Following a weekend where the University of Maine baseball team hosted the University of Massachusetts Minutemen, trading victories while game three was rained out, the Black Bears welcomed the University of Albany Great Danes for a three-game weekend series from April 26-28. It was a wild and inconsistent couple of games between the two teams as the Great Danes got the best of Maine on Friday night, bulldozing the Black Bears 19-3.
Fourth-year pitcher Nick Silva took the mound for Maine, pitching three innings and giving up six runs on three hits. Following being named the America East player of the week, Silva had a rough outing, walking seven batters until being pulled in the third inning. Second-year Dillon Stimpson replaced Silva on the mound to finish out the third inning, allowing three runs as the Great Danes scored eight runs in the third inning alone. Stimpson pitched a hitless fourth inning but then was pulled at the beginning of the fifth for first-year pitcher Jacob Small.
Small pitched a hitless fifth inning, but was tossed around for nine runs in the sixth inning. Several errors gave up two of the runs, but Small gave up a home run to third-year infielder Kevin Donati. Maine managed to score two more runs in the seventh inning, but the game was already over.
The Black Bears were able to come back and give Albany a taste of their own medicine when they defeated Albany with a final score of 16-1 on Saturday, April 27. Third-year Cody Laweryson started the game for the Black Bears pitching five frames, allowing seven hits and only one earned run while striking out three batters.
Fourth-year Caleb Kerbs was able to get the Black Bears on the board first in the third inning when he hit a fielder’s choice grounder that was able to drive in the first run for Maine to give them a 1-0 advantage. In the following frame, Albany was able to answer with an RBI single into right that tied the game up at 1-1.
From that point on it was all Maine, starting in the fifth inning when third-year first baseman Hernen Sardinas hit a three-run blast to give the Black Bears a 4-1 lead. The Black Bears tagged on an additional three runs in the fifth giving them a 7-1 lead. The Black Bears were able to tag on several more runs with the help of a double from fourth-year infielder Danny Casals, and then a single from second-year Joe Bramanti that put them up 11-1 over Albany. From that point, the Black Bears were able to add on another five runs with the help of third-year catcher Cody Pasic, Kerbs and Bramanti giving them a 16-1 advantage that would eventually hold up as the game was called short after seven innings due to poor weather.
The University of Maine Black Bears will hit the road once again to travel to Providence, Rhode Island to take on Brown University for a single game followed by a trip to Hanover, New Hampshire to take on Dartmouth College before they host another series at Orono on the weekend of May 4 where they will take on Northeastern University in another three-game series.
At this point in the season, it is crucial for the Black Bears to gain as much ground as possible if they hope to gain a postseason berth and extend the season as far as possible. From now on, the Black Bears will look to play as well as possible and hope for good performances from their top players to try to compete for the conference title.