|University of Maine||Texas Tech|
LUBBOCK, Texas – The University of Maine baseball team battled No. 3 Texas Tech in the very first game of the 2018 season on Friday afternoon, but came up on the short end of a 4-2 final at Rip Griffin Stadium.
Danny Casals had two hits on the day while Brandon Vicens and Christopher Bec each added one. Jeremy Pena and Hernen Sardinas each knocked in a run, with Pena and Vicens both crossing the plate for Maine.
Bec notched the first hit of the season for the Black bears in the top of the first when he singled towards first base, but it would be the lone hit of the frame for Maine. Though Maine starter Justin Courtney racked up five strikeouts over the first three innings, but the Red Raiders pushed three runs across the plate to take the 3-0 lead after three.
Gabe Holt doubled down the right field line to move John McMillon to third, Cody Farhat singled up the left side to drive in both Holt and McMillon. Farhat then scored three batters later on another Texas Tech double.
Vicens led off the top of the fifth with a single to right field, and then made it to third after a Colin Ridley walk and a sacrifice bunt by Caleb Kerbs. Pena then drove Vicens in on a ball to second. Texas Tech added another run when Josh Jung hit an opposite field home run to right field.
The Black Bears didn’t go quietly though, as Pena walked to start the eighth inning, took second on a wild pitch before scoring two batters later on a fielder’s choice hit by Sardinas to the shortstop.
Courtney (0-1) yielded six hits in four innings of work, with Texas Tech getting the three earned runs in the bottom of the third. He had six strikeouts on the day. For the Red Raiders, Davis Martin (1-0) went fiving innings, giving up three hits and one earned run while striking out four. Dane Haveman got the save for Texas Tech.
Matt Geoffrion went three innings in relief for Maine, striking out three, while Connor Johnson had one strikeout in one inning of relief.
The Black Bears and Red Raiders will play a double header tomorrow – with the first game set for 1 p.m. – before closing out the series with a single game on Sunday afternoon.