GORHAM, Maine – A three-run top of the sixth followed by a two-run seventh would be all the top-seeded Huskies of Southern Maine (24-17) would need as the eliminated baseball (18-22-1) from the 2012 Little East Conference tournament by the final of 5-2 Thursday afternoon at the USM Baseball Stadium.
With the victory the Huskies stay alive in the double-elimination tournament, and will face the loser of game six between second seeded Eastern Connecticut State University and third seeded Keene State College.
After jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second, the Huskies would get three runs on three hits in the sixth to take their first lead of the contest. They then added some breathing room in the top half of the next inning on a two RBI single by Brett Barrett.
From there the Huskies rode the solid pitching of reliever Nick Douglass (4-1), who allowed just two hits in the final 4 2/3 innings. The junior lefty would close out the game with 10 strikeouts and four walks to earn the win.
For the Beacons, Thursday's loss marked the second straight that the Huskies have handed the Beacons in conference tournament play. During the regular season UMass swept the Huskies in regular season play by the finals of 6-5 and 7-5.
On the day UMass combined for seven hits, while the Huskies combined for 11 with only two of their five runs marked as earned. Getting the loss was Michael Boughton (New Britain, Conn.), who went 6 1/3. Tyler Kane (Wilbraham, Mass.) then came in relief of Boughton before Jeff Thomas (Redwood City, Calif.) closed out the game allowing just two hits, while also striking out one.
Junior Matt Consiglio (Southbury, Conn.) and freshman Collin Keefer (Charlotte, N.C.) each recorded two hits in the loss, with Keefer also driving in one run as well. Both players would reach home plate in the Beacons then go-ahead second inning.
In the Beacons go-ahead inning Consiglio started off the frame with a lead-off single. Keefer then drove in the first run of the day on an RBI single which plated Consiglio. Dominic Morbidelli (Oakland, Calif.) then drove in the second run for the Beacons on an RBI single to left field, plating Keefer.
Designated hitter Tucker White led Southern Maine with three hits and two runs scored and had one of his team's two doubles. Matt Verrier and Nick Grady both went 2-for-4, with Grady also recording one of the Huskies runs in the sixth.
Even with the three-run lead the Beacons did not lay down as they got runners on second and third in both seventh and eighth innings. Unfortunately the Huskies were able to escape in both frames without giving up a run.
Thursday's game also marked the final in the careers of five senior players in Mark McCormack (Shelton, Conn.), Pat Lynch (Middletown, R.I.), Wilberto Sanjurjo (Boston, Mass.), Ty Buccetti (Wallingford, Conn.), and Mike Mattei (Spencer, Mass.).