June 24, 2018
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UMaine baseball completes sweep of UMBC, extends lead to 3 1/2 games

By Pete Warner, BDN Staff

BALTIMORE — The University of Maine scored three runs in each of the last three innings Sunday to erase a five-run deficit on the way to a 10-7 America East baseball victory over the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

On Saturday, Eric White of Brewer belted two home runs in the first game, then delivered a game-winning solo blast in the 10th inning of the second game as the Black Bears swept the Retrievers.

White’s third homer of the afternoon to lead off the 10th lifted the Black Bears to an 8-7 victory in the second game after he poked two round-trippers in a 19-0 opening-game win at Alumni Field.

UMaine (21-14, 11-3 AE) has won six straight and clinched its sixth consecutive series victory while extending its lead in the conference standings to 3 1/2 games over Albany and Hartford.

On Sunday, Brian Doran’s RBI double capped a three-run ninth inning as the Bears completed the weekend sweep. Troy Black and relief winner Mike Connolly (4-2) each registered a double and a single for UMaine, which spotted UMBC a 5-0 lead through five innings.

Connolly allowed nine hits and two earned runs in 4 1/3 innings after taking over for Shaun Coughlin, then Jake Marks got the last two outs for the save.

Alex Calbick knocked in two runs with a double and White posted an RBI single for the Bears.

The Retrievers (8-18, 4-11 AE) were paced by four hits, including a solo homer, by Jake Barnes. Jason Allinder hit two singles to support reliever Kevin Ladner, who allowed a hit, three walks and three runs (one earned) in only two-thirds of an inning.

UMaine broke the ice in the sixth against starter Mike Gomez on Connolly’s double and a sacrifice fly by Sam Balzano of Portland.

The Bears scored three in the seventh after two were out, sparked by Jon Salcedo’s double. White singled home the first run and, after a walk and a wild pitch, Shane Bussey hit a two-run single.

UMaine went ahead for good in the eighth on three straight one-out walks. Scott Heath of Westbrook reached on an error to plate the first two runs, then White hit a sac fly to make it 7-5.

Calbick stroked a two-run double in the ninth as the Bears got some insurance.

Senior shortstop Mike Fransoso did not play Sunday, in compliance with AE rules, after he was ejected in Saturday’s second game for arguing with an umpire.

In Saturday’s second game, the Bears overcame an uncharacteristic six errors to prevail in extra innings. White homered off Jon Cohn (2-3) before Marks pitched a scoreless 10th to earn the save after Luke Morrill of South Thomaston (1-0) got two outs in the ninth.

UMaine squandered leads of 4-0, 6-5 and 7-5.

White added a single to complement a 5-for-5 effort with two RBIs from Balzano, who reached base 11 times on the day. Connolly collected three singles, Calbick singled twice and Black hit a run-scoring single among 14 hits.

Vince Corbi hit two singles for UMBC and Tom Gilchrist provided an RBI single.

UMaine senior A.J. Bazdanes worked the first 6 1/3 innings and gave up six hits and five runs, only two of which were earned. He struck out four and did not issue a walk.

The bullpen could not hold a two-run lead in the ninth, when two walks and a hit batsman helped set up Brandon Coluccio’s game-tying, two-run single through the middle with two outs against Morrill.

The Bears led 4-0 after scoring three times in the second inning, led by RBI singles from Black and Balzano. However, UMaine committed three errors in the bottom of the frame to help UMBC post five runs.

Gilchrist provided a run-scoring single in the uprising for the Retrievers, who managed only two hits and no runs against Bazdanes in the next 4 1/3 innings.

UMBC tallied two runs in the ninth. Reliever Logan Fullmer issued back-to-back walks with one out, then got a strikeout, before hitting Barnes with a pitch. Coluccio followed with the tying single.

In the opener, White slammed two home runs among four hits and knocked in four runs to propel the Bears. The junior hit a solo homer during a three-run second inning and stroked a three-run shot in the fourth. He also added two singles and scored four times.

Junior right-hander Tommy Lawrence (6-2) allowed only one hit through five innings with three strikeouts and no walks. He threw only 43 pitches.

Burk FitzPatrick and Morrill each worked a hitless inning of relief.

Kyle Silva hit a home run, a double and a single with three RBIs amidst UMaine’s 20-hit onslaught, while while Fransoso contributed a double and two singles and Alex Calbick stroked two doubles. Colin Gay jacked a three-run homer and singled, and Balzano knocked in three runs with a pair of singles.

Mac Gill (2-2) lasted only three innings for UMBC and surrendered 10 hits and eight runs (seven earned). Corbi doubled to lead the Retrievers, who managed only two hits.

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