SANFORD, Maine — Tyler Patzalek and George Tager stroked two-run singles to highlight a five-run eighth inning Tuesday that carried the University of Maine to an 8-3 baseball victory over Northeastern at Goodall Park.
Junior righthander Matt Jebb pitched seven innings of eight-hit, two-run ball, but did not figure in the decision for the Black Bears (28-19), who won their third in a row.
UMaine turned three double plays, all behind Jebb, to keep the Huskies from gaining the upper hand in the early going.
“We played really well. It was such a clean baseball game,” said UMaine coach Steve Trimper. “We didn’t walk anybody, we didn’t make any errors, we turned three double plays and we had good at-bats.”
UMaine returns to action Saturday with a 3 p.m. America East doubleheader against Albany at Mahaney Diamond in Orono.
Jebb struck out six with no walks but hit a batter.
“He was very sharp today,” Trimper said. “He was pounding the zone. He was mixing speeds extremely well, too. He really did a good job.”
Patzalek collected three singles to spearhead the Bears’ 13-hit attack. Tony Patane knocked in three runs, delivering a sacrifice fly in the first inning and a two-run double in the fifth.
Michael Fransoso tripled for the third time in two games and singled while Matt Howard singled twice for UMaine.
Tony DiCesare hit an RBI triple and a single to pace Northeastern (11-26), while Alan Pastyrnak doubled and singled. Matt Miller doubled and singled with an RBI.
UMaine responded after the Huskies had tied the game at 3-3 with a run in the top of the eighth inning.
Taylor Lewis worked a leadoff walk against Northeastern reliever Dylan Maki (1-1) and advanced on Joe Mercurio’s sacrifice bunt. Joey Martin reached on an infield single to shortstop, then stole second.
“We actually tried to manufacture a run,” Trimper said. “We had a walk, bunted him over, then got a single up the middle they kept in the infield. Then we ran a fake squeeze-and-run play. It gets you out of the double play and brings the infield in.”
Patzalek followed with a two-run single through the middle and moved up on an error by the center fielder. Ian Leisenheimer walked, then Pat Thibodeau of Caribou greeted J.T. Ross with an opposite-field, RBI double down the left-field line.
George Tager followed with a two-run single to center field, giving UMaine the margin of victory.
“George and Thibodeau came in the inning before and they both had a big hit,” Trimper said.
Barry Keiffer (3-1) picked up the win, surrendering DiCesare’s game-tying triple before retiring John Puttress, the only other batter he faced. Justin Latta retired the side in order in the ninth.
UMaine grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first on Fransoso’s leadoff triple and Patane’s sac fly. Northeastern equalized in the fourth on singles by Puttress and Frank Compagnone, and a double-play grounder.
The Huskies made it 2-1 in the fifth on a one-out double by Pastyrnak, a wild pitch and Matt Miller’s sacrifice fly.
However, the Bears responded with two runs in the fifth on Justin Leisenheimer’s leadoff single, a one-out single by Howard and a two-out, two-run double to left by Patane.
NU tied it in the eighth when Miller doubled to left with one out and scored on DiCesare’s triple to left.