UMaine baseball caps sweep of UMBC with record-setting performance

UMaine senior Ian Leisenheimer waits for a pitch from assistant coach Jason Spaulding during Friday's batting practice session in Baltimore, Md. UMaine went on to sweep UMBC 9-3, 32-14.
Pete Warner/BDN
UMaine senior Ian Leisenheimer waits for a pitch from assistant coach Jason Spaulding during Friday's batting practice session in Baltimore, Md. UMaine went on to sweep UMBC 9-3, 32-14. Buy Photo
Posted April 06, 2012, at 3:31 p.m.
Last modified April 06, 2012, at 8:45 p.m.
UMaine sophomore catcher Fran Whitten lays a bunt down the third-base line during batting practice at Baseball Factory Field. UMaine went on to sweep UMBC in an America East doubleheader 9-3, 32-14.
Pete Warner/BDN
UMaine sophomore catcher Fran Whitten lays a bunt down the third-base line during batting practice at Baseball Factory Field. UMaine went on to sweep UMBC in an America East doubleheader 9-3, 32-14. Buy Photo

BALTIMORE, Md. — It was a game the likes of which University of Maine players and coaches had never seen.

The Black Bears mauled the University of Maryland Baltimore County for 25 hits and established a school record for runs Friday afternoon while completing a doubleheader sweep with a 32-14 America East baseball victory at the Baseball Factory Field.

UMaine, which won the opener 9-3, improved to 14-14 overall and 2-0 in conference play.

“I don’t know how to explain that game,” said junior Steve Perakslis, who pitched in the first game. “Thirty-two runs is unheard of. It was weird.”

The Bears have now won seven straight games.

The two teams play another doubleheader Saturday starting at noon.

The second game was memorable if only for the sheer magnitude of the offensive production. Coach Steve Trimper’s Black Bears scored in 14 consecutive innings in the twinbill, including each of the nine innings in the nightcap.

UMaine eclipsed the previous record of 27 runs set in 1976 against Husson College of Bangor.

“I think that’s the most runs in a game that I’ve ever seen,” said sophomore Alex Calbick, who was among UMaine’s offensive heroes.

He smacked a two-run homer in the first and jacked a grand slam in the sixth and also scored five times.

“It was nice to see that from this offense,” he added. “Scoring 32 runs in a game is quite the feat.”

Calbick, who was pulled from the starting lineup as the third baseman when he tweaked his left shoulder during warmups before the first game, didn’t let it affect his swing.

“I’ve done it before, but I just wanted to take it easy and go the precautionary route and DH for the day,” Calbick said.

“It was a good day for me, overall. I needed it,” he added.

Junior Tyler Patzalek was another offensive catalyst for UMaine. He lined a two-run home run in the fifth inning, an RBI single in the seventh and cranked a three-run shot in the ninth. He scored five runs to go with his six RBIs.

“When you get a lead like that, it just makes it a lot easier,” Patzalek said. “When it gets later in the game, you’re starting to get more for the pitches that you want to hit, so it makes it easier to hit.”

Senior Ian Leisenheimer knocked in five runs with a three-run double, a sacrifice fly and an RBI groundout, while Mike Fransoso (two-run homer, two-run single, single) and Fran Whitten (RBI triple, RBI single) each plated three runs.

Freshman Scott Heath of Westbrook collected an RBI double and three singles, while Colin Gay and Justin Leisenheimer each hit a double and two singles.

The Bears bolted to a 7-0 lead in the first inning, pushed the advantage to 14-6, then piled on eight runs in the sixth and five in the seventh to finally pull away.

UMaine worked around a shaky start by junior Jeff Gibbs (2-4), who was touched for 10 hits and eight runs with three strikeouts and three walks in five innings. On the bright side, freshman Steve Trask of Saco worked 2 1/3 innings of one-hit, shutout ball.

“Thankfully, Steve Trask put up a couple zeroes there at the end,” Calbick said.

UMBC (7-19, 0-2 AE) had a forgettable afternoon. In Game 2, the Retrievers committed 11 errors that resulted in 13 unearned runs.

Kevin Ladner (0-1) took the loss, surrendering 13 hits and 14 runs over 4 2/3 innings.

Max Himmelstein launched a three-run home run for the hosts, while Vince Corbi (triple, two singles) and Jason Allinder (double, two singles) each drove in two runs. UMBC amassed 17 hits.

In the first game, Calbick drilled a three-run home run in the fifth inning to give the Bears some breathing room.

Junior righthander Perakslis (3-2) scattered nine hits while going the distance for UMaine in the scheduled seven-inning contest.

Calbick added a single, walked and scored a run to pace the Bears’ offense. Gay and Heath each provided two singles and an RBI, while Patzalek also stroked two singles among the Bears’ 12 hits.

Perakslis, who was dealing with a swollen joint on the middle finger of his pitching hand, pitched aggressively. He threw plenty of strikes along the way, struck out five and did not walk a batter.

“I was kind of battling a small strain in my middle finger, but it was not as hard as I thought it would be,” Perakslis said. “In the bullpen it was really painful, but once I got in the game it wasn’t all that bad, it loosened up.”

Himmelstein stroked two doubles and a single with two RBIs to pace the Retrievers behind starter and loser Steve Miller (0-5). Ian Glassman also collected three singles.

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