Bangor, ME - The Husson University baseball team split a pair of North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) East Division contests with the visiting Beavers of the University of Maine at Farmington in a mostly-cloudy day at the Winkin Complex. UMF won the first game by a score of 4-2 before Husson came back to win game-two 9-8. After the two games, the Eagles end a six game losing streak and currently sit at 8-11 (5-3 NEAC) on the season. The Beavers leave Bangor with a record of 3-9 and are an even 2-2 in conference.
In game one, the Eagles were led by Jake Arthers (Bethel, ME) who turned in the only Husson multi-hit performance, going 2-3 at the dish. Catcher Nick Lancisi (Dover, ME) and first baseman Benjamin McLain (Pemaquid, ME) each went 1-3 with an RBI apiece. That was all the offense Husson was able to mount in game one as they recorded just the four hits in the game. Starting pitcher Evan Eldridge (Orland, ME) was tagged with the loss, allowing two earned on seven hits and two walks with a pair of strikeouts.
Farmington was led by pitcher Dale Winchenbach (Waldoboro, ME) who turned in a quality performance on both sides of the diamond, going 2-4 at the plate while pitching a complete game to earn the win, going seven strong allowing one earned on four hits and two walks while striking out four. Center fielder Ethan Jean (Jackson, ME) drove in two runs out of the number five slot while going 1-3 at the plate.
UMF got off to a quick start, plating a run in the top of the first. Winchenbach led off the game with a single to left, and advanced to second on a passed ball. A sacrifice bunt moved him to third, and after a strikeout, Winchenbach came in on an error that gave the Beavers a 1-0 lead after their first at bats.
The Eagles leveled the score in the bottom of the inning, when Shawn Smith (Winterport, ME) drew a two out walk and wasted little time stealing second. That set the table for Lancisi who came through with an RBI single to center that tied the game at one.
Husson took the lead in the bottom of the second, when Arthers led off the inning with a single to left field. A fielder's choice swapped designated hitter Jason Smith (Milford, ME) for Arthers at first, and Matthew Archetti (Chester, NH) reached on an error to put runners at the corners with one away. Archetti was caught stealing for the second out of the inning before McLain singled through the right side that plated J. Smith, giving Husson a 2-1 lead after two.
In the top of the third, Farmington jumped back ahead with a pair of runs in the third. Wallingford led off with a single up the middle and advanced to third on a Matthew Woodbury (Fairfield, ME) double down the left field line. Jean stepped up to the plate and ripped two-RBI double to right plating Wallingford and Woodbury. Archetti tracked down the ball in deep right field and made a great throw to the second baseman Brandon Gendreau (Brewer, ME) who put the relay throw on the money to nab Jean at third trying to stretch his hit into a triple. That would end the Beaver rally, but the damage was done as UMF took a 3-2 lead after two and a half.
The Eagles went down in order in the bottom of the inning, and were only able to manage one more hit in the rest of the game as Winchenbach settled in on the mound for the Beavers.
Farmington added another run for insurance in the top of the sixth. Winchenbach reached on an error with one out in the sixth and advanced to third on a Wallingford single to right. With runners at the corners Jack MacVane (Mechanic Falls, ME) hit a sacrifice fly to right field, and it was a 4-2 in favor of the visiting Beavers.
Winchenbach hit a batter in the bottom of the seventh, but retired the Eagles in their last comeback attempt and UMF took the game one victory.
In game two, Husson came out with a completely revamped lineup, sending out eight new players in the batting order. The Eagles were led by third baseman Josh Tardiff (Hampden, ME) who was 2-3 at the plate with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored hitting out of the number two spot. Casey Estes (Old Town, ME) got the start at second and came through with two RBI and a run scored while going 2-3 at the dish. Pitcher Austin Clark (Catonsville, MD) threw four complete innings to earn the victory, allowing five runs on 11 hits in the game. Kyle Bishop (Waterville, ME) got the start at left field and went 1-3 with two runs scored and also came in for the save, recording the final out of the game in his second relief appearance of the day.
UMF once again received a quality performance from Winchenbach who went 2-5 out of his lead off spot with an RBI and a run scored for the Beavers. Woodbury was 3-4 out of the clean-up slot, driving in a pair while scoring another, while Keene hit .500 in game two (2-4) with two runs scored and an RBI. The loss was credited to Ian McAllister (South Berwick, ME) who threw five and third, allowing seven earned on eight hits while striking out four.
The Beavers jumped out to an early lead for the second game in a row, when Winchenbach led off game two with a single to left center and after a fly out and a ground out, advanced to second. That set the table for Woodbury who ripped a single down the left field line and Winchenbach came around for the game's first run.
In the bottom of the second, the Eagles took the lead when they plated a pair. Kyle McLain (Orrington, ME) led off the second by reaching on an error, and after a strikeout, Bishop reached on a fielder's choice. With two outs in the inning, catcher Kevin Rennick (Lincoln, RI) singled to right field putting runners on the corners for Estes who kept things going with a two-RBI single to right center and it was 2-1 in favor of the home team.
Farmington answered in the top of the fourth when Keene led off the inning with a single to left, and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Chris Whitney (Lisbon, ME) singled to right to put Beavers on the corners with one away. McAllister hit a fly ball to left center but it was not deep enough to score Keene, and there were two down in the inning. Before Clark could deal the pitch to Winchenbach, Whitney took off for second, and the Eagles' pitcher tried to pick him off at second. Keene delayed as a run-down situation ensued, and eventually scored on the designed play that worked to Farmington's liking as they tied the game and moved Whitney into scoring position. Winchenbach singled to left center that plated Whitney and UMF was in the lead again, 3-2 after three and a half.
Husson answered in the bottom of the inning as a five run fourth broke things open for the Eagles. After a strikeout, Bishop singled up the middle, and after back-to-back singles to left from Rennick and Estes, the bases were loaded for Dylan Foster (Oakland, ME). The sophomore center fielder did his job, lifting a ball to center that was deep enough to score Bishop and Husson tied the game. The next batter was Tardiff, who belted a McAllister fastball to left that cleared the wall for a three run homer, his first as an Eagle, and Husson took a 6-3 lead. They would tack on another in the inning as Arthers was hit by a pitch, and came around to score on a triple down the right field line by designated hitter Niko Ververis (Plainsfield, CT). Ververis was gunned down at the plate trying to turn it into an inside the park home run, and the Husson rally quickly came to an end. The Eagles finished the fourth with a 7-3 advantage.
The Beavers answered in the top of the fifth getting three back. MacVane led off the inning with a double to right center and Woodbury would follow suit, belting an RBI double to left center. After a pitching change, Jean singled to left to put runners on the corners with still no one out. Keene singled up the middle, plating Woodbury and sending Jean to third. Brandon Gallagher (North Yarmouth, ME) came in to pinch hit and served up a double play, but Jean came in to score the third run of the inning, cutting the Husson lead down to one at 7-6.
The Eagles would add two more runs for insurance in the bottom of the sixth, and that would prove pivotal later in the game. Husson loaded the bases with one out in the inning, and Ververis reached on an error that scored both Tardiff and Foster stretching their advantage to 9-6.
In the top of the seventh with their backs against the wall, the Beavers put up a fight scoring two in the inning. The first two batters grounded out to start the inning, as it looked like the game would end quickly, before Keene reached on an error to keep the Farmington hopes alive. Gallagher doubled up the middle to keep the game alive. Whitney kept the Beaver rally going with a single to right that scored Keene. Ben Pearson (North Stonington, CT) came off the bench with an RBI pinch-hit single to left field that plated Gallagher, and the score was 9-8 with the tying run in scoring position. Bishop, the first year right-hander came through, dealing a ground ball (FC) to Winchenbach, and the score would go final.
Immediately after the game, the Eagles hopped on the bus en route to New London, NH where Husson will play a four game series with the Chargers of Colby-Sawyer in NEAC East Division action beginning at 2:00 pm on Friday. Farmington is also on the road this weekend as they travel to Castleton State College for a four game series that starts at 2:00 pm as well.