|Sacred Heart University||University of Maine|
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – The University of Maine baseball team lost a 9-8 decision to Sacred Heart in the first of two games on Friday.
The Black Bears finished with six home runs on the day – three in each game – with three from Danny Casals. Casals also scored five runs while Christopher Bec finished 6-for-10 with five runs scored and two RBIs and Jonathan Bennett went 6-for-11 with five RBIs and five runs scored. Colin Ridley finished the day with five hits, four runs scored and four RBIs.
Against Sacred Heart, Casals sent a solo shot to left field to stake Maine to a 1-0 lead after half an inning, but the Pioneers showed patience at the plate in their first at-bats, with five walks and one hit by pitch giving way to a 3-1 lead.
After a scoreless second, the Pioneers added two runs in the third and one in the fourth to take a 6-1 lead into the fifth.
Down but not out, the Black Bears clawed back into the game, led by Kevin Doody. After a bunt single down the first base line, Doody stole second and then stole third. His aggressiveness on the base paths led to a throwing error and he able to make it home. Soon after, Casals hit his second home run of the game to cut the deficit to three. Bec’ home run in the top of the sixth made it 6-4 and then Doody drove in a run on a fielder’s choice.
Sacred Heart regained the three-run lead on Austin Markmann’s opposite field home run into the wind in the seventh but Maine yet again fought back and this time tied it up.
Trailing by two heading into the top of the ninth, Maine put together four straight hits with two outs to tie it up, 8-8. After Hernen Sardinas singled to center, Bec doubled to give Maine two runners in scoring position. Bennett’s bloop single to center then scored Sardinas and Bec.
Unfortunately, a single, sacrifice bunt and another single manufactured the walk-off winning run for the Pioneers (9-17) in the 9-8 win. Cody Laweryson took the loss for Maine after coming on in relief. Maine had 13 hits to Sacred Heart’s eight.