|University of Maine||University of Hartford|
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The University of Maine baseball team jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning but the Hartford Hawks used a four-run seventh to complete a comeback for a 5-3 America East win at Fiondella Field.
The loss bumps Maine to 4-18 overall and 0-1 in conference play while Hartford ticks to 3-14 overall and 2-2 in league play. The Black Bears loaded the bases in the top of the ninth but were unable to push any more runs across.
A triple from Jeremy Pena to start the game sparked the Black Bears offense on to a three-run first. Maine’s second batter in Jonathan Bennett singled in Pena for the 1-0 lead. Three batters later, Hernen Sardinas doubled down the left field line to bring around Bennett and Brandon Vicens, who had reached on a fielder’s choice.
Zach Winn retired the side in the bottom half of the inning and allowed one runner in the second before retiring the side again in the third. In the fourth, with runners on second and third and one out, Winn struck out a batter looking and then induced a ground ball to second to end the inning with Maine still leading, 3-0.
Hartford would touch Winn up for one run in the fifth, though, with Zachary Ardito earning a walk, stealing second and then coming around to score on a Nick Campana single.
Two innings later, the hosts pushed four runs on four hits and one error across the plate to take a 5-3 lead that would hold up through the Black Bears comeback bid in the ninth.
Christopher Bec led off the ninth with a single to short and then Caleb Kerbs eventually earned a walk to put two on with one out for Maine. A single from Pena through the left side loaded the bases up for Bennett with two outs but Seth Pinkerton was able to tally a strikeout.
Both squads finished with eight hits, with Pena finish with two hits and one run scored while Sardinas had one hit and two RBIs. Bennett finished with one hit and one RBI and earned one walk. The Black Bears left eight runs on the bases on the day and committed four errors while the Hawks stranded nine and played cleanly in the field.
Winn pitched 5.0 innings, allowing one earned run on three hits while walking three and striking out four. In relief, Ben Terwilliger pitched 1.1 innings, allowing one earned run on one hit while Matt Geoffrion pitched 1.2 innings and gave up three earned runs on four hits. Both Terwilliger and Geoffrion registered two strikeouts and one walk.
The Black Bears and Hawks will close out the weekend tomorrow with a doubleheader slated to being at 12 p.m.