1991 & 1997 NCAA Division III National Champions

#16 Southern Maine Downs Bates 8-3

Sophomore Henry Curran struck out a career-high nine in USM's 8-3 win over Bates College (file photo by Jason Johns).
Sophomore Henry Curran struck out a career-high nine in USM's 8-3 win over Bates College (file photo by Jason Johns).

Hiller Goes 4 for 4 to Lead Huskies' 15-Hit Attack

            GORHAM, Maine -- Sophomore Andrew Hillier (Bangor, Maine) went 4 for 4, including two doubles, and scored three times as the 16th-ranked University of Southern Maine Huskies defeated the visiting Bates College Bobcats, 8-3, in a non-conference game Wednesday afternoon at Ed Flaherty Field.

            The win was the fifth straight, and 20th in the last 21 games, for the Huskies who are now 27-8 on the season.  The Bobcats, coming into the game fresh off a 1-0 victory over Plymouth State University on Sunday, dropped to 14-13 on the season.

            Hiller had a double down the left-field line and scored in the first inning, a double just inside the right-field line and scored in the third, a walk in the fourth and singles in the sixth and eighth innings.  The four hits raised Hiller's average to .333 for the season.

            Senior Paul McDonough (Wells, Maine) had three hits in the Huskies' 15-hit attack and drove in two runs.  Sophomore Kip Richard (Kennebunk, Maine) had a double and a triple to drive in three runs, and rookie Andrew Olszak (Danvers, Mass.) had a double and a single.

            Sophomore starting left-hander Henry Curran (South Portland) earned his third win of the season going six innings allowing three runs on six hits and three walks while striking out a career-high nine Bates batters.  Freshman Gage Feeney (Cutler, Maine) and senior Alex Tobey (Berwick, Maine) pitched three hitless innings retiring nine straight batters.

            Sophomore Dan Trulli (Melrose, Mass./St. John's Prep) had two hits, scored a run and drove in one to lead Bates.  Senior Eric Vilanova (Bridgeport, Conn./Central Magnet) had the Bobcats lone extra-base hit, a double, in the sixth inning.

            Sophomore right-hander Justin Foley (Lynnfield, Mass./St. John's Prep) started on the mound and took the loss.  Foley went three innings giving up six runs on eight hits and one walk while fanning two.  Senior southpaw Matt Doyle (Northborough, Mass./Algonquin Regional) pitched three scoreless innings.

            The Huskies took a 6-0 lead over the first three innings.  In the first, Hiller doubled with one out and came home on senior Matt Bender's (Walpole, Mass.) single.  In the second, Richard drove in a run with his double to left-center field, and scored on a single from junior Tom Budrewicz (Boxford, Mass./Masconomet Regional).  In a three-run third inning, McDonough drove in Hillier with a single.  Bender, who had walked, and McDonough came around to score on Richard's first career triple.

            Bates, held hitless by Curran over the first four innings, scored twice in the fifth and once in the sixth to close the gap.  In the fifth, the Bobcats loaded the bases with no outs on three straight singles.  After Curran got a strikeout, senior Ryan McCarthy (Plaistow, N.H./Timberlane Regional) lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to score Trulli.  Senior Brendan Fox (Holtsville, N.Y./Sachem East) followed with a single to bring home junior Asher MacDonald (Hillsborough, N.C./Cedar Ridge).

            Trulli drove in the Bates' final run with a single in the sixth bringing home Vilanova, who led off the inning with a double,

            The Huskies picked up insurance runs in the seventh and eighth innings.  Sophomore Devin Warren (Smithfield, Maine/Messalonskee) drove in a run in the seventh with a single, and McDonough brought in Hillier in with a single in the eighth.

            Southern Maine hosts the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth for a Little East Conference doubleheader on Thursday (12:00 p.m.).  The doubleheader was moved up a day due to the inclement weather forecast on Friday.  Bates will play a non-conference game at the University of Maine at Farmington tomorrow night (6:00 p.m.).