ALBANY, N.Y. — Freshman Sam Balzano stroked a two-out, two-run single in the ninth inning Sunday afternoon, lifting the University of Maine to a 4-2 America East baseball victory over Albany.
The Great Danes swept Saturday’s doubleheader 9-5 and 12-2 to pass the Black Bears and move into third place in the league standings.
Coach Steve Trimper’s ballclub (23-21, 9-6 AE) has lost seven of its last nine contests.
On Sunday, UMaine rallied in the final inning to salvage the series finale against Albany (16-28-1, 10-7 AE) for the second straight week.
Alex Calbick opened with a single, but the next two batters were retired.
Troy Black singled, before Greg Lutton (2-4) hit Mike Fransoso with a pitch to load the bases.
Kasceim Graham came on and walked Colin Gay to force in the tying run, setting up Balzano’s two-run single through the right side.
D.J. Voisine (4-0) pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Jeff Gibbs to record the win. He allowed one hit after Gibbs gave up five hits and two runs through seven.
Balzano added a single for the Bears while Gay and Black each collected three singles. Fransoso had a two-out, RBI single in the third for UMaine.
Brian Bullard and Mike Tirri doubled and singled to lead the Great Danes, who scored in the sixth on D.J. Hoagboon’s triple and a wild pitch. Albany added a run in the seventh on a Jeff Welsh single, a passed ball and two wild pitches.
In Saturday’s first game, Hoagboon’s two-run triple sparked a four-run first inning that gave the Great Danes all the runs they would need.
UMaine starter Shaun Coughlin surrendered seven hits and six earned runs and walked four in only four innings. Jeff Welsh knocked in five runs for Albany with a two-run homer, a two-run double and a triple.
Pete DiResta tripled and singled and Tirri doubled and singled while knocking in two runs each to support Sean Lucas (4-5), who held the Bears to six hits and two runs in seven innings.
Fransoso tripled and singled to lead UMaine, while Gay and Justin Leisenheimer each singled with an RBI.
In Saturday’s second game, Albany touched up UMaine starter Steve Perakslis for 10 hits and four runs (two earned) in 4 2/3 innings en route to the sweep.
DiResta plated four runs with a homer and a single, Tirri provided two singles and two RBIs and Hoagboon doubled twice and singled among 14 hits.
The Great Danes overcame a 5-4 deficit by scoring five runs in the sixth after two were out off reliever Mike Connolly (3-5), who gave up four hits and five runs in 1 1/3 innings. The uprising included Hoagboon’s run-scoring double and a three-run homer by DiResta.
Fransoso doubled and singled and Fran Whitten hit two singles to pace UMaine. Scott Heath of Westbrook smacked a two-run homer in the third inning.
Tyler Patzalek added an RBI single.
Ryan White (3-2) picked up the win for Albany by working two scoreless innings.
UMaine returns to action Tuesday with a nonleague game at Northeastern, then treks to Hartford for a three-game America East series Saturday and Sunday.