June 02, 2020
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UMaine knocked out of America East baseball tourney

Ryan Long | UMaine athletics
Ryan Long | UMaine athletics
Head coach Nick Derba watches the action during a University of Maine baseball game earlier this season. The Black Bears lost their America East tournament opener on Wednesday in Vestal, New York.

For the first time since the 2015 season, the University of Maine’s baseball team will exit the America East Tournament without a win.

Sophomore second baseman Drew DeMartino went 4-for-4 including a homer and the game-winning two-run single, and drove in four runs to lead defending America East Tournament champ Hartford to a come-from-behind 6-5 victory over the Black Bears in an elimination game in Vestal, New York, Wednesday night.

The four hits and four RBIs in a game are both career-highs for DeMartino.

The University of Massachusetts at Lowell blanked the Black Bears 5-0 in the tourney opener and host Binghamton edged Hartford 2-1 in the next game.

Fifth seed UMaine wound up 15-34 after losing its fourth straight game and seventh in its last eight.

Hartford, 21-33, will play a 6 p.m. elimination game Thursday.

DeMartino, last year’s Most Outstanding Player in the league tournament held at Mahaney Diamond in Orono when he went 6-for-10 with a homer and four runs batted in, singled in a first-inning run and homered in the sixth before giving his team the lead for good in the seventh.

The Hawks were trailing 5-4 and UMaine reliever Matt Geoffrion retired the first two hitters he faced.

But Jackson Olson singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. Chris Sullivan drew a walk and UMaine head coach Nick Derba summoned closer Trevor DeLaite.

Ashton Bardzell reached on an infield single to load the bases and DeMartino singled through the right side of the infield to deliver Olson and Sullivan.

DeMartino, who had gone 1-for-11 in his previous four games, helped staked Hartford to a 3-0 lead in the first with his run-scoring single.

Bardzell and Zach Ardito also singled in runs and Sullivan had a double.

UMaine answered with two in the bottom of the first on Danny Casals’ two-run homer, his eighth of the season, and UMaine took the lead with two more in the second.

Singles by Jeffrey Omohundro and Brogan Searle-Belanger set the stage for Hernen Sardinas’ two-run double down the left field line.

DeMartino, who came into the game hitting .244, homered to left to open the sixth, his third of the season.

But UMaine restored its one-run lead in the bottom of the inning when Caleb Kerbs singled, went to second on an outfield throwing error on Mike Sabatine’s fly ball to right, and scored on Searle-Belanger’s single up the middle.

Bardzell had two hits for the Hawks to complement DeMartino’s four.

Searle-Belanger had three hits for UMaine and Casals capped his outstanding career with a pair of hits.

Junior lefty Drew Farkas pitched 4 ⅓ innings of two-hit one-run relief to pick up the win. He is now 2-0. Farkas struck out five and walked one and the run off him was unearned.

Will Nowak got the last four outs to earn his sixth save.

Geoffrion (0-3) absorbed the loss for UMaine.

In the opener, ace right-hander Cody Laweryson had allowed two earned runs or fewer in 11 of his 13 starts this season.

That trend did not continue in the tourney opener against UMass Lowell.

The fourth-seeded River Hawks reached the all-conference, first-team selection for four runs in the first two innings and senior righty Nick Rand limited the Black Bears to four hits in eight innings as the River Hawks triumphed.

Oscar Marchena belted a two-run home run and Mark Tumosa ripped a two-run triple to spark the early offense for UMass Lowell (20-34), which plays regular-season champ Stony Brook at 11 a.m. Thursday. The River Hawks have won eight of their last nine games, including taking two of three at Stony Brook last weekend.

Laweryson (5-5), a former standout at Valley High School in Bingham, racked up 12 strikeouts while walking three and hitting two batters. Nick Sanicola gave up a hit and a walk with one strikeout while pitching an inning in relief.

Cam Climo also tripled for the winners, Tumosa added an RBI single and Marchena had a single to go with his home run.

Danny Casals doubled for UMaine, which also received singles from Hernen Sardinas, Caleb Kerbs (two walks) and Jeffrey Omohundro.

UMaine had swept a three-game series from the River Hawks in April but UMass Lowell took the lead for good with two runs in the first inning.

Robert Gallagher opened the inning by reaching on an infield single and, one out later, Marchena belted his second homer of the season over the left-field fence.

In the second inning, Michael Young reached on an error by left fielder Colin Ridley, Vinnie Martin drew a walk and Tumosa tripled to right-center.

Tumosa drove in the final run in the fourth with a single to left after Cam Climo walked and stole second.

Rand (5-5) turned in a gem as he struck out six and walked three before giving way to Kendall Pomeroy, who pitched the ninth and surrendered a walk and a hit batsman.


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