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Southern Maine Opens NCAA Regional Downing Worcester State 8-4

Southern Maine Opens NCAA Regional Downing Worcester State 8-4
Senior Chris Bernard had an RBI triple and a two-run homer for the Huskies in an 8-4 win against Worcester State in the opening round of the NCAA Regional Tournament at Harwich, Mass.

Bernard Has RBI Triple, Two-Run Homer; Huskies Face Tufts on Thursday

            HARWICH, Mass. -- Senior Chris Bernard (Scarborough, Maine) had an RBI triple and a two-run homer to help the second-seeded University of Southern Maine Huskies defeat the seventh-seeded Worcester State University Lancers, 8-4, in the final game of the opening day of play in the 2014 NCAA Division III Harwich Regional Tournament Wednesday night at Whitehouse Field.

            The victory moves the Huskies, 32-12 overall, into the winners bracket to face third-seeded Tufts University in the last of four games on Thursday (8:00 p.m.).  Tufts defeated sixth-seeded St. Joseph's College (Me.) 3-1 to advance to the winners bracket.  St. Joseph's will play Worcester State in an elimination game Thursday (1:30 p.m.).

            Bernard had an RBI triple to spark the Huskies' four-run eruption in the third inning.  He would hit his fourth homer of the season to cap a three-run sixth inning.

            Sophomore Sam Dexter (Oakland, Maine) preceded Bernard's triple in the third inning with a leadoff single, and had an RBI single in the sixth before coming around on Bernard's round tripper.

            Senior southpaw Logan Carman (Newfields, N.H./Exeter) went seventh innings on the hill to pick up his third win of the season.  Carman allowed four runs on six hits and three walks while striking out three.  Sophomores Dan Kinnon (Londonderry, N.H.) and Ryan Browner (Georgetown, Mass.) each pitched a scoreless inning in relief.

            Junior Cody Osburn (Fair Oaks, Calif./Gilmour Academy) had two hits and an RBI for the Lancers.  Junior Ben Libuda (Auburn, Mass.) pitched seven innings giving up all eight runs on 10 hits and four walks.  Libuda struck out six.

            The Lancers grabbed a 2-0 lead against Carman in the first inning on RBI singles by junior Zach George (Attleboro, Mass.) and Osburn.

            Southern Maine cut the deficit in half in the second as junior Jake Glauser (Goffstown, N.H.) led off the frame with a single, and scored on rookie Matt Bender's (Walpole, Mass.) double.

            The Huskies scored four times in the third inning to take a 5-2 lead.  Dexter led off the inning with a single and came around to score on Bernard's triple to left center.  Bernard trotted home when senior Matt Verrier (Norway, Maine/Oxford Hills) doubled to left.  Senior Troy Thibodeau (Danvers, Mass./New Hampton) would reach on an infield single, and Bender walked with one out to load the bases.  Sophomore Nick DiBiase (Portland, Maine/Deering) stroked a single through the left side of the infield to score Verrier and Thibodeau.

            Rookie Paul McDonough (Wells, Maine) opened the Huskies' sixth inning with a double and advanced to third on a sacrifice.  Dexter singled down the right-field line to drive in McDonough.  Bernard hit the first pitch he saw from Libuda over the fence for an 8-2 USM lead.

            The Lancers picked up a pair of runs in the seventh to trim the deficit to 8-4.  Junior David Ruggiero (Peabody, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) drove in the first run with a groundout, and sophomore Dennis Duplessis (Marlboro, Mass.) scored later in the inning on a wild pitch.