Huskies Extend Win Streak to 11
GORHAM, Maine -- Senior southpaw Tom Fortier (Falmouth, Maine) earned his third win of the season pitching eight-plus innings as the University of Southern Maine Huskies defeated the visiting University of Massachusetts Boston Beacons, 4-2, in a Little East Conference (LEC) game Tuesday afternoon at the USM Baseball Stadium.
The win was the 11th straight for the Huskies, improving their overall record to 18-7. The Huskies are unbeaten in LEC play at 7-0 and sit in first place at the midpoint of the conference schedule. The Beacons lost for just the second time on the last nine games, and are now 17-9 overall and 4-3 in the conference. The two teams will meet again next Tuesday (April 25) at UMB.
Fortier pitched into the ninth inning giving up two runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out seven. The Beacons nicked Fortier for a run on the first on an RBI triple by junior Chris Fowler (Barnstable, Mass.), but were shut down over the next seven innings. At one point, Fortier retired 10 consecutive Beacon hitters.
The Huskies scored all the runs they would need in the second inning pushing three runs across the plate. USM loaded the bases on consecutive singles from senior Paul McDonough (Wells, Maine) and sophomores Jake Dexter (Oakland, Maine/Messalonskee) and Devin Warren (Smithfield, Maine/Messalonskee). Sophomore Kip Richard (Kennebunk, Maine) brought home McDonough with a sacrifice fly to center. After a wild pitch moved the runners up 90 feet, rookie Andrew Olszak (Danvers, Mass.) grounded a single through the left side to bring home both runners and give USM a 3-1 lead.
The Huskies chased Beacon nemesis, sophomore right-hander Fernando Burgos (Hyde Park, Mass./John D. O'Bryant), when sophomore Zach Quintal (Eliot, Maine/Marshwood) followed Olszak's hit with a single of his own. Junior Bryan Kaufman (Farmingdale, N.Y.) was summoned from the bullpen and got the Beacons out of the inning without any further damage.
Fortier and Kaufman matched zeros on the scoreboard from the third through the seventh innings. USM got a big insurance run in the eighth inning when rookie Dylan Hapworth (Winslow, Maine) led off the inning with his seventh home run of the season.
UMB would not go quietly on the ninth. Sophomore Nick Herzog (Riverhead, N.Y.) led off the frame with a single to end Fortier's day. USM sophomore left-handed reliever Matt Correale (Peabody, Mass.) sandwiched a pair of outs around a double by sophomore Charlie Huegi (Sandy Hook, Conn.) that put runners at second and third. Correale surrendered a walk to load the bases, then hit rookie Danny Brown (Hudson, N.H.) with a pitch to force in a run. The Huskies turned to Dexter to get the final out of the game via a strikeout.
Hapworth, Dexter and Olszak had two hits apiece to pace the Huskies' 10-hit attack. Fowler, Herzog, Huegi and Josh Lopez had two hits each for the Beacons. Burgos took the loss allowing three runs on five hits and a walk in 1 1/3 innings. Kaufman gave up just the one run on five hits without walking a batter and striking out five over 6 2/3 innings.
Southern Maine is back in action tomorrow afternoon (3:30 p.m.) hosting Endicott College. UMass Boston will be on the road again tomorrow (3:00 p.m.) traveling to Salem State University.