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Maine Baseball Bounces Back Against Husson

The University of Maine baseball team had their home opener this past Wednesday against Husson University. After a long start on the road, including games in Florida, Rhode Island and South Carolina, the Black Bears were delighted to get back in front of the fans that saw them win the America East conference title just a year ago. The 3-19 record can be a bit deceiving, as the Black Bears have played much tougher opponents including the University of Pittsburgh, Boston College and Florida Atlantic University. Combine that with the lack of practice time outdoors so early in the year due to northeast weather, one may expect a slow start. After a 3-12 start last year, the last thing we should be doing is counting the Black Bears out.

Maine’s ace, fourth-year pitcher Noah Lewis, got the start on the mound for the Black Bears on the chilly Wednesday afternoon. Lewis worked around a leadoff single in the first inning before handing things over to the strength of the Black Bears, their lineup. Reigning America East player of the year, third-year infielder Jerry Jenkins is the heart of the lineup with fifth-year infielder/DH Connor Goodman right behind him. After fourth-year infielder Jake Marquez reached with a one-out walk and took second on a stolen base, Goodman singled Marquez home for the game’s first run, putting Maine on top 1-0. Second-year catcher Dean O’Neil worked a walk with the bases loaded later in the inning to add another run for Maine, making it 2-0 and the end of the first inning.

In the top half of the second inning, Husson garnered a leadoff walk but was unable to capitalize as Lewis sent the next three batters down. After the Black Bears went away quietly in the second, second-year utility man for Husson, Cam Rendall doubled off Lewis to cut the lead in half 2-1. Scoring remained quiet until the bottom half of the fourth inning when Marquez singled in third-year infielder Myles Sargent. The inning was beneficial for Maine, as third-year outfielder Zach Martin singled in two more runs to put the Black Bears up 5-1. Lewis finished the day after three innings allowing just one run. 

The floodgates opened up for the Black Bears in the bottom half of the fifth inning. 

O’Neil opened up the inning with a solo home run adding to the lead, making it 6-1. Nearly 30 minutes later, after numerous long at-bats, Jenkins walked to the plate with the bases loaded. The fireworks began as Jenkins launched a baseball over the right-field trees at Mahaney Diamond. The grand slam put the Black Bears up 10-1, essentially putting the game away. Fourth-year outfielder Colin Plante demolished a ball in the bottom half of the seventh inning to earn Maine’s 11th run of the game. Husson scored a couple runs at the end of the game, but Maine closed out the 11-4 win. 

The Black Bears go on the road this weekend to take on the University of Albany in a three-game set. Let’s see if the win against Husson University  kickstarts the season into high gear for the Maine Black Bears.

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