GORHAM, Maine — Senior Tucker White belted a home run and two singles with four runs scored and two RBIs Wednesday as the top-seeded University of Southern Maine Huskies defeated the sixth-seeded Western Connecticut State University Colonials 13-2 in the opening game of the 2013 Little East Conference Baseball Tournament being played at the USM Baseball Stadium.
The Huskies mounted a 17-hit attack against three hurlers for the Colonials. Senior Nick Grady singled three times with two RBIs for Southern Maine (34-7), which now plays Keene State in Thursday’s 12:30 p.m. second-round game. Every member of the Huskies’ starting lineup had at least one hit.
Western Connecticut, 17-23, plays the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in a 9:30 a.m. elimination game of the six-team, double-elimination tournament.
Forrest Chadwick drove in three runs with a double and a triple, while Sam Dexter posted two doubles and two RBIs for USM. Chris Bernard added a double, a single and drove in a run.
Junior left-hander Logan Carman worked seven innings of five-hit ball to earn his 10th win of the season. He struck out three and walked three.
Freshmen Sean Murphy and Ryan Browner each pitched a scoreless inning in relief.
Conor Bierfeldt accounted for the Colonials’ first run of the game with his eighth home run. Austin Howard was the only Western Connecticut batter with two hits and he scored the second run on an RBI single by James Russell.
Sophomore C.J. Sousa went the opening five innings on the hill, giving up eight runs on 11 hits and five walks while striking out three.
Bierfeldt gave the Colonials a 1-0 lead with a solo two-out homer over the left field fence in the top of the first inning. White scored the equalizer when he singled, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error, and scored on a triple by Chadwick.
USM took the lead for good with three runs in the second inning. Junior John Carey plated the first run with a double. After a walk to junior Matt Verrier , a botched pickoff attempt moved both runners up 90 feet. Carey would score on a single by junior Troy Thibodeau, and Verrier scored on a sacrifice fly from freshman Dexter.
Thibodeau scored a run in the fourth on first of two doubles for Dexter. USM added a single run in the fifth when White came home on a single by Bernard. USM added three more runs in the sixth, including two on White’s home run to left-center.
Russell’s RBI single in the seventh made it 9-2. The Huskies tacked on four insurance runs in their half of the inning, highlighted by a two-run double by Chadwick and a two-run single by Grady.