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STANDISH – Saturday virtually encapsulated the entire 2007 season for the Husson College baseball team.
Adversity, pressure, hurdles, and problems of their own making were all there, especially in the third game of the day in the North Atlantic Conference tournament, which was the second of the day for the Eagles.
The third-seeded Eagles overcame committing five errors leading to four unearned runs for top seed Castleton State College and pulled out a 6-5 victory with a run in the bottom of the ninth inning.
“Isn’t that something? We won despite five errors,” said Husson coach John Winkin. “This is something we needed as a team with all the adversity we’ve been through.”
Husson started out the day by winning an elimination game against the University of Maine-Farmington 9-2 to set up an elimination game with Castleton, which had beaten Husson in both previous games this season. The win, and the way they got it, was significant for the 14-21 Eagles.
“I think we finally came together. We’ve had a lot of tough breaks all year,” said Winkin. “A lot of things have gone against us, but we came back and we did it by having a lot of guys come through.”
The last, but not the least, of those guys coming through was Andrew Patterson, who connected on the first pitch with two outs just after Nick Arthers was intentionally walked to load the bases in the bottom of the ninth.
“Honestly, I was thinking first-pitch fastball and I just wanted to get it somewhere through the infield because I knew even a popup would score him,” Patterson said.
Well, it wasn’t a popup, and Patterson’s hard liner to center was more than deep enough for a sacrifice fly that scored Danny White.
Patterson’s sacrifice fly made a winner out of Sam Adolphsen, who pitched 3 1/3 innings of hitless relief. Adolphsen notched three strikeouts and issued no walks with a very efficient 43-pitch effort.
Joe Robicheau got things going for Husson’s slow-starting offense with a two-run double down the left-field line in the third. The hit cut Castleton’s lead to 3-2, but Castleton scored again in the fourth. Husson tied it with back-to-back singles by Patterson and Jeff Miller to start the bottom of the seventh, and they scored on a Brett Garland RBI double down the left- field line and a Bryan Biggers sacrifice fly.
Castleton made it 5-4 in the sixth on an error, a Phil Puleo single, and a Ryan Bouck RBI double. Bouck went 3-for-4 with two singles, a double, and three RBIs.
Husson tied it in the eighth thanks to a two-base fielding error on Patterson’s grounder, a sacrifice bunt, and Garland’s RBI groundout.
Danny White singled to start things in the ninth for Husson, and Adam Sheehan walked to chase reliever Ken Cook. Robicheau bunted the runners over to set up the intentional walk.
Castleton was put in the second elimination game after losing 12-1 to No. 2 Saint Joseph’s in the winners’ bracket game of the day.
(Saturday’s First Game)
UM-Farmington (8-16) 101 000 000 – 2 10 3
Husson (13-21) 310 003 20x – 9 13 0
Howell, Morrison (7) and Hanson; Lavway, Nason (7), Worster (9) and McGinley
(Saturday’s Second Game)
St. Joseph’s (29-8) 132 200 121 – 12 16 1
Castleton St. (26-11) 000 000 010 – 1 2 2
Burdin, Pooler (8), Woodbrey (9) and Gorsen, O’Brien (9); Gilcris, Heck (4), Tuthill (8) and Bouck
(Saturday’s Third Game)
Castleton St. (26-12) 012 101 000 – 5 7 2
Husson (14-21) 002 200 011 – 6 6 5
Cahill, Turner (8), Cook (9) and Bouck; Gray, Adolphsen (6) and Robicheau, McKinley (4)