June 22, 2018
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UMaine baseball team takes two of three in America East series at Hartford

Pete Warner | BDN
Pete Warner | BDN
By Pete Warner, BDN Staff

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. — Mike Connolly pitched five shutout innings in the second game, helping the University of Maine salvage a split of Sunday’s America East doubleheader with a 7-2 victory over Hartford at Fiondella Field.

The Hawks edged the Black Bears 7-6 in nine innings in Sunday’s opener.

On Saturday, Tommy Lawrence continued his domination of opposing hitters as UMaine earned a 9-3 victory.

In Sunday’s finale, three pitchers combined on a five-hitter as UMaine (13-13, 4-2 AE) took the rubber game of the series.

Connolly (3-2) gave up three hits and struck out three in his stint, before Shaun Coughlin and D.J. Voisine closed it out.

Alex Calbick and Brian Doran each hit a single with two RBIs to pace the Bears, while Sam Balzano of Portland and Colin Gay (four runs scored) provided two singles each.

Brian Estevez singled twice for Hartford (4-15, 3-3 AE), while Joe Roberti hit an RBI double. Lefthander Sean Newcomb (1-3) surrendered five hits and six runs (three earned) in four innings. He fanned eight, but walked five.

UMaine scored all the runs it would need in the first two innings.

In the first, Balzano reached on an error, Gay walked and Mike Fransoso reached on a fielder’s choice. Calbick walked, then Gay scored on a wild pitch. Doran grounded out to plate the second run.

The Bears tallied the eventual game-winner in the third when Gay singled, stole second with one out and took third on an errant throw. He eventually scored on a passed ball.

UMaine got some insurance in the fifth on an RBI single by Fransoso and Calbick’s two-run single.

In Sunday’s opener, the Hawks squandered an early 6-0 advantage, but pulled it out in extra innings.

Adam Touhey opened the ninth with a single off relief loser A.J. Bazdanes (2-3) and moved up on a wild pitch. Nick Dummar bunted Touhey over and Billy Walker hit the game-winning single.

Bazdanes gave up five hits and one run in 6 2/3 innings in relief of freshman Jake Marks. Bazdanes struck out nine.

Brian Murphy logged 5 1/3 innings of four-hit, one-run relief before Jeremy Charles pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up the victory.

Trey Stover and Dummar each hit two singles with an RBI and Roberti also singled twice for Hartford.

Connolly and Doran each singled with two RBI to pace UMaine. Marks lasted only 1 1/3 innings and gave up four hits and six runs (three earned) with two hit batters, a balk and two wild pitches.

On Saturday, Lawrence made a triumphant return to his native Connecticut with eight innings of one-hit ball to spearhead the Bears.

The junior righthander (3-2) allowed only the unearned run, striking out eight, while walking one and hitting two batters.

Lawrence, from West Haven, Conn., flirted with a no-hitter for 6 1/3 innings. However, a hit batsman helped open the door for James Alfonso’s single. Lawrence then committed a throwing error that cost him the shutout.

The run snapped a string of more than 15 scoreless innings worked by Lawrence.

Fransoso sparked the offense with two hits, including a two-run home run in the first inning and an RBI double in the second. Doran contributed a double, two singles and RBI in the 14-hit attack.

Calbick and Connolly each posted a solo home run and a single and Fran Whitten knocked in two runs with a double and a single.

Chris DelDebbio led Hartford with a two-run double. Starter Kyle Gauthier (0-3) took the loss, allowing nine hits and six runs in five innings.

UMaine returns to action Saturday and Sunday with a three-game America East series at Albany (N.Y.).

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