The Black Bears were back in action on Saturday, as they took on the ninth ranked team in Division 1 baseball — the St. John’s Red Storm from Queens, New York. The Red Storm had the upper hand in the first game of the doubleheader, downing Maine by a 3-0 score.
The game started off as a pitcher’s duel between third-year right hander Justin Courtney and Red Storm first-year right hander Sean Mooney. Neither team was able to get on the scoreboard until the fifth, when the wheels slightly fell off for Courtney.
After retiring the first two batters of the inning, Courtney hit third-year center fielder Jamie Galazin with a pitch. That would be followed up with a single by third-year first baseman John Valente, sending Galazin around to third. A passed ball charged to third-year catcher Christopher Bec would plate Galazin for the only run of the inning, albeit the game winner, putting the Red Storm up 1-0.
St. John’s would strike again in the seventh. Fourth-year designated hitter Gui Gingras led off with a single — and was then pinch ran for by first-year outfielder Mike Antico. Another single by third-year right fielder Anthony Brocato moved Antico to third. A sacrifice fly would plate Antico and give the Red Storm a 2-0 edge in the contest. After a single by Galazin that would result in an out on a play at home plate, a stolen base and a walk to Valente, first-year right-hander Cody Lawyerson came into relief, but could not quite put the inning to bed right away. Fourth-year left fielder Michael Donadio singled, plating Galazin and giving St. John’s a 3-0 lead. Lawyerson would get out of the inning on the next batter. The next inning and a half went by without another run coming across.
Mooney went the distance, giving up just four hits and no walks while striking out three. Courtney was solid in the losing effort, allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits and one walk while striking out three.
Maine drops second game of doubleheader
Maine was unable to get the split in the doubleheader, falling to St. John’s in game two 9-3.
Maine was able to draw first blood in the first inning. Second-year third baseman Danny Casals led off the game with a double to right center. After a ground out, Bec laced a double of his own, plating Casals to give the Black Bears a 1-0 lead. A passed ball chucked by St John’s first-year pitcher Jeff Belge put Bec on third — and he would score on a sacrifice fly to extend the Maine lead to 2-0.
The Black Bears would add another run on in the second. Third-year center fielder Brandon Vicens led off the inning with a double and then advanced to third on a wild pitch. A sacrifice fly brought him home to run the score to 3-0.
The Red Storm would chip into the deficit in the bottom half of the inning. After the third-year Black Bear starter Jonah Normandeau got the first two outs, Red Storm third-year catcher Robert Boselli III laced a double. Galazin singled to shortstop, with Boselli coming in to score on the error by Black Bears first-year first baseman Matthew Pushard. The run made the score 3-1 in favor of Maine.
The wheels really came off in the bottom half of the fifth. Normandeau was replaced by first-year left handed pitcher Trevor Delaite — and the results were not pretty. Fourth-year left fielder Michael Donadio was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Third-year shortstop Jesse Berardi followed that with a single. After a sacrifice bunt, second-year second baseman Josh Shaw was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A walk brought Donadio home to bring the score to 3-2 in favor of the Black Bears, but that lead would not hold. Another walk brought another run home, knotting the score at 3-3. Boselli would single to bring home another run, giving St. John’s their first lead of the game, 4-3. That would be it for Delaite, as first-year right handed pitcher Cody Lawyerson came into relief. Lawyerson would then give up a bases-clearing triple to Galazin, running the score to 7-3. The Red Storm would run the score to 8-3 on yet another sacrifice fly before the inning mercifully ended.
St John’s would tack on one last run before the day was through. Once again, the Black Bears were able to record the first two outs in the inning, but would struggle to get the final out of the inning. Donadio tripled, then scored on a single by Berardi to raise the score to 9-3.
Normandeau only went four innings on the afternoon, giving up one unearned run on three hits, though he did issue four walks with only one strikeout on the day. Belge would pick up the win with a six-inning performance that saw him concede three runs (two earned) on five hits, with two walks and four strikeouts. Second-year right hander Joe Kelly pitched three no-hit innings to record the save.
These teams square off again on Sunday, April 2 at 1 p.m. to wrap up the series.
Maine swept in series, drop seventh in a row
The University of Maine baseball team was looking to end a serious drought against St. John’s down in Queens, New York on Sunday. Unfortunately, they were not able to do so as they fell 15-1.
St. John’s came right out of the gates by putting up a crooked number in the first. Valente led off the game with a single. Donadio put the Red Storm up 1-0 with a triple that plated Valente. Berardi brought Donadio home with another single to run the score to 2-0. After a stolen base and single by Gingras, Black Bear starter second-year right hander Nick Silva chucked a wild pitch, plating Berardi to run the score up to 3-0 Red Storm. After moving up to second on the pitch and reaching third on a single, Gingras would come in to score when fourth-year catcher Troy Dixon bounced into a double play. This brought the score to 4-0. Second-year second baseman Josh Shaw singled, then scored on a fielding error by Maine’s second-year left fielder Colin Ridley which brought the score up to 5-0.
Dixon led off the bottom of the third with walk. Silva loaded the bases with a walk, then brought the sixth St. John’s run in after hitting Valente. Donadio plated two more runs with a single to right to make the score 8-0. That would be the end of the line for Silva, lasting just 2.1 innings while giving up nine runs (eight earned) on nine hits with three walks. He did not record a strikeout. The ninth run came in after fourth-year left hander Connor Johnson got Berardi to bounce into a fielder’s choice that plated Valente, making the score 9-0.
The Red Storm added to their lead in the bottom of the fourth. After a groundout to begin the inning, Shaw reached on an error by Casals. Back to back singles by fourth-year third baseman Robbie Knightes and third-year center fielder Jamie Galazin made the score 10-0.
The barrage continued into the sixth. First-year third baseman Ryan Markey led off with a single. Galazin reached on a fielder’s choice, then advanced to third on Valente’s single, with Valente moving to second. Galazin would score on a ground out by Donadio, bringing the score 11-0 Red Storm. Berardi would single to bring home Valente, giving St.John’s a 12-0 advantage.
The Red Storm added on again in the 7th. First-year center fielder Mike Antico came on as a pinch hitter and promptly drew a walk. The next batter, another pinch hitter in third-year Kevin Buckley, also drew a walk. Then another pinch hitter, third-year second baseman Jordan Gillerman also drew a walk to load the bases. St. John’s would score the first run of the inning with getting a hit, as Markey reached on catcher’s interference, bringing the score to 13-0. The pattern would continue when Buckley scored on a double-play, giving the Red Storm a 14-0 leading.
The Black Bears finally got on the board in the eighth inning. Third-year catcher Christopher Bec led off with a single, but was quickly erased on a double play. Ridley drew a two-out walk and third-year center fielder Brandon Vicens poked a single. First-year first baseman Hernan Sardinas brought Ridley home by reaching on a throwing error by Valente. The score would get to 14-1 St. John’s.
The Red Storm were able to answer right back in the bottom half of the inning. Berardi began the inning with a single, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. After a ground out, a sacrifice fly by Antico plated Berardi, making the score 15-1.
Red Storm starter, second-year right hander Michael Lopresti picked up the win for the afternoon, going six shutout innings while giving up three hits and two walks while striking out five.
The Black Bears (6-13) are back in action as they take on conference foe Stony Brook next weekend. They will look to end a what would be weeklong drought.