PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The University of Southern Maine jumped out to early leads and never looked back Saturday afternoon en route to a sweep of a Little East Conference baseball doubleheader over Plymouth State University, 15-1 and 8-3, at Panther Park.
The Huskies tagged PSU pitchers for 20 hits in the opener and 10 hits in the nightcap. USM maintained first place in the LEC, improving to 9-2 in conference play and 22-11 overall, while PSU dipped to 3-9 in the Little East and 11-22 overall.
Southern Maine plated five runs in the first inning of the opener, added single runs in the second, fourth, sixth and seventh innings, and put the game away with four in the eighth and two in the ninth. Juniors Ryan Bourque (Sanford, Maine) and Max Arsenault (Boothbay, Maine), sophomore Eddie Skeffington (Everett, Mass.), and freshman Ryan Pike (Saco, Maine) all collected three hits for the Huskies, with Bourque and Arsenault smacking two doubles apiece in the onslaught.
Junior Peter Bergeron (Keene, N.H.) picked up the win for USM with an eight-inning effort, scattering nine hits and a walk while fanning two.
PSU scored its only run of the opener in the second inning when senior Scott Begalle (Rumney, N.H.) walked, went to second on a single by classmate Adam Kobeski (Walpole, N.H.) and scored on a single by sophomore Doug Urquhart (North Andover, Mass.)
USM rallied for four runs in the first inning of the nightcap. Bourque delivered a two-run single and junior Joe McGhee (Walpole, Mass.) added an RBI single to highlight the outburst. The Huskies pulled away with three more runs in the sixth inning as freshman Stefan Black (West Gardiner, Maine) cracked a two-run double and junior Nick Vardaro (Norwood, Mass.) added an RBI single. Vardaro finished with three hits in the game, including a double.
Seniors Brett Rogers (Orr's Island, Maine) and Andrew Portwine (Gorham, Maine) combined on the victory for USM, Rogers going 5.1 innings for the win and Portwine the final 3.2 innings for his first save.
PSU managed single runs in the first, sixth and ninth innings. Senior C.J. Rousseau (Merrimack, N.H.) had a pair of RBI and sophomore Josh Labossiere (Lincoln, R.I.) contributed an RBI double.
The Panthers play a non-conference twin bill Sunday at Panther Park against Thomas College (1:00 p.m.) Southern Maine returns home to host Husson in a non-conference game Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
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