NORFOLK, Va. — The University of Maine broke out of its recent offensive struggles with a vengeance Friday afternoon.
Sophomore Fran Whitten belted three doubles, two with RBIs, and a single and scored three times to pace the Black Bears’ 18-hit onslaught in a 16-5 rout of Norfolk State.
UMaine (8-14), which had seven extra-base hits, also played errorless defense to back junior righthander Steve Perakslis (2-2), who allowed eight hits and one run over six innings with four strikeouts and no walks.
Mike Fransoso doubled twice among his three hits and knocked in a run, while Ian Leisenheimer (triple, single) and Alex Calbick (solo home run, single) each had two RBIs. Troy Black contributed two singles and an RBI and freshman Scott Heath of Westbrook singled twice.
Rafael Colon collected three singles for the 9-13 Spartans, who had their winning streak halted at eight games.
Cameron Day tripled and singled, Mark Wells provided two singles and an RBI and Justin Lee rapped a two-run single.
Starter Jordan Egan (1-3) took the loss, surrendering nine hits and eight runs (four earned) in four innings. Norfolk State committed seven errors.
Both teams set the tone for the day in the top of the first inning. UMaine posted four singles and Norfolk State made four errors to help stake the Bears to a 5-0 lead.
Fransoso led off with a single, stole second and took third on a throwing error. Colin Gay’s infield hit scored him. Leisenheimer singled to left, then Gay scored when Tyler Patzalek’s fly ball to left was dropped.
Calbick kept things going with an RBI single and Heath executed a sacrifice bunt, before a grounder by Whitten led to two errors and two more runs.
UMaine later scored single runs in the second, third, fourth, sixth and seventh innings and piled on six runs in the fifth while pulling away.
Key blows for the Bears included Calbick’s solo shot in the second inning, Black’s RBI single in the third and Whitten’s run-scoring double in the fourth. The fifth inning was highlighted by Leisenheimer’s two-run triple to right-center and another Whitten RBI double.
Senior Jon Balentina saw his first mound action since Feb. 29 at Florida A&M, pitching the seventh and eighth innings.
The lefthander, who is experimenting with a sidearm/submarine delivery, allowed three hits and two runs, struck out five and walked two.