November 18, 2019

Dority helps USM beat Maine

ORONO – Jason Dority had dreamed of one day playing on Mahaney Diamond for the University of Maine baseball team.

The former Hampden Academy standout chased that dream during 1996-97 when he was redshirted as a walk-on for the Black Bears. But he realized it wasn’t going to work out and transferred to the University of Southern Maine in 1997.

Dority enjoyed Tuesday night’s return to Mahaney, stroking a single and scoring two runs to help Division III USM post a 6-2 victory over Division I Maine.

Coach Ed Flaherty’s 30-11 Huskies, who are headed Thursday for the Little East Conference Tournaament in Connecticut, used five different pitchers to hold the Bears’ offense in check.

Maine, now 25-24, was unable to string hits together. Coach Paul Kostacopoulos’ Bears must rebound and continue their preparations for a critical America East weekend series against Vermont.

It was only USM’s second win in 21 tries against Maine.

Dority, with family and friends cheering him on, couldn’t help but relish the Huskies’ victory over some of his former teammates.

“I grew up coming to watch this team play and there’s definitely a rivalry here,” Dority said. “It’s a good feeling to beat them. I was on this team.”

The sophomore third baseman hasn’t regretted leaving UMaine.

“I wanted to wear their uniform and play here, but I couldn’t and I moved on,” Dority said. “After a year, I saw it wasn’t going to work out and I wanted to go someplace and play. Southern Maine was my best choice to go and get some quality baseball.”

The game was as disappointing for the Bears as it was thrilling was for the Huskies. Maine senior captain Kregg Jarvais couldn’t glean any positives from the experience.

“Right now I really have a bad taste in my mouth about this,” said Jarvais, who is concerned about Maine’s effort and intensity.

“We had a good weekend of baseball (against Delaware) and tonight, on a great night to play against a state rival, we came out flat,” he said. “I think this is a good wakeup call and if it isn’t, we really need to do something about it.”

Jarvais threw out two Huskies attempting to steal.

Kostacopoulos viewed the contest more as a typical performance by this Maine team, which has not hit consistently.

“We’ve struggled scoring runs. We put an awful lot pressure on ourselves to pick up runners on base, because we don’t get a ton of opportunities,” said Kostacopoulos, who wants the Bears to focus on their playoff chase. “That’s been us all year. It hasn’t changed what our perspective is and what our goals are.”

USM turned two double plays to thwart potential Maine rallies.

The Huskies broke a scoreless tie in the fifth inning when Eric O’Brien hit Pete L’Italien with a pitch, then shortstop Quin Peel booted DorPete L’Italien with a pitch, then shortstop Quin Peel booted Dority’s hard grounder.

Shaun Richardson grounded a solid single to left, loading the bases for Cory Adams, who delivered a foul sacrifice fly to left.

USM pushed the lead to 3-0 in the seventh against reliever Jared Cochran. Rusty Tucker misplayed L’Italien’s fly ball to right into a triple and Dority walked, before L’Italien scored on a wild pitch.

Adams beat out an infield hit, setting up Pat Toomey’s sacrifice fly to left, on which Mike Ross made a nice catch going away.

Maine threatened with two out in the eighth against Joe Roach. Peel singled and Julian Bracali doubled, but Roach got Jon Hambelton to bounce back to the mound, ending the threat.

The Huskies tacked on three runs in the ninth. Adams hit an RBI single, Jody Curcuru had a run-scoring fielder’s choice, and USM worked a successful delayed double steal.

Maine finally broke into the scoring column in the ninth. Jarvais singled, then Keith Genest and Rusty Tucker walked. Brian Poire came through with a sacrifice fly, and a passed ball provided the other run.

Huskies 6, Black Bears 2

Southern Maine (30-11) Maine (25-24)

Name ab r h bi Name ab r h bi

Adams, lf 4 1 3 2 Poire, 3b 5 0 1 1

Toomey, ss 5 0 0 1 Ouellette, cf 4 0 2 0

McCullum, cf 3 0 1 0 Ross, lf 5 0 1 0

Curcuru, 1b 4 0 1 1 Peel, ss 3 0 1 0

Michaud, rf 5 0 1 0 Bracali, 2b 4 0 1 0

Lacroix, dh 4 0 0 0 Hambelton, 1b 4 0 1 0

L’Italien, c 3 2 1 0 Jarvais, c 4 1 1 0

Dority, 3b 3 2 1 0 Brewer, dh 2 0 0 0

Richardson, 2b 4 1 3 0 Genest, dh 1 1 0 0

Tucker, rf 3 0 2 0

Totals 35 6 11 4 Totals 35 2 10 1

Southern Maine 000 010 203 – 6

Maine 000 000 002 – 2

E – Richardson; Peel 2B – Bracali, Hambelton 3B – L’Italien LOB – Southern Maine 8; Maine 10 DP – Southern Maine 2; Maine 1 SB – Adams 4, Curcuru 2; Ouellette SF – Adams


Southern Maine

Gilmore 2 1 0 0 1 1

Liddy 2 0 0 0 1 1

Wiles 1/3 2 0 0 0 0

Szkiarz (W, 3-0) 2 2/3 0 0 0 0 2

Roach (S, 5) 2 5 2 2 2 0


O’Brien (L, 2-3) 5 6 1 0 0 3

Cochran 3 1/3 5 5 5 4 1

Hewey 2/3 0 0 0 0 1

HBP – L’Italien by O’Brien WP – Szkiarz; O’Brien, Cochran 2 PB – L’Italien TIME – 2:53 ATTENDANCE – 175

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