BANGOR, Maine — Ryan Conlon said he can’t remember having a four-hit game in his career at Colby College in Waterville.
The senior first baseman and co-captain has one now.
Conlon’s fourth hit that proved decisive as his ninth-inning single with two outs delivered pinch runner Chris Murdock with the winning run as the Mules outlasted Husson University 11-10 Tuesday at the Winkin Baseball Complex.
Sophomore shortstop Brandon Nieuw helped preserve the win with a sparkling over-the-head catch on Ethan Guerette’s pop fly into left with one out and a runner on second in the bottom of the ninth.
Colby is now 8-5 after winning its fifth straight game.
Pinch hitter Jake Kramer greeted Husson reliever Dan Beatham with a line-drive single and Nieuw sacrificed him to second. Beatham struck out Rich Newton but Conlon grounded an 0-1 pitch up the middle to deliver Murdock, who ran for Kramer.
“I just took the same simple approach to the plate: See the ball clearly and hit the ball hard,” said Conlon. “He threw me a fastball down the middle.”
“He was ready to hit and I made a mistake,” said Beatham. “It was a fastball and I left it up. I regretted it after I threw it. I wanted to throw a curve but I didn’t want to shake off my catcher [Andy Bush].”
Conlon credited Kramer for igniting the rally.
“That hit was huge. He did a great job staying ready,” said Conlon.
Kramer said, “I went up there looking for a good pitch to hit and he threw me a fastball down the middle.”
Husson (14-14) threatened to tie it in the bottom of the ninth when pinch hitter Chase Daniels singled off Colby stopper Wil Hartigan and moved to second on Kyle Vanidestine’s sacrifice.
Nieuw then made his terrific catch off Guerette’s little pop fly into left-center.
“I just turned around and sprinted as hard as I could. I saw it there and caught it,” said Nieuw.
“He made a phenomenal play. He saved the game. If he hadn’t made the play, we would have had first and third and could have done some things,” said Husson coach Jason Harvey.
Hartigan then got Shawn Smith on a liner to right for his fourth save.
Brady Hesslein picked up the win with 1ª innings of scoreless relief.
It was a seesaw game that Conlon jumpstarted with a two-run homer to left in the first.
Chris Maguire singled home a run in the bottom of the first but Ken Kaufman’s double and Rich Newton’s single drove in second-inning runs to make it 4-1.
Husson tied it in the bottom of the second with Corey Cushing and Guerette singling home runs in the three-run rally.
Colby eventually built the lead to 8-5 but Tom Crews’ first career grand slam in the sixth gave Husson its first lead.
Nieuw and Conlon singled home seventh-inning runs to make it 10-9 but Husson tied it in the bottom of the seventh on Vanidestine’s double and Guerette’s RBI single.
Brendan Gallagher and Kaufman had three hits apiece in Colby’s 17-hit attack to complement Conlon’s four hits. Newton had two hits.
Crews and Guerette had three hits apiece for Husson and Cushing had a pair.
BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY JOHN CLARKE RUSS
Husson University’s Kyle Vanidestine is congratulated by Chris Maguire after scoring a second-inning run in Tuesday’s game against Colby College at the Winkin Baseball Complex. Colby triumphed 11-10.