September 19, 2019
COLLEGE BASEBALL

Maine records 2 wins Lukas smashes 2-run double

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – The University of Maine’s youthful starting pitchers served notice over the weekend they are rounding quickly into Division I shape.

And, although the offense was spotty, the Black Bears baseball team emerged with a hard-fought split of a four-game series against Wagner College at chilly Richmond County Bank Ballpark.

Wagner took Sunday’s first game 2-1, but the Black Bears won the finale 3-2, sparked by a clutch, two-run double by freshman Jarrett Lukas of Old Town.

On Saturday, UMaine won the first game 6-2 then dropped Game 2 by a 2-1 count.

Coach Steve Trimper’s Bears (7-13) showed grit in pulling out Sunday’s second game despite posting only three hits.

Lukas gave the Bears a big emotional lift in the top of the second inning. With runners at second and third and two out, the freshman from Old Town pulled an 0-2 pitch over the head of left fielder Joe Conforti, giving UMaine a 2-0 lead.

“Jarrett Lukas had the big hit,” said UMaine assistant coach Jared Holowaty. “We tried to produce more hits that game, which didn’t work out always, but we’re trying to get things going.”

The Bears did execute in the fifth to produce the eventual winning run. Joe Mercurio drew a leadoff walk and advanced on Tony Patane’s sacrifice bunt. Consecutive singles by Billy Cather and Myckie Lugbauer made it 3-0.

Junior righthander Alejandro Balsinde worked three innings of one-hit, scoreless relief to help UMaine hang on and earn the save.

“He’s done a great job. What he’s doing better now is he’s keeping the ball down,” Holowaty said.

Starter Kyle Benoit ran into trouble in the fifth. Joe Jamison laced a double to left, before Benoit walked the next three batters. He was lifted in favor of Balsinde, who induced a run-scoring fielder’s choice, then got the final two outs.

Balsinde worked out of another jam in the sixth.

In Sunday’s opener, Wagner (7-11) was opportunistic on offense and played stellar defense in support of starter Matt Watson (2-3), who scattered five hits. Andrew Huebner pitched a scoreless seventh.

The Bears were unable to string hits together and went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

“We didn’t execute again,” Holowaty said.

UMaine freshman righthander Matt Jebb pitched a four-hitter, striking out eight, but his one walk and hit batter both eventually scored.

“The efforts that our pitchers have given us this weekend, you can’t be anything but excited,” Holowaty said.

The Bears made it 1-0 in the first when Lugbauer roped a two-out double to right-center and scored when Curt Smith reached on a throwing error.

Wagner equalized in the second when Matt Logan was hit by a pitch, reached second on Jebb’s errant throw on a fielder’s choice, and scored on Conforti’s double off the glove of leaping first baseman Smith.

The hosts went up 2-1 in the fourth after Jebb walked Chris Drechsel, who stole second, and Conforti lined a single to right.

The Bears had a nice scoring chance go by the board in the sixth as Smith led with an infield single and stole second. However, he ran into an out on McAvoy’s grounder to short and Mark Ostrander grounded into an inning-ending double play.

On a cold, blustery Saturday, the Bears got two outstanding starts from Joe Miller and Kevin Scanlan, but emerged with only one win.

“It gets back to executing and doing the little things,” Trimper said. “Game 1, we got a two-out hit out of Tony [Patane]. Game 2, we left four guys in scoring position with two out.”

In Saturday’s opener, righthander Miller scattered six hits and was supported by strong defense and timely hitting as the Bears snapped a five-game losing streak.

The sophomore transfer from High Point University allowed two runs in the first inning, then blanked the Seahawks the rest of the way. Miller (3-1) struck out eight and walked two.

“Normally, I like going to my changeup a lot, but today it was the slider,” Miller said. “so I tried to work off that for a strike and then throw a fastball.”

Down 2-0, UMaine struck for four runs in the second inning off loser Kyle Morrison (0-2). Joey Martin of Portland drew a leadoff walk, Kevin Jackson singled and Danny Menendez walked.

Two outs later, sophomore transfer Patane yanked a bases-clearing double down the left-field line to put the Bears in front to stay.

“The second curveball he hung to me, I just got around on it, ripped it down the line,” Patane said.

Cather followed with an RBI single to make it 4-2.

The defense sparkled in the sixth. Cather’s running catch at the fence in right-center and third baseman Lukas’ barehanded play on a slow roller helped Miller work around two hits.

Lukas stroked two singles for the Bears, while Damian Csakai singled twice for Wagner.

In Saturday’s second game, freshman lefty Scanlan was the hard-luck loser despite limiting the Seahawks to three hits.

Scanlan (0-2) mixed his overhand curveball, fastball and changeup effectively while striking out eight and walking one.

“I struck out a bunch of guys, walked two, so that’s good for me,” Scanlan said. “The changeup definitely was helping me today – my newly acquired pitch.”

UMaine led 1-0 when the Seahawks struck for two runs in the fifth.

Seth Boyd drew a one-out walk, then Dreschsel fisted a single to left. Kevin Payne blooped an RBI double down the line in right, then Brian Martutatus plated the game-winner with a sacrifice fly.

Ostrander rapped two singles and Lugbauer doubled among the Bears’ six hits.

McAvoy’s sacrifice fly in the second scored Lugbauer, who had doubled.

pwarner@bangordailynews.net

990-8240

SEAHAWKS 2, BLACK BEARS 1

(Sunday’s First Game)

Maine Wagner

Player AB R H BI Player AB R H BI

Patane, ss 3 0 1 0 Csakai, cf 3 0 0

Cather, cf 3 0 0 0 Boyd, 2b 2 0 0

Lugbauer, c 3 1 1 0 Gruccio, 2b 1 0 0

Smith, 1b 3 0 1 0 Lucas, 3b 3 0 0

McAvoy, dh 2 0 0 0 Avella, 1b 3 0 0

Howard, pr 0 0 0 0 Logan, dh 2 1 0

Ostrander, rf 3 0 0 0 McDonnell, rf 3 0

Jackson, lf 1 0 1 0 Drechsel, c 2 1 0

Hasenfus, pr 0 0 0 0 Conforti, lf 2 0 2

Menendez, ss 3 0 1 0 Martutartus, ss 2 0 0

Mager, 3b 2 0 0 0

Martin, ph 1 0 0 0

Totals 24 1 5 0 Totals 23 2 4 2

Maine 100 000 0-1

Wagner 010 100 x-2

E-Jebb; Martutartus; LOB-Maine 5, Wagner 5; 2B-Lugbauer; Csakai, Conforti; DP-Lucas-Boyd-Avella, Martutartus-Boyd, Lucas-Avella; SB-Cather, Smith; Drechsel, Conforti

Maine IP H R ER BB SO

Jebb (L, 1-1) 6 4 2 1 1 8

Wagner IP H R ER BB SO

Watson (W, 2-3) 6 5 1 0 2 1

Huebner (S, 3) 1 0 0 0 1 1

HBP-Logan (by Jebb); WP-Jebb; T-1:40

BLACK BEARS 3, SEAHAWKS 2

(Sunday’s Second Game)

Maine (7-13) Wagner (7-11)

Player AB R H BI Player AB R H BI

Patane, ss 3 0 0 0 Csakai, cf 4 0 1

Cather, cf 3 0 1 0 Conforti, lf 3 0 0

Lugbauer, 1b 4 0 1 1 Lucas, 3b-p 2 0 0

Smith, lf 1 1 0 0 Avella, 1b 2 0 0

McAvoy, dh 2 1 0 0 Logan, 1b 1 0 0

Brown, rf 2 0 0 0 Gruccio, pr 0 0 0

Howard, pr 0 0 0 0 Payne, 1b 0 0 0

Ostrander, rf 0 0 0 0 Rice, dh 1 0

Menendez, 2b 2 0 0 0 Jamison, 3b 2 1 0

Lukas, 3b 3 0 1 2 McDonnell, rf 1 1 0

Mercurio, c 2 1 0 0 Drechsel, c 2 0 0

Martutartus, ss 2 0 0 1

Totals 22 3 3 3 Totals 22 2 3 2

Maine 020 010 0-3

Wagner 000 020 0-2

E-Martutartus; LOB-Maine 6, Wagner 5; 2B-Lukas; Jamison; DP-Menendez-Lugbauer; S-Patane, Menendez; Boyd; SB-Cather, Smith, McAvoy; Csakai 2

Maine IP H R ER BB SO

Benoit (W, 1-0) 4 2 2 2 4 8

Balsinde (S, 1) 3 1 0 0 0 2

Wagner IP H R ER BB SO

Wells (L, 0-3) 4 1/3 3 3 3 3 7

Lucas 2 2/3 0 0 0 1 2

Benoit faced four batters in the 5th.

HBP-Lucas (by Benoit); Smith (by Wells); Mercurio (by Wells); WP-Wells; PB-Mercurio; T-2:07; ATT-279

BLACK BEARS 6, SEAHAWKS 2

(Saturday’s First Game)

Maine Wagner

Player AB R H BI Player AB R H BI

Patane, ss 3 1 1 3 Csakai, cf 4 1 0

Cather, cf 3 0 1 2 Boyd, 2b 3 1 0

Smith, lf 2 0 0 1 Lucas, 3b 4 0 0

Hasenfus, lf 0 0 0 0 Avella, 1b 1 0 0

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

Martin, rf 2 1 0 0 McDonnell, rf 3 0 0

Jackson, dh 3 1 1 0 Drechsel, c 3 0 0

Menendez, 3b 2 1 0 0 Conforti, lf 3 0 0

Lukas, 2b 3 1 2 0 Martutartus, ss 2 0 0

Mercurio, c 3 1 1 0 Jamison, ph 1 0 0

Payne, ss 0 0 0 0

Totals 25 6 6 6 Totals 27 2 6 2

Maine 040 000 2-6

Wagner 200 000 0-2

E-Patane; LOB-Maine 4, Wagner 7; 2B-Patane DP-Miller-Patane-Lugbauer, Menendez-Lugbauer; SF-Smith; SB-Cather, Smith

Maine IP H R ER BB SO

Miller (W, 3-1) 7 6 2 2 2 6

Wagner IP H R ER BB SO

Morrison (L, 0-2) 7 6 6 6 4 5

HBP-Cather (by Morrison); Avella (by Miller); WP-Morrison; PB-Mecurio; T-1:47

SEAHAWKS 2, BLACK BEARS 1

(Saturday’s Second Game)

Maine (6-12) Wagner (6-10)

Player AB R H BI Player AB R H BI

Patane, ss 1 0 0 0 Csakai, cf 3 0 0

Cather, cf 3 0 1 0 Jamison, lf 3 0 0

Smith, 1b 2 0 1 0 Conforti, lf 0 0 0

Lugbauer, c 3 1 1 0 Avella, 1b 3 0 0

Ostrander, rf 3 0 2 0 Lucas, 3b 3 0

McAvoy, dh 2 0 0 1 McDonnell, rf 0 0 0

Menendez, 2b 3 0 1 0 DiPietro, rf 1 0 0

Lukas, 3b 2 0 0 0 Boyd, 2b 1 1 0

Martin, ph 1 0 0 0 Drechsel, c 2 1 0

Howard, lf 2 0 0 0 Payne, dh 2 0 1

Jackson, ph 1 0 0 0 Martutartus, ss 1 0 1

Totals 23 1 6 1 Totals 19 2 3 2

Maine 010 000 0-1

Wagner 000 020 x-2

E-Avella; LOB-Maine 5, Wagner 2; 2B-Lugbauer; Payne; 3B-Smith; DP-McDonnell-Avella; SF-McAvoy; Martutartus; SB-Cather

Maine IP H R ER BB SO

Scanlan (L, 0-2) 6 3 2 2 2 6

Home IP H R ER BB SO

Rice (W, 3-0) 4 4 1 1 2 0

Huebner (S, 2) 2 2 0 0 0 1

PB-Dreschel 2; T-1:42; ATT-313


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