|University at Albany||University of Maine|
ORONO, Maine – The No. 5 seed University of Maine baseball team topped the No. 6 seed University at Albany, 6-1, on Thursday night at Mahaney Diamond to move on in the America East Tournament. The Black Bears will play No. 4 seed Stony Brook in the double elimination tournament tomorrow at 2:30 pm.
Maine finished with 12 hits while Maine’s three pitchers limited the Great Danes to five. Christopher Bec finished with three hits while Jeremy Pena and Danny Casals registered two apiece. Pena also registered two RBIs. Starter Nick Silva threw six innings of three-hit baseball to help the Black Bears build the lead.
Maine loaded the bases with two outs in the first thanks to Bec’s triple and back-to-back walks by Casals and Jonathan Bennett but Brandon Vicens fly ball to left ended the first inning. Bec would also go on to double in the fifth, marking the second consecutive game that the catcher knocked a double and a triple.
Silva held the Great Danes to just one hit over the first four innings and as a team, the Black Bears played strong defense. Silva himself made two putouts, charging and throwing on a ball that bounced off the plate as well as a leaping over the shoulder grab on a high hopper towards the mound.
After a one-two-three top of the fourth – thanks in part to two strikeouts by Silva – Maine pieced together hits for runs.
Maine’s first three batters reached, as a Casals’ single and bunt hits by Bennett and Vicens loaded the bases for Doody. The sophomore’s bloop single to short center pushed Casals across. Pena’s two-out single up the middle then put two more on the board and took a 3-0 lead.
UAlbany responded with one run in the fifth and had runners on first and second but Silva responded with his second strikeout of the frame to get out of the jam.
Maine grabbed the three-run lead back in the sixth when Colin Ridley’s single and steal put him in scoring position for Pasic’s RBI ground rule double. An inning later, Maine made it 6-1 after Casals doubled to drive in Bec and Ridley hit a sacrifice fly to right to drive in Casals.
The win marks Maine’s seventh consecutive in the series against UAlbany, a series best.
Silva (3-6) pitched six innings, allowing just one run on three hits while striking out four and walking two. Cody Laweryson pitched two innings of relief, allowing two hits and striking out two without yielding a hit. Connor Johnson pitched the ninth, retiring the side to end the game.