The impending rainy weather has forced University of Maine athletic administrators to rearrange this weekend’s busy schedule.
UMaine’s baseball team will now play a non-conference doubleheader against the University of Massachusetts beginning on Friday at 3:15 p.m. at Mahaney Diamond in Orono with both games being seven-inning affairs. They will play single nine-inning games against the Minutemen on Saturday and Sunday at noon.
They were originally scheduled to play single games on Friday and Sunday sandwiching a Saturday twinbill.
The Black Bear softball team, which split a non-conference doubleheader with Holy Cross on Thursday, will host defending America East champion Albany for a Friday league doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. instead of Saturday at noon.
The teams will play one game on Saturday, but the time has yet to be set. UMaine and Albany were scheduled to play a Saturday doubleheader and a Sunday single game.
And the second of three UMaine football scrimmages has been moved to Friday night at 6 p.m. at Alfond Stadium instead of Saturday at 10 a.m.
It is Legends Weekend as the 1991 UMaine baseball team and 1984 and ‘87 softball teams will be honored.
The 1991 baseball team won a school-record 48 games (48-18) and reached the final of the Northeast Regional at Mahaney Diamond only to lose to Clemson of South Carolina, 13-5.
The 1984 and ‘87 softball teams captured ECAC championships.
The University of Maine’s current baseball team has won four straight games to go from the bottom of the America East standings into sole possession of third place at 6-5. They are 7-22 overall.
The Black Bears, who were hitting under. 200 as a team and scoring less than three runs per game, before the four-game winning streak, are now up to .210 after going 43-for-126 (.341) during the streak and scoring 37 runs.
“We’ve been swinging the bats much better,” said UMaine coach Nick Derba. “We’re staying in the strike zone (instead of swinging at bad pitches) and have capitalized on our opportunities. We aren’t squandering leadoff walks. And we’ve been getting production out of the bottom of the lineup.”
Number nine hitter Jeffrey Omohundro had been hitting under .100 but has gone 5-for-12 in the winning streak (.417). The junior college transfer from Dothan, Alabama has also been a reliable defensive shortstop.
And junior catcher Cody Pasic returned to the lineup last weekend in the three-game sweep of UMass Lowell and drove in six runs while going 6-for-11 (.545). He had been sidelined due to a concussion.
The Black Bears have continued to get strong starting pitching from the likes of Cody Laweryson, Peter Kemble and Nick Silva and former freshman All-American Justin Courtney, coming off Tommy John surgery, had his best outing of the season in the 18-4 win over UMass Lowell as he threw five two-hit, shutout innings in relief with six strikeouts and one walk.
“Justin is excellent in that role,” said Derba.
Derba said he is going to use a lot of players this weekend and wants his team to “keep progressing.”
UMaine returns to America East action with a three-game set at Albany on April 27-28.