Preview: University of Maine baseball vs. Northeastern

Posted May 07, 2012, at 7:43 p.m.

MAINE vs. NORTHEASTERN

Time, site: 3 p.m. Tuesday, Friedman Diamond, Brookline, Mass.

Records: Maine 23-21, Northeastern 18-25

Series, last meeting: Maine leads 79-65, Maine 5-2 on 5/10/11

Top hitters: Maine — C Tyler Patzalek (.313, 3 HR, 28 RBI), 2B Troy Black (.308, 16 RBI, 12 SB), DH/C Fran Whitten (.307, 1 HR, 21 RBI), RF Scott Heath (.306, 1 HR, 17 RBI), SS Mike Fransoso (.303, 2 HR, 17 RBI, 16 SB); Northeastern — CF Aaron Barbosa (.346, 1 HR, 19 RBI, 12 SB), DH John Puttress (.338, 24 RBI), C John Leroux (.338, 7 HR, 35 RBI), 3B Rob Fonseca (305, 5 HR, 25 RBI), 2B Jason Vosler (.304, 6 HR, 40 RBI)

Possible pitching matchup: Maine — RH Fran Whitten (2-2, 6.65 ERA, 23 K); Northeastern — RH Matt Cook (1-5, 7.40 ERA, 27 K)

Outlook: The Black Bears are searching for more offense and more consistency. UMaine, which dropped two of three games last weekend at Albany, has lost seven of its last nine and has slipped to fourth place in the America East standings. The Bears are averaging only 3.2 runs during that stretch and tallied two runs or less in four of those contests. The Huskies of the Colonial Athletic Association have lost two straight, four of five and 10 of their last 14. Northeastern is batting .284, averaging 5.5 runs per game. Its 5.70 ERA ranks 10th in the CAA. UMaine scored three in the ninth Sunday to beat Albany, while NU lost two of three at Hofstra, including Sunday’s 15-9 decision. UMaine’s Fransoso has overcome a sore shoulder to go 6-for-14 with five runs scored.

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