DELRAY BEACH, Florida – The Black Bears were down 5-2 in the eighth inning but came back to tie the game 5-5, and took the game to extra innings where they walked off on a sacrifice-fly by Hernen Sardinas to win the first game of their four-game series with St. Bonaventure, 6-5.
Maine starting pitcher Justin Courtney would pitch for 5.1 innings on the afternoon, allowing only one unearned run through five innings, the unearned run coming in the top of the second as an errant throw by Jeremy Pena would allow the batter to reach second base, and the base runner already on second to score the run; St. Bonaventure led 1-0 after two innings.
In the bottom of the third, still down 1-0, Caleb Kerbs reached base on an error, and was advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Della Fera, and then Jeremy Pena who threw the error in the bottom of the second, would knock himself and Kerbs in to score on a two-run homer over the left field wall; Maine led 2-1 after three innings of play.
The score would remain 2-1 until the top of the sixth inning, where Courtney struggled as he led off walking a batter, the runner then advanced to second on a past ball, walking the next batter, and allowing a bunt single to load the bases. Though Maine was able to get a ground-out at home to prevent the tying run, a three-RBI double from St. Bonaventure would end Courtney’s afternoon, as SBU led 4-2. Zach Winn would enter the game for Maine, letting up a hit, and getting a ground out but another run would score on the ground out. St. Bonaventure led 5-2 after six innings of play.
Maine rallied back in the bottom of the eighth, starting with a lead-off walk to Schwanz, who would then advance to second on a single by Jeremy Pena. A pitching change for St. Bonaventure would not stop Maine’s momentum, as Danny Casals singled on a bunt, loading the bases with no outs. The first scores of the inning would come on a Christopher Bec two-RBI double, scoring Schwanz and Pena from third and second, and advancing Casals to third. Jonathan Bennett would then step to the play and place a hit into left field, scoring Casals to tie the game at 5-all. Maine’s momentum was stopped, though, on a double play ground out by Brandon Vicens, getting the first two outs of the inning and eventually allowing SBU pitcher Roman Wild to get the inning-ending out without giving up the go-ahead run.
Jeff Gelinas would come into the game for Maine in the ninth and retire three straight batters, but Wild would do the same in the bottom of the ninth, to send the game into extra innings.
Connor Johnson came into the game in the top of the 10th inning, allowing a left-field single after retiring two straight batters, but then forcing a pop-out to Jeremy Pena to keep the game tied going into the bottom of the frame.
With one out in the bottom of the 10th, Chrisopher Bec singled, and then stole second base to put himself in scoring position. After an intential walk to Bennett to make the force-out at second and third possible, Brandon Vicens was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. Donavon Moffat would come in to try and get any sort of safe out for the Bonnies, but Hernen Sardinas stepped to the plate and flied out to right field, allowing Chris Bec to tag up and score, as the throw to the plate went over the catcher as Bec slid into home for the go-ahead run.
Connor Johnson gets his third decision of the season, as he gets the win going 1.0 innings, retiring three of four faced batters in extra innings. Roman Wild for the Bonnies gets his first decision of the year, a loss, as his record is now 0-1, the Bonnie’s overall record now 1-3. Maine improves to 4-4 on the season, and 4-1 at the Delray Invitational this season.