ORONO – Mark Reichley, the University of Maine senior third baseman and co-captain, was having a forgettable senior year. Sophomore shortstop Jason Harvey was having a forgettable Friday.
But both came through during a four-run seventh-inning rally that erased a 5-2 deficit and gave the Bears the lead for good in Friday night’s 11-5 America East Tournament win over Albany. That sends Maine, 2-1 in the tournament after a 6-3 loss to Stony Brook earlier Friday, against 2-0 Stony Brook in today’s championship round beginning at noon.
Reichley, who was hitting .129 and was destined to spend another game on the bench, came on to replace the injured Joel Barrett and grounded a leadoff single to left to start the rally.
Harvey capped it with a two-out, RBI single to left that gave Maine the lead for good.
“This was a great win for us. It felt great to contribute,” said Reichley, who finished with two singles in three at-bats.
Reichley acknowledged that this year has been very difficult for him, but he also said he has kept himself ready in case he was needed.
“My job right now is to be a role player,” said Reichley.
He added that the team has been resilient all season long, and he never felt they were out of the game even facing a three-run deficit with nine outs left in their season.
“We don’t panic,” said Reichley, who added that the Bears have received timely contributions from everybody at one point or another this season.
The win over Albany epitomized the team effort as seven different Bears knocked in runs and nine had at least one hit.
Harvey had made an error and then bobbled a potential double-play grounder that opened the door for four unearned runs in the third inning of the Stony Brook loss.
“I was disappointed,” said Harvey, who was able to redeem himself by grounding a 2-1 pitch to left to deliver Mike Ferriggi with what proved to be the winning run in the seventh.
“I was looking for a fastball and he [reliever Mark Suchowiecki] threw me one inside,” said Harvey.