Baseball’s Comeback Bid Falls Short Against No. 17/18 Southern Maine
BROCKTON, Mass. – After cutting the lead to three in the bottom half of the eighth on a three RBI triple by Patrick Murphy (Stamford, Conn.), the No. 17/18th ranked Huskies of Southern Maine would score three runs in the top half of the ninth and would retire the side in the bottom half of the inning to hand baseball their third straight Little East Conference loss by the final of 12-6, Tuesday evening at Campanelli Stadium.
The Beacons (10-14, 4-3 Little East) late push, saw them cut a once comfortable seven-run Huskies lead down to three as UMB took advantage of two huge errors by USM, which would load the bases with two outs. Murphy, who got his first career hit in the fourth on an two RBI single, cleared the bases in the eighth with his first career triple to make it 9-6.
However Southern Maine (21-3, 5-0 Little East), winners of 15 straight games including going 5-0 in Little East Conference play, regained control in the top half of the next inning. After the Beacons were able to get a strikeout, the Huskies got runners on first and second on back-to-back walks. Then with an RBI single, an error and a delayed double steal, Southern Maine all but locked-up the conference win. They would go on to secure the victory with three straight outs to remain the only undefeated team in the LEC.
Shyler Scates walked away with his second victory of the season, as he allowed just three runs on eight hits, while striking out three and walking one other. Ryan Browner and Andrew Richards would combine for the final two innings, with Richards fanning two Beacons batters as the duo allowed the three runs, all of which were unearned, on just one hit, Murphy's triple.
For UMass, Murphy's 2-for-4 five RBI performance was the highlight of Tuesday's contest, as the Beacons combined earned their six runs on nine hits. Jamill Moquette (Boston, Mass.) walked away with the only other RBI and was 2-for-3 with a double at the plate.
On the mound, Michael Boughton (New Britain, Conn.) dropped his third decision of the year as the senior allowed six runs, five earned, on seven hits through five complete. The Connecticut native did manage two strikeouts and walked two batters. Harlan Zeerip (Bridgewater, Conn.), who came in relief in the top of the ninth recorded the only other Beacon strikeout in his quick appearance.
In total the Huskies recorded their 12 runs on 10 hits, with only one hit coming from power hitters Tucker White and Nick Grady. Grady did drive in three runs on his lone hit, a double in the fifth. John Carey and Chris Bernard each went 2-for-5 with two RBI. Carey also accounted for two of the Huskies runs. Sam Dexter was 2-for-3, with a triple, and three runs scored to help lead USM's potent offense, which ranks amongst the top in all of Division III baseball.
Baseball returns to action tomorrow when they travel to Salem State University for a 3:30 p.m. non-conference game.