|University of Maine||University of Massachusetts|
AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Maine baseball team’s offense exploded for 24 runs, including eight home runs, on Wednesday in a non-conference game against the University of Massachusetts. The Black Bears topped the Minutemen, 24-5, at Earl Lorden Field.
The Black Bears dropped 26 hits, 14 for extra bases, and all nine batters in the starting lineup registered at least one. Ten players total had at least one hit and eight scored at least one run. Twenty-two of Maine’s 24 runs came with two outs. Six Black Bears put together multi-hit performances at the plate.
The hits tally was the most for the Black Bears since collecting 25 at UMBC on April 6, 2012. Maine’s eight home runs marked the first time with at least five home runs in a game since April 10, 2008 against Husson and also ties for the second most in an NCAA DI baseball game this season.
Christopher Bec had three home runs in the game and finished 5-for-6 at the plate, knocking in six RBIs and scoring five runs. It marked the first time that a Maine player hit three home runs in a game since Justin Leisenheimer did it at UMBC on April 7, 2012. Hernen Sardinas was 5-for-6 as well, hitting two home runs and driving in six runs while scoring five. Kevin Doody and Danny Casals racked up four-hit days, with two of Casals’ hits coming in the form of solo shots.
On the flip side, right-handed pitcher Peter Kemble got the starting nod and tossed three strong opening frames. The freshman finished the afternoon at 3.0 innings pitched, allowing one run on two hits while striking out four. Winning pitcher Chris Murphy pitched 2.0 innings of relief and allowed one run on two hits. Maine pitchers limited the Minutemen to seven hits.
The Black Bears had a strong first inning and held a 3-1 edge after one full frame before putting up four runs in the second on the strength of back-to-back-to-back home runs. Right after a Sardinas single, Bec hit his first home run of the day only to be followed up with solo shots from Casals and Bennett.
UMass held Maine off the board in the third and fourth but couldn’t contain the Black Bears after that. Bec’s second long ball of the day in the fifth gave Maine a 10-1 lead after five. A three-run double from Pena and a two-run shot from Sardinas made it 15-2 in the top of the sixth, negating one run from UMass in each of the five, sixth, seventh and eighth innings.
The seventh inning was Maine’s most fruitful of the day, with the Black Bears putting eight runs on the board off of seven hits. Sardinas, Bec and Casals hit Maine’s second set of back-to-back-to-back home runs in the inning for a 23-3 lead. Bennett drove in Sardinas in the ninth for Maine’s final run of the day and then Eddie Emerson kept the Minutemen of the board for the final 24-5 score. The setback drops the Minutemen to 13-22 on the season and Maine is now 12-28.
Maine hosts Binghamton on Saturday and Sunday in a three-game conference series at Mahaney Diamond.