ALBANY, N.Y. — Joey Martin of Portland and Michael Fransoso combined for eight hits, nine RBIs and six runs scored Saturday afternoon, spearheading the University of Maine to a 19-6 opening-game victory and a sweep of its America East baseball doubleheader against Albany.
The Black Bears won the second game 8-3, thus securing a spot in the America East tournament, scheduled May 24-28 at the home site of the highest-seeded team.
Maine completed the weekend sweep with an 18-9 win Sunday.
Coach Steve Trimper’s ballclub (22-21 overall, 12-5 in league play) has moved into third place in the conference standings, passing Albany (17-25, 9-7 AE).
The Bears remain a half-game behind second-place Binghamton (20-20,12-4 AE).
In the opener, UMaine pounded out 20 hits while cruising to victory.
Martin knocked in five runs with a home run, a double and two singles and Fransoso had four RBIs with two doubles and two singles.
Justin Leisenheimer slammed two homers and finished with four RBIs, while Alex Calbick hit a triple and two singles with four RBIs. Troy Black and Tyler Patzalek doubled and singled for the Bears behind winning pitcher Keith Bilodeau (7-2), who gave up five hits and two runs in five innings.
Mike Tirri led Albany with two singles and Rob Cervini hit a solo home run to back losing pitcher Dave Kubiak, who allowed 12 hits and seven earned runs in four innings.
In Game 2, Calbick launched two homers and knocked in five runs to pace an 11-hit UMaine attack.
Ian Leisenheimer collected three singles and Troy Black hit an RBI single. Jeff Gibbs spaced three hits and three runs through 6 1/3 innings and struck out 10. A.J. Bazdanes worked 2 2/3 scoreless innings in relief.
Kyle Crean singled three times for Albany behind losing pitcher Kasceim Graham.
On Sunday, Albany used a seven-run fourth inning to take a 7-5 lead, but the Black Bears scored five in the fifth to retake the lead for good.
Fransoso hit two doubles, a single, knocked in four runs and scored three times in leading the Bears’ 19-hit attack. Martin added two doubles, two runs and three RBIs. Black had three singles and two RBIs, Taylor Lewis tripled and singled with two RBIs and Justin Leisenheimer chipped in a double, single and two RBIs.
Maine pitching yielded only two earned runs with starter Stephen Perakslis earning the win to improve to 4-4.
Nolan Gaige hit a three-run home run to highlight the seven-run fourth for the Great Danes. Greg Muller added a double and scored twice. Zach Kraham took the loss after giving up 10 earned run in 4 2/3 innings.