Preview: University of Maine baseball vs. Hartford

Posted May 11, 2012, at 7:49 p.m.

MAINE vs. HARTFORD

Time, site: (2) noon Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday, Fiondella Field, West Hartford, Conn.

Records: Maine 23-21 (9-6 America East), Hartford 14-36 (5-13)

Series, last meeting: Maine leads 81-24, Maine 11-3 on 4/15/12

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); Hartford — 3B Simon Kudernatsch (.346, 3 HR, 36 RBI, 7 SB), 1B Brian Hunter (.305, 2 HR, 19 RBI, 5 SB), C/DH James Alfonso (.289, 2 HR, 17 RBI), LF Andy Drexel (.278, 3 HR, 29 RBI, 5 SB), SS Trey Stover (.272, 2 HR, 18 RBI)

Pitching matchups: Maine — RH Steve Perakslis (4-4, 3.89 ERA, 40 K), RH Shaun Coughlin (3-4, 3.84, 40), RH Jeff Gibbs (3-4, 7.28, 50); Hartford — RH Brian Hunter (2-4, 5.03, 50), RH Hunter Englehart (1-8, 7.42, 12), LH Sean Newcomb (2-4, 4-17, 45)

Outlook: The Black Bears have dropped seven of their last nine but need only one win this weekend to earn a spot in the AE tournament. UMaine has been inconsistent lately both with the bats and on the mound. The Hawks, who have won three in a row and four of their last five, are on the verge of elimination. Hartford is scoring barely four runs per game in league play and its pitchers have issued four walks per contest. Patzalek is eighth in batting in AE games while Coughlin’s 3.09 ERA is fourth best in conference play. Fransoso is third in runs scored with 19.

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