June 16, 2019
COLLEGE BASEBALL

Bears move to third Playoff berth a step closer

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Greg Norton was working on a no-hitter in the fifth inning of Sunday’s second game when an error and Hartford’s first hit quickly tied the score.

He and the Black Bears remained unfazed.

Myckie Lugbauer slammed a two-run home run in the sixth and Norton closed out a two-hit gem as UMaine completed an America East doubleheader sweep with a 3-1 victory at Campus Field.

The Bears (19-27, 10-9 AE) dropped Saturday’s game 7-1 but came back to take Sunday’s opener 14-1.

Coach Steve Trimper’s squad moved into third place and a step closer to clinching an AE tournament berth heading into today’s noon series finale.

“Obviously this time of year we’re all doing math and that stuff,” Trimper said. “Three wins [Sunday and Monday] is our magic number, from what we figure.”

Sunday showed the continued improvement of Norton. The senior righthander from South Portland (6-3) allowed only two singles, including an infield hit.

“Norty’s fastball was the best I’ve seen it so far. He really had good pop on it,” Lugbauer said. “He threw the best I’ve seen him [throw].”

Norton, who fanned one and walked one, didn’t get rattled after Hartford (13-32, 9-13 AE) tied the game. Curt Smith’s one-out throwing error gave the Hawks their first baserunner and, after a sacrifice bunt, Greg Cinelli looped a single to left to make it 1-1.

“When a play like that happens at that stage of the game I think at this point it fires up our team,” Norton said. “We got a couple of runs right off the bat and it was smooth sailing the rest of the game.”

Norton got the second out, walked Chris Hebert, then got Matt O’Connell on a liner to first base.

Joel Barrett of Brewer started the sixth with an infield single, then Lugbauer drilled a first-pitch fastball from loser Chris Greiner (2-8) for a home run to right field.

“That was one of the hardest balls hit today. It’s pretty huge to get that in that kind of a spot,” said Barrett, who hit an RBI double in the first inning and another single.

Billy Cather singled twice for the Bears.

Norton and lefty Brad Hertzler were superb again, combining to allow only two runs and seven hits Sunday.

“Norty pitched a heck of a game today and the same with Hertzler,” Barrett said. “It’s nice when the pitcher’s flowing like that, getting ground balls. You’re always on your toes.”

In Sunday’s opener, Hertzler (4-4) continued his domination of America East hitters and received plenty of offensive support as UMaine cruised.

With three major league scouts on hand, the junior held the Hawks to five hits, striking out six and hitting a batter.

“I didn’t feel in control of my pitches like I usually do,” said Hertzler, who is aware of the scouts. “You get used to it, but I don’t really pay attention to them.”

“It’s not about lining up matchups, 1-2-3-4, it’s lining up guys that can complete games for us,” Trimper said. “Hertzler and Norty are getting it done.”

Smith’s line-drive, two-run homer in the first off Pete Moraski (2-4) sparked UMaine, which piled up 12 hits and was the beneficiary of seven walks, two wild pitches and two errors.

“We had a loss [Saturday] and you knew that we had to win the first game [Sunday] to set a tone,” Smith said.

Danny Menendez paced the Bears with three hits, including a two-run double during a six-run sixth. Smith added a double and scored three times, while Matt McGraw tripled and singled and Mark Ostrander (two RBIs) singled twice.

Bill Perry and Cinelli each posted two singles for the Hawks.

On Saturday, Weston Szymanski (5-5) silenced the Bears’ bats. The sophomore righty shut out UMaine for eight-plus innings as the Hawks claimed the series opener.

Szymanski’s assortment of sidearm sliders, changeups and fastballs had the Bears beating the ball into the newly installed artificial turf, or popping it up.

“The only way I’m going to be successful is keeping it at the bottom of the kneecaps and hitting the corners,” Szymanski said. “What I bank on is people to get anxious and swing at a pitch that’s my pitch and not their pitch.”

By the time Smith and Barrett hit consecutive doubles and Lugbauer singled to lead off the ninth, Hartford led 7-0.

“Anytime you have a kid with different mechanics than 90 percent of the guys you face, it’s always difficult to get your timing down as a hitter,” Barrett said. “He pitched good locations and he got up early in the count.”

Szymanski was backed by a steady defense that turned two double plays. The Bears didn’t get a man to second base until the seventh.

Soft-throwing UMaine starter Jose Mendoza (1-5) left too many balls up in the strike zone.

Brady Stouffer stroked two doubles (RBI) among Hartford’s 11 hits off Mendoza. The key blow came in the fourth.

On Eric Price’s fly ball to shallow right, the onrushing Kevin McAvoy appeared to lose it in the sun. It got by, plating the game’s first two runs and giving the Hawks the momentum.

HAWKS 7, BLACK BEARS 2

(Saturday Afternoon)

Maine (20-23) Hartford (13-30)

Player AB R H BI Player AB R H BI

McGraw, lf 4 0 0 0 Stouffer, ss 4 1 1

Cather, cf 4 0 1 0 Cinelli, dh 5 0 2

Smith, 3b 4 1 1 0 Sobocinski, 3b 3 1 0

Barrett, 1b 4 1 1 1 Perry, 3b 3 1 0

Lugbauer, c 4 0 1 0 Bowser, cf 3 1 1

Jackson, dh 2 0 1 1 Crowley, c 4 0 0

McAvoy, rf 3 0 1 0 Price, rf 4 1 2

Hackett, ss 3 0 0 0 Hebert, 1b 3 1 0

Brown, ph 1 0 0 0 O’Connell, lf 4 1 1

Menendez, 2b 3 0 1 0

Totals 32 2 7 2 Totals 33 7 13 7

Maine 000 000 002 – 2

Hartford 000 313 00x – 7

E-Mendoza (2); Stouffer (15); DP-Stouffer-Sobocinski-Hebert, Sobocinski-Stouffer-Hebert; LOB-Maine 6, Hartford 7; 2B-Smith, Barrett; Stouffer 2, Cinelli, Perry; 3B-Price; S-Perry; SF-Jackson; SB-Bowser (11)

Maine IP H R ER BB SO

Mendoza L, 1-5) 5 1/3 11 7 6 2 4

Powers 2 2/3 2 0 0 0 1

Hartford IP H R ER BB SO

Szymanski (W, 5-5) 9 7 2 2 1 5

HBP-McAvoy (by Szymanski); Sobocinski (by Mendoza); T-2:04; ATT-113

BLACK BEARS 14, HAWKS 1

(Sunday’s First Game, 7 innings)

Maine (21-23, 9-9 AE) Hartford (13-31, 9-12 AE)

Player AB R H BI Player AB R H BI

McGraw, c 4 3 2 0 Stouffer, ss 3 0 0

Cather, cf 4 0 1 0 Cinelli, dh 3 0 0

Smith, 3b 4 3 2 2 Sobocinski, 2b 3 0 0

Barrett, 1b 3 1 0 0 Ricco, 2b 0 0 0

McAvoy, rf 4 2 0 1 Perry, 3b 3 1 0

Ostrander, dh 3 2 2 2 Bowser, cf 3 0

Hackett, ss 2 2 1 1 Crowley, c 1 0 0

Menendez, 2b 4 1 3 3 Deubner, c 1 0 0

Hasenfus, lf 4 0 1 2 Price, rf 3 0 0

Hebert, 1b 2 0 0 0

Grossman, 1b 1 0 0 0

O’Connell, lf 2 0 0 0

Dorman, lf 0 0 0 0

Totals 32 14 12 11 Totals 25 1 5 0

Maine 201 056 0 – 14

Hartford 000 000 1- 1

E-Perry (9), Deuoner (1); LOB-Maine 6; Hartford 4; 2B-Smith (11), Menendez (8); 3B-McGraw (6); HR-Smith (6); DP-Perry-Stouffer-Hebert; S-Cather (3); SB-Smith 2 (7), Barrett (2)

Maine IP H R ER BB SO

Hertzler (W, 4-4) 7 5 1 0 0 6

Hartford IP H R ER BB SO

Moraski (L, 2-4) 4 1/3 6 5 5 3 4

Browne 2/3 2 3 3 2 1

Stefka 1 3 6 0 2 0

Bloch 1 1 0 0 0 0

HBP-Ostrander (by Browne); Crowley (by Hertzler); WP-Moraski (3), Browne (4), Stefka (3); PB-McGraw (8); T-2:12; ATT-127

BLACK BEARS 3, HAWKS 1

(Sunday’s Second Game, 7 innings)

Maine (22-23, 10-9 AE) Hartford (13-32, 9-13 AE)

Player AB R H BI Player AB R H BI

McGraw, lf 3 0 0 0 Stouffer, ss 3 0 0

Cather, cf 4 0 2 0 Sobocinski, 2b 3 0 0

Smith, 3b 3 1 1 0 Perry, 3b 3 0 0

Barrett, 1b 4 1 3 1 Bowser, cf 3 1 0

Lugbauer, c 2 1 1 2 Crowsley, c 2 0 0

Jackson, dh 2 0 0 0 Cinelli, dh 3 0 1

Hasenfus, dh 0 0 0 0 Price, rf 2 0 0

McAvoy, rf 3 0 0 0 Hebert, 1b 1 0 0

Hackett, ss 3 0 0 0 O’Connell, lf 2 0 0

Menendez, 2b 3 0 1 0

Totals 27 3 8 3 Totals 22 1 2 1

Maine 100 002 0 – 3

Hartford 000 010 0 – 1

E-Smith (20); Hebert (3); LOB-Maine 7; Hartford 2; 2B-Barrett (15); HR-Lugbauer (4); DP-Barrett-Hackett; Perry-Sobocinski-Hebert, Sobocinski unassisted; S-Crowley (2); SB-Hasenfus (2)

Maine IP H R ER BB SO

Norton (W, 6-3) 7 2 1 0 1 1

Hartford IP H R ER BB SO

Greiner (L, 2-8) 5 7 3 3 2 2

Toomey 2 1 0 0 0 1

HBP-Jackson (by Greiner), Smith (by Toomey); T-1:39; ATT-127

BLACK BEARS 3, HAWKS 1

(Sunday’s Second Game, 7 innings)

Maine (22-23, 10-9 AE) Hartford (13-32, 9-13 AE)

Player AB R H BI Player AB R H BI

McGraw, lf 3 0 0 0 Stouffer, ss 3 0 0

Cather, cf 4 0 2 0 Sobocinski, 2b 3 0 0

Smith, 3b 3 1 1 0 Perry, 3b 3 0 0

Barrett, 1b 4 1 3 1 Bowser, cf 3 1 0

Lugbauer, c 2 1 1 2 Crowsley, c 2 0 0

Jackson, dh 2 0 0 0 Cinelli, dh 3 0 1

Hasenfus, dh 0 0 0 0 Price, rf 2 0 0

McAvoy, rf 3 0 0 0 Hebert, 1b 1 0 0

Hackett, ss 3 0 0 0 O’Connell, lf 2 0 0

Menendez, 2b 3 0 1 0

Totals 27 3 8 3 Totals 22 1 2 1

Maine 100 002 0 – 3

Hartford 000 010 0 – 1

E-Smith (20); Hebert (3); LOB-Maine 7; Hartford 2; 2B-Barrett (15); HR-Lugbauer (4); DP-Barrett-Hackett; Perry-Sobocinski-Hebert, Sobocinski unassisted; S-Crowley (2); SB-Hasenfus (2)

Maine IP H R ER BB SO

Norton (W, 6-3) 7 2 1 0 1 1

Hartford IP H R ER BB SO

Greiner (L, 2-8) 5 7 3 3 2 2

Toomey 2 1 0 0 0 1

HBP-Jackson (by Greiner), Smith (by Toomey); T-1:39; ATT-127


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