa and Josh Nickerson grounded RBI singles to left.
“Coach [King] is always saying go with the pitch and see what happens,” said the lefthanded-hitting Desjardins. “[Adams] threw me a low, outside pitch and I went with it. I got lucky. It dropped in.”
”It was a change-up. I was trying to go off-speed with him but he went the other way with it,” added Adams.
The Eagles loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the fifth but Maguire bounced a 3-2 curve back to winning pitcher Chris Farrar, who started a 1-2-3 double play.
“That was a great pitch,” said Busa, the Thomas catcher. “It broke low and [Maguire] got a little bit out on his front foot. It was exactly what we wanted.”
Farrar then struck out Arthers to end the threat.
“I actually felt, at times, that I was throwing my curve more consistently for strikes than my fastball,” said Farrar, who allowed five hits and three earned runs over 6¤ innings with seven strikeouts and five walks.
Jacob Chamblee got the final two outs for Thomas in the seventh although Arthers reached him for a two-run single that diving center fielder Desjardins insisted he caught.
Desjardins had two hits and three RBIs for the winners.