Panthers fall short to LEC-leading Huskies
GORHAM, Maine – Senior Jake Glauser (Goffstown, N.H) and freshman Kip Richard (Kennebunk, Maine) had back-to-back two-run singles in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the University of Southern Maine Huskies a 5-4, come-from-behind victory over the Plymouth State University Panthers in the nightcap of the teams' Little East Conference baseball doubleheader Saturday at the USM Baseball Stadium.
Southern Maine won the opener 10-0 in eight innings behind the brilliant three-hit pitching of senior Shyler Scates (Jefferson, Maine) and a 12-hit attack to sweep the doubleheader.
The Huskies snapped a three-game losing streak with their win in the opener, and improved to 20-9 overall and 7-2 in the conference. The Panthers had their two-game winning streak snapped and fall back to .500 at 16-16 overall. The Panthers, who came into the twinbill tied with the Huskies and Eastern Connecticut State University atop the LEC standings, slide to 5-4 in conference play.
Scates limited the Panthers to three singles and one walk while striking out six to earn his second shutout of the season, and the fourth of his career. The Huskies defense helped Scates, now 6-1 on the season, by turning three double plays. No PSU runner advanced past first base in the game.
USM took a 6-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back. Freshman Kyle O'Connor(Lynn, Mass.) worked a leadoff walk and moved to third on a single by sophomore Brandon Martins (Manorville, N.Y.). O'Connor scored the first run and Martins moved to second on a wild pitch. Sophomore Sam Stauble (Harrison, Maine) singled home Martins with the second run. Sophomore Nick Bowie (South Paris, Maine) doubled in Stauble, and the Huskies picked up three unearned runs on two costly infield errors by the Panthers.
With Scates cruising along, USM added an unearned run in the second on a Glauser sacrifice fly and one run in the fifth on a fielder's choice double steal attempt. Senior Sam Dexter (Oakland, Maine) ended the game in the eighth inning on the 10-run rule with a walk-off two-run homer to left field.
Dexter led the Huskies' offense going 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI. O'Connor, Martins, Stauble and Bowie had two hits apiece.
Grad student Cody Gilchrist (Tyngsboro, Mass.) took his third loss of the season against three wins going seven innings. Gilchrist gave up eight runs (four earned) on 10 hits and six walks. He struck out three.
It would be the Panthers who built the early lead with two runs in the second and fourth innings to take a 4-1 lead. In the second, junior James Garnett (Newport, R.I.) took USM rookie right-hander Dalton Rice (Waterford, Maine) deep for his fifth home run of the season. Junior Eric Leitch (Adams, Mass./Mt. Greylock) followed with a single and came all the way around to score when sophomore Luke Mancini's (Scotia, N.Y.) sacrifice bunt attempt was thrown away for a three-base error.
USM got one run back in its half of the frame as Glauser doubled with one out and scored on Bowie's two-out triple to right field.
Leitch led off the fourth being plunked by a Rice pitch, and moved to third on a Mancini double. Leitch scored on a fielder's choice, and Mancini came across the plate on wild pitch to make it 4-1.
PSU rookie starting pitcher David Sampson (Bellingham, Mass.) was keeping the Huskies in check retiring 10 in a row after the Bowie triple. Sampson worked his way out of a bases loaded, one-out jam in the sixth getting two strikeouts, and retired the Huskies in order in the seventh.
In the eighth, Martins stroked a one-out single through the right side and junior Paul McDonough (Wells, Maine) reached first on what would prove to be a costly two-out infield error. Stauble's infield single loaded the bases and end Sampson's day. Sophomore Taylor Doyle (Peterborough, N.H./Conval) came on and Glauser greeted him with a two-run single to center field. A wild pitch moved Stauble and Glauser up 90 feet before Richard singled to left field bringing both home.
USM senior reliever Ryan Browner (Georgetown, Mass.) earned the win with five innings of one-hit shutout relief. Browner did not walk a batter and struck out four to earn his first win of the season.
Dexter, who had a double and a triple in the game, became the second player in USM baseball history to reach the 100 extra-base hits plateau. His triple in the first inning was his 100th career extra-base hit and tied Forrest Chadwick (2011-2014) for the school record. He had a sixth-inning double to become the all-time extra-base hits leader. Dexter now has 73 doubles, nine triples and 19 home runs in his career.
Glauser had two hits, scored twice and knocked in two runs for the Huskies. Garnet had a single and a home run for the Panthers. Doyle absorbed the loss to slide to 4-4 on the season.
Southern Maine hits the road tomorrow (1:00 p.m.) for a single game at Wheaton College. Plymouth State's next game is Tuesday (3:30 p.m.) hosting in-state LEC rival Keene State College.
(Courtesy of Southern Maine Sports Information)
-- 30 --