|Maryland Baltimore County||University of Maine|
ORONO, Maine – The No. 5 seed University of Maine baseball team staved off elimination from the America East Tournament by topping No.3 seed UMBC, 9-4, on Wednesday night at Mahaney Diamond. The Black Bears (20-33) will play tomorrow night at 6 p.m. against a to be determined opponent while UMBC (22-29) is eliminated from the tournament.
Eight of Maine’s nine batters registered at least one hit. Christopher Bec finished with three hits while Jeremy Pena, Hernen Sardinas Danny Casals and Cody Pasic each had two.
Maine wasted no time in making a statement, jumping out to a 4-0 lead after the top of the first and 7-0 after the top of the second thanks to seven combined RBIs from Bec and Casals. Pena legged out a double to start and then Maine had runners on the corners after Sardinas forced UMBC into a throwing error. Bec’s double then plated Pena for a two-run edge.
With Bec and Sardinas on base, Casals scorched a the third pitch he saw far over the left field fence. It was his 14th long ball of the season, which tied for seventh all-time in a single season at Maine.
The second inning saw Maine put two more runs on the board. Singles from Pasic and Sardinas were followed up by Bec’s second extra base hit – and second triple of the season – for a 7-0 command.
UMBC put one run on the board with an RBI single in the second and a wild pitch in the third. The Retrievers threatened to creep closer to Maine’s seven runs in the fourth when they loaded the bases with two outs. Starter Zach Winn, though, recorded his fourth strikeout of the evening to get out of the jam.
Sardinas knocked his second triple of the season in the top of the sixth and scored Pena in the process. Maine also put runners on the corner in the frame but UMBC turned a double play to get out of the jam and hold the score at 8-2.
But after UMBC’s pair of runs, Maine responded in kind. With two outs, Doody singled and then Ridley’s double to right center plated him.
That 9-4 lead would hold thanks to three strong innings of relief from Matt Geoffrion.
Winn finished with four innings pitched, allowing two runs on six hits while walking four and striking out four. Trevor DeLaite (2-2) went two innings in relief, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out three in getting the win. Geoffrion earned his second save of the season by pitching the final three scoreless innings.
The double-elimination tournament will feature three games tomorrow, with Maine’s opponent being determined by the results of the first two of the day.