WATERVILLE, Maine — University of Southern Maine scored five runs in the fourth inning on the way to opening up a 9-1 lead before holding off a furious Colby College comeback in the bottom of the ninth inning in a 9-6 non-conference baseball game Tuesday.
The Huskies, ranked fourth in New England, improved to 14-7 overall. Colby drops to 5-14.
The Mules scored five runs in the ninth and had the bases loaded with the winning run at the plate. Jake Dexter, the fourth pitcher of the inning and the son of Colby assistant coach Tom Dexter, earned his third save of the year after getting the final out.
Dylan Hapworth had two triples and a double to lead USM’s offense. Zach Quintal, who had two runs and a hit, led off the game with a single, stole second base, and came around to score on Hapworth’s double in the first inning.
The Huskies had four unearned runs in the the fourth inning to go up 6-0. Paul McDonough had a one-out walk and promptly stole second base. Dexter followed with a single to bring in the second run of the game. After getting the second out, Andrew Hillier reached on an error and advanced to second as Dexter went to third. USM catcher Kyle Heath singled to bring in both runners. After a walk to Quintal, Matt Bender singled to bring in Heath from second base and an error brought in Quintal.
Hapworth led off the fifth inning with a triple and scored on McDonough’s sacrifice fly to right field for a 7-0 margin.
Colby broke the shutout in the sixth inning when Ryder Arsenault led off with a single. He advanced to second on a ground out and scored on a single by Noah Tocci.
The Huskies scored what turned out to be important runs in the seventh and ninth innings. McDonough had a one-out walk, stole second, and moved to third on a grounder to the right side. Devin Warren had a two-out single to make it 8-1.
Hapworth smacked a one-out triple and later scored on a passed ball in the ninth inning.
Grant Lowensohn led off the Colby ninth with a single and took second on a single by Noah Paredes. After USM got the first out, Matt Treveloni was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Arsenault had a sacrifice fly to right field to bring in Lowensohn. William Wessman walked to load the bases again and Bobby Forese picked up an RBI with a walk to bring in Paredes with the third run.
The Huskies elected to go with their third pitcher of the inning, but he was greeted by an RBI single from Matt Mitchell to plate Treveloni. George Schmidt walked to bring in Wessman and Lowensohn batted for the second time and walked to score Forese. Dexter, the closer for USM, was suddenly in a save situation and he got out of it by fielding a grounder for the final out.
Bender finished with two hits and an RBI for the winners. McDonough scored twice and walked two times, while Heath had two hits.
Lowenhohn had a hit and two walks to lead Colby.
Henry Curran started the game and earned his first win of the season. He pitched five shutout innings, struck out five, and walked two.