BANGOR — It was Seniors Day at the Winkin Complex on the Husson University campus, but it was a junior and a sophomore who stole the show for the Eagles.
Junior righthander Nate Adams from Frankfort tossed six innings of three-hit, one-run ball in the opener before sophomore lefty Mark Dvilinsky of Westbrook threw six innings of two-hit shutout ball in the nightcap as Husson swept the University of Maine-Farmington 8-1 and 5-0.
The Eagles improved to 23-14 overall and 9-3 in North East Atlantic Conference play, and they moved one step closer to clinching the top seed and the right to host next weekend’s four-team, double-elimination NEAC Tournament.
They will sew up the top seed if they sweep UMF (4-19, 3-9) on Saturday.
The two were supposed to play in Farmington but due to the impending rain and the fact Husson has artificial FieldTurf, the games have been moved to Husson and will begin at 11 a.m.
UMF, which has a grass field, will be the home team.
In the opener, it seemed appropriate that it was Husson junior left fielder Kyle Vandestine who got the game’s pivotal hit with a run-scoring double off the base of the left field fence in the second inning.
Former Husson University, University of Maine and Colby College baseball coach John Winkin was in attendance after being honored by the school along with the eight seniors on the baseball team. Vanidestine’s father, Tommy, played right field for Winkin at Maine.
Winkin was the baseball coach at Husson until he collapsed while jogging in 2007.
He is partially paralyzed and wheelchair-bound and is living in a rehabilitation facility in Waterville.
Vanidestine’s double off righty Dale Winchenbach followed a walk to Shawn Smith and a hit batter (Chris Maguire). Maguire eventually scored on Kevin Rennick’s sacrifice fly.
“A couple of my teammates told me that (Winchenbach) was leading off with a fastball inside, so I was sitting on it and I turned on it,” said Vanidestine.
Vanidestine singled with two outs in the fourth, stole second and scored on Josh Gaudette’s pop single into center.
Husson put the game away with five runs in the fifth as Ethan Guerette had a run-scoring triple and Smith, Maguire and Jake Arthers had RBI singles.
Adams struck out six and didn’t walk anybody over six innings while throwing 56 strikes among his 87 pitches. Ryan Walker pitched a scoreless seventh.
“My fastball and cutter were working really well,” said Adams, who is now 6-3. “I threw only six, seven or eight curves.”
“He spotted all of his pitches well,” said UMF junior catcher Jack MacVane.
UMF scored its run in the sixth as Josh Garneau singled home Russ Schmelzer, who had also singled.
Guerette and Vanidestine had two hits apiece for Husson.
In the nightcap, Dvilinsky struck out five and walked two and retired 13 consecutive hitters during one stretch.
It was his longest outing of the season.
His two walks came in the first inning before a 4-6-3 double play got him out of the jam.
“It took a couple of innings to get into the groove,” said Dvilinsky, who threw just 69 pitches including 41 strikes. “I started to find my changeup in the third inning and I was good after that. I threw mostly changeups and fastballs. I didn’t throw that many curves.”
“He threw strikes, and his changeup and curve were really good,” said UMF senior designated hitter Matt Levine.
UMF freshman right Ben Pearson allowed just two hits and three runs through 4 2/3 innings, striking out five in a row in one stretch, before surrendering three straight singles and two more runs in the fifth. Smith and Maguire had RBI singles.
Husson had reached him for three runs in the third on a pair of walks, Cody McInnis’ sacrifice, Arthers’ ringing two-run double down the left field line and an eventual run-producing balk.
“He threw me an inside fastball and I was ready for it. I turned on it,” said Arthers.
“Those two walks killed me. And I got some pitches out (over the plate),” said Pearson.
MacVane and Brian Jenkins had UMF’s only hits.
Aaron Sullivan pitched a scoreless seventh.
“We had two great pitching performances, we made some good defensive plays and we came up with big hits when we needed to,” said Husson coach Jason Harvey.