The Black Bears scored 11 runs in a matter of four innings to cruise towards an easy win against the University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI) on Tuesday. Throughout nine innings of play, UMPI failed to get a single runner on to third base as they fell 11-0.
After the victory, Maine rose up to 11-23 on the year. On the other side of the field, UMPI fell down to 8-21 following the loss. Despite playing against a division three team, the Black Bears approached the game like any other.
“You don’t take any team lightly,” Head Coach Steve Trimper said. “You just go out there and just take care of business, try to get good quality at bats.”
The Black Bears had a solid list of impact performers. First-year infielder Jeremy Pena walked up to bat four times, accumulating two hits and three runs, while also batting in a pair of runners. First-year infielder Danny Casals made his presence felt with two hits, two runs and four runners batted in. Both of the first-year players have been at the top of the stat sheet the last few games.
“I think our freshmen are doing great,” Trimper said. “Casals had a couple of hits, Jeremy (Pena) had a couple of hits today, and those are the guys who have been leading the charge with us right now.”
Second-year pitcher Matt Curry started the day for UMPI. During his three innings of action, he allowed seven hits and six runs, while striking out two batters. First-year pitcher Eddie Emerson saw the initial action on the mound for Maine. He gave away only one hit and forced two strikeouts in his three innings of action. Though he only emerged during the final inning, fourth-year pitcher Charlie Butler managed to force two strikeouts. Despite facing recent struggles, Butler looked poised and confident in the closing role, and his production may earn him more playing time heading forward.
“He was throwing an 80-81 mile per hour cutter, right there,” Trimper said. “That’s how he is going to be effective and help us out.”
The Black Bears found five easy runs at the bottom of the second. Their attack began when fourth-year infielder Brett Chappell singled to left field, before being brought to second base after fourth-year first baseman Brenden Geary forced a walk. Chappell then advanced to third following a single to center field from third-year outfielder Tyler Schwanz. When fourth-year catcher Jonathan Salcedo struck a groundball, Chappell found his way home. With Schwanz on second and Geary on third, Casals stepped up to the plate. With one quick swing Casals hit a home run, getting all three runners through home. The Black Bears didn’t slow down as a bunt and a wild pitch brought Pena to second. When fourth-year catcher Kevin Stypulkowski singled to right field, Pena completed his run, giving Maine the 5-0 advantage.
Chappell opened the bottom of the third by once again hitting a single. He then managed to steal second base, before being brought to third by a bunt from Schwanz. When Salcedo struck a fly ball to center field, Chappell capped off his run. The single score advanced Maine’s lead to 6-0.
Second-year pitcher Tyler McLaughlin entered the game for UMPI at the bottom of the fourth, only to struggle right out of the gate. He gave up a walk to Pena, before hitting Stypulkowski with a pitch. From there, Pena managed to steal third base under McLaughlin’s watch. When Chappell struck a fly ball, Pena completed his run, bringing Maine’s lead up to 7-0.
The Black Bears put the game out of reach at the bottom of the fifth. Schwanz struck a double and then managed to steal third base. With a single from Casals, Schwanz finished his journey around the diamond. When Pena hit a single, chaos ensued for UMPI. A throwing error on the play allowed Pena to steal all the way to third, while both Casals and Salcedo completed runs. The Black Bears got one final run when Stypulkowski hit a fly ball, giving Pena the perfect opportunity to score his third run of the game. Though they had four innings left to play, UMPI failed to get anything going, as Maine held on to win it 11-0. For the Black Bears, Casals’ and Pena’s strong performances gave the team confidence while marching into a tough slate of weekend conference games.
“Casals’ home run motivated the team, but hopefully we can carry on this momentum to Hartford and have a good weekend,” Pena said.
Maine drops doubleheader to Hartford
Having won six of their last seven games, many expected the Black Bears to put up a good fight against Hartford in their doubleheader on Saturday. Instead, the Black Bears dropped an overtime contest 6-5 in game one, while giving up four unanswered runs to lose their second game 4-1.
In the first game, the Black Bears managed to erase a three-run deficit in the eighth inning. However, they helplessly watched as fourth-year outfielder Chris DelDebbio hit a home run for Hartford, ending any chance of Maine’s comeback. The Hawks walked away with the 6-5 victory.
Despite the loss, Schwanz still had a solid performance for Maine. He stepped up to the plate five times, where he got two hits and a single run. He also managed to bat in four runners. For Hartford, first-year outfielder Ashton Bardzell notched three hits and one run, while batting in two runners. At the end of the game, the Hawks managed to out hit the Black Bears 12-8.
Fourth-year pitcher Logan Fullmer opened the day for Maine. In spite of his recent success, Fullmer gave up nine hits and five runs in his six innings of action. He also forced a trio of strikeouts. Fourth-year pitcher Kyle Gauthier received the start on the mound for Hartford. In his six innings, he allowed five hits and a run, while tallying seven strikeouts.
The Black Bears got on the scoreboard first at the top of the fourth. Geary singled to left field, before stealing second base. He then advanced to third on a wild pitch. When Schwanz hit a single towards center field, Geary completed his run. The lone score gave Maine the 1-0 lead.
Maine’s advantage quickly disappeared as Hartford ripped off five runs in the bottom of the fourth. Second-year catcher Erik Ostberg singled to right field, prior to being brought to second base on a single from first-year third baseman Chris Sullivan. When second-year shortstop Ben Bengtson singled, both Ostberg and Sullivan found themselves one base closer to home plate. A double from second-year third baseman TJ Ward allowed Ostberg and Sullivan to complete their trip around the diamond. Hartford then scored two more runs when Bardzell tripled to right field, letting Bengtson and Ward score. Bardzell complete a run of his own when fourth-year second baseman Aaron Wilson struck a single, giving the Hawks’ the 5-1 lead.
Second-year infielder Caleb Kerbs opened the top of the seventh by forcing a walk. With a single from Casals, followed by a wild pitch, Kerbs advanced all the way to third base. When Pena hit a fly ball, Kerbs found the ideal chance to make it home. The lone score brought the game to 5-2 in favor of Hartford.
The Black Bears climbed back to tie it up at the top of the eighth. Chappell walked, until a wild pitch put him on second base. When third-year catcher Patrick Coughlin forced another walk, Chappell made it to third. With two other runners on bases, Schwanz struck a home run. As all three runners made it through home plate, the Black Bears knotted the game up at 5-5.
After a scoreless ninth inning, the Hawks stole the win at the bottom of the 10th. The first pitcher up to bat, DelDebbio ended the game immediately. With one swing, he knocked the baseball out of the park. The game-winning home run gave the Hawks the 6-5 victory.
Hartford completes Saturday sweep with 4-1 victory
In the second game, four unanswered runs from Hartford allowed the Hawks to cruise to an easy 4-1 victory against Maine. Though the Black Bears scored the opening run, they never found a way to keep their momentum going after.
It was an especially rough day for Maine’s batters. Schwanz had the team’s only run as he made the most of his single trip to bat. In his four trips up to the plate, Pena notched a pair of hits, with no runs. Behind both Schwanz and Pena, the Black Bears had few memorable performances. Ostberg led the charge for Hartford, as the team had a much better day statistically. Ostberg tallied one hit and a single run, while batting in a runner. Though he didn’t score any runs, Bengtson gave the Hawks a trio of crucial hits. Following the game, Hartford managed to out hit Maine 9-5.
Second-year pitcher John Arel stepped up to the mound for the Black Bears. He gave up nine hits, four runs and two walks, while striking out four batters. Fourth-year pitcher Brian Murphy started the entirety of the contest for Hartford. He allowed five hits, one run and two walks, while forcing six strikeouts.
The Black Bears scored the game’s first run at the top of the fifth. Schwanz opened the inning by forcing a walk to first base. Then, he managed to steal second under Brian Murphy’s watch. When Salcedo doubled to the right edge of the field, Schwanz quickly finished his run to home plate. The initial score gave Maine the 1-0 advantage.
The Hawks went wild at the bottom of the sixth, as they scored four runs to put the game out of reach. Wilson began by singling to left field, before third-year first baseman David MacKinnon doubled, advancing Wilson to third base. DelDebbio then intentionally walked to first. Wilson completed his journey around the diamond following a single from Ostberg. When Sullivan hit a single, MacKinnon capped off a run. The Hawks continued their attack when Bengtson singled to center field, putting DelDebbio through home plate. Ostberg finally completed his run when Ward struck a ground ball. With their fourth run, the Hawks took the 4-1 advantage.
At the top of the seventh, Maine had one last chance to climb back. They needed greatness, but instead got mediocrity. Both Kerbs and Casals struck out swinging, while Pena got out on a fly ball. With the three quick outs, the Hawks preserved their 4-1 victory.
Hartford finishes with 11-4 win
Four runs in the eighth inning put the Hawks’ lead out of reach as they easily beat the Black Bears 11-4 on Sunday. With the victory, Hartford managed to completely sweep the three game series against Maine.
Following the loss, Maine now stumbles down to 11-26 on the season, with a 2-9 record within the America East. Hartford’s win brings the Hawks to 25-12, while they boast an 8-7 record within conference games.
In the final match, Geary had a decent game for Maine. He walked up to the plate four times, where he got three hits and a single run. Ostberg made the most of his two trips to bat, where he notched two hits and two runs for the Hawks. Hartford also managed to out hit Maine 12-10.
Second-year pitcher Chris Murphy opened the game’s first four innings on the mound for Maine. He allowed three hits, three runs and three walks, while striking out four batters. Fourth-year pitcher Sam McKay received the start for Hartford. He played five innings, where he gave up six hits and three runs, while forcing four strikeouts.
The Black Bears opened the top of the first with a double from Casals. A throwing error when Pena was up at the plate allowed Casals to advance to third base. When Stypulkowski struck a groundball, Casals capped off his run. The early score gave Maine the initial 1-0 advantage.
The Hawks found an immediate answer, as a run at the bottom of the first tied the game up. Wilson opened the inning by hitting a single to center field. A single up the middle from MacKinnon created a chance for Wilson to make it to third base. With a fly ball from Ostberg, Wilson ran through home plate, knotting the scoreboard up at 1-1.
Two runs at the bottom of the fourth gave the Hawks the lead. With bases empty, Ward hit a baseball out of the park. The home run gave the Hawks the 2-1 advantage. Hartford kept rolling when Bardzell forced a walk. Immediately after, he managed to steal second, and then advanced to third following a wild pitch. Another wild pitch brought Bardzell through home plate, giving Hartford the 3-1 advantage.
The resilient Black Bears fought back to tie the game up at the top of the fifth. Schwanz began by hitting a single to left field. Geary then doubled to left field, putting Schwanz on third base. On a wild pitch, Geary took over third while Schwanz scored a run. When Salcedo bunted the ball, Geary capped off his run, tying the game at 3-3.
The Hawks once again pulled ahead at the bottom of the fifth. It started when MacKinnon advanced to first base after being hit by a pitch. Then Ostberg singled to center field, bringing MacKinnon to second. A single from Sullivan brought both MacKinnon and Ostberg one base closer to home. MacKinnon finally scored once a throwing error created the optimal position for him to get home. Ostberg completed his trip around the diamond when Ward struck a ground ball. The pair of runs brought Hartford’s lead to 5-3.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Hawks scored another run. Wilson began by forcing a walk, before being brought to second base by a single from MacKinnon. When DelDebbio singled to right field, Wilson found himself on third. Wilson completed his run once Ostberg singled to right field. The lone run raised Hartford’s advantage to 6-3.
Hartford added salt to the wound with another run at the bottom of the seventh. Bengtson opened the inning by hitting a double. Then Bardzell singled up the middle, where Bengtson used his speed to run all the way home. The single score brought the game to 7-3 in favor of Hartford.
The Black Bears had a little life left in them at the top of the eighth. Pena began by singling through the left side of the field. Once Stypulkowski was hit by a pitch, Pena advanced to second base. When first-year outfielder Colin Ridley reached on a fielder’s choice, Pena found himself on third. Following a wild pitch, Pena completed the trip home. Despite the run, Hartford still held the 7-4 advantage.
The Hawks put the game out of reach at the bottom of the eighth. MacKinnon forced a walk, before being brought to second base by a ground ball from DelDebbio. On a passed ball, MacKinnon managed to claim third. On a throwing error, MacKinnon completed his run home. With Sullivan on first and Ostberg on second, Bengtson stepped up to bat. He struck a triple, which was followed by a throwing error, allowed all three runners to score. With the trio of runs, Hartford took the 11-4 advantage. The Black Bears couldn’t get anything going in their final inning, as Hartford hung on to preserve their 11-4 win.
The Black Bears return to action when they host Rhode Island on Tuesday, April 26.