August 19, 2019
COLLEGE BASEBALL

Role players spark Bears UMaine defeats stubborn Mules

ORONO – Midweek nonleague games provide a critical opportunity for role players and lesser-used pitchers to get some valuable experience.

The University of Maine baseball team got its first opportunity in five weeks to do just that Tuesday night.

Sophomore lefthander Mitch Clegg pitched 5 1/3 innings and four relievers contributed as UMaine pulled away for an 11-5 victory over Division III Colby College of Waterville at Mahaney Diamond.

Bobby Brown, Will Carroll of Boothbay, Mike Powers of Portland and Ryan Forrest combined to work 3 2/3 innings of one-hit shutout relief, holding down the White Mules until the Bears could put the game away.

“I challenged the guys going into the eighth, saying let’s grind out some runs here somehow, and we did,” said UMaine assistant coach Jared Holowaty, who led the team in the absence of head coach Steve Trimper, who was delayed in his return from a recruiting trip to Florida.

UMaine (13-20) collected 14 hits while rallying from a 5-4 deficit in the sixth inning. However, Holowaty expected a better overall performance.

“You’re a championship program and you can’t be positive from mediocrity and I thought there was a lot of mediocre stuff tonight,” he said.

Mark Ostrander paced the attack with three singles as the Black Bears won for the eighth time in nine games.

“It’s big for the confidence of the role players,” Ostrander said. “I’m in a role again this year where I’m not the starting guy every single game and you need games like this to just get a couple hits.”

Curt Smith knocked in three runs with two singles, while Joel Barrett of Brewer posted a double, a single and two RBIs for UMaine. Billy Cather added two singles, a sacrifice fly and two RBIs while Brian Hackett of Bangor singled twice.

John LaMantia singled twice for the White Mules (6-16), who managed nine hits and are coached by former UMaine pitcher Dale Plummer.

UMaine trailed 5-4 but went ahead for good in the sixth inning against relief loser Nick Ruocco (0-1). Ostrander opened with a single to left and Hackett was hit by a pitch. Danny Menendez then roped an RBI double to left and Cather made it 6-5 with a sacrifice fly to center.

The Bears’ bullpen made the lead stand up. Carroll (1-0) had come on with runners at first and third and two out in the sixth. He induced an inning-ending grounder, then worked a scoreless seventh.

“I love to be under pressure,” Carroll said. “I felt really good. I feel like I’m getting back to where I used to be [health-wise].”

Powers and Forrest then each pitched a hitless inning while the Bears scored five times in the eighth. Cather, Smith and Myckie Lugbauer hit RBI singles in the uprising.

“We came in with a lackadaisical feel and I think that was obvious,” Barrett said. “Once that fourth and fifth inning came we realized we were down and we had to pick it up.”

Barrett’s two-run double highlighted UMaine’s three-run third, but Colby answered with three in the fifth against Clegg. Tom Salemy laced an RBI triple and Kyle McKay stroked a run-scoring double to left-center.

The Bears regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth, but Colby chased Clegg in the sixth while scoring two runs.

BLACK BEARS 11, WHITE MULES 5

Colby (6-16) Maine (13-20)

Player AB R H BI Player AB R H BI

Salemy, 2b 4 1 1 1 Cather, cf 4 1 2

Sandak, ph 1 0 0 0 McGraw, c 4 3 1

McKay, c 5 0 1 1 Smith, 3b 4 1 3

Riggs, dh 5 0 1 0 Barrett, 1b 4 0 2

Murphy, lf 4 0 1 0 McAvoy, dh 2 0 0

LaMantia, 3b 4 1 2 0 Lugbauer, dh 2 0 1

Cooper, ss 3 2 1 0 Jackson, lf 3 0 0

Tourek, 1b 3 0 1 0 Hasenfus, lf 1 0 0

Spillane, rf 3 0 0 1 Ostrander, rf 5 2 0

Liberty, cf 3 1 1 1 Hackett, ss 3 2 0

Menendez, 2b 3 2 1 1

Totals 35 5 9 4 Totals 35 11 14 10

Colby 000 032 000 – 5

Maine 003 012 05x – 11

E-Cooper (5), Murphy (2); LOB-Colby 7; Maine 8; 2B-McKay; Barrett, Menendez; 3B-Salemy; DP-Salemy-Cooper-Tourek; SF-Cather, Smith; SB-Liberty (3), Cooper (3); McGraw 2 (10), Ostrander (1)

Colby IP H R ER BB SO

Clark 2 2 0 0 0 0

Starr 2 4 3 2 2 1

Ruocco (L, 0-1) 2 3 3 3 0 1

Brady 1 0 0 0 0 0

Moore 2/3 4 5 5 2 0

Henry 1/3 1 0 0 1 1

Maine IP H R ER BB SO

Clegg 5 1/3 8 5 5 1 5

Brown 1/3 0 0 0 2 0

Carroll (W, 1-0) 1 1/3 1 0 0 0 1

Powers 1 0 0 0 1 1

Forrest 1 0 0 0 0 1

HBP-Hackett (by Ruocco); WP-Moore; Brown; T-2:55; ATT-208

Correction: A shorter version of this article ran on page C3 in the State edition.

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