September 19, 2019

Bears cruise past Terriers UM pitchers stifle Thomas

ORONO – Things worked out pretty much as planned Wednesday for the University of Maine baseball team.

The Black Bears got played on their home field, got needed work for five pitchers and emerged with a victory over Thomas College of Waterville.

UMaine rode three-run home runs from Myckie Lugbauer and Joe Mercurio to a 13-4 victory over the Terriers on a pleasant spring evening at Mahaney Diamond.

“It’s nice to have the home crowd behind us,” Lugbauer said, “just getting out on the home field and not having to travel anywhere was real good.”

Coach Steve Trimper’s Bears (15-18-1) now will prepare for an important America East series against Stony Brook beginning Friday at Mahaney Diamond.

Division III Thomas (9-13), coached by former UMaine catcher Greg King, faces key North Atlantic Conference games against Husson and Elms next weekend.

UMaine manufactured plenty of runs with a combination of patience and timely hits, led by Mercurio. The sophomore catcher, a transfer from the University of Illinois, went 4-for-5 with a home run, a double, two singles and four RBIs.

“It’s been coming around pretty well,” Mercurio said of his hitting. “I’ve been working hard at it. The big difference is getting pitches to hit instead of getting myself out swinging at balls I shouldn’t swing at.”

Lugbauer, another sophomore, plated four runs with a homer, a triple and a single. He also scored three times, as did Curt Smith (homer, single) and Danny Menendez. Billy Cather singled twice.

Mike Chamard drilled a solo home run and scored twice for Thomas. Scott Geel added an RBI single.

The Terriers, who were forced to juggle their lineup because of a spate of recent injuries, played a solid game.

“It’s always a treat for them to come up here and play against [Maine],” said King, Thomas’ 12th-year coach, who graduated from UMaine in 1991.

“I was proud of them. They competed right to the end. Even though the score was what it was, we played hard every single pitch,” he said.

Freshman Kyle Benoit (3-1) earning the win for UMaine with two innings of work behind starter Nolan Boike, who pitched three hitless innings but walked four. Jimmy Cox of Bangor and Jon Balentina pitched an inning each, before Justin Latta wrapped it up with five strikeouts in two innings.

“We got some pitchers in. We didn’t throw as many strikes as I would have liked,” Trimper said.

The Bears built an 8-1 advantage, scoring three runs in the first inning and five in the third off gritty Payton Austin (0-1).

In the first, Menendez doubled down the right-field line and Smith walked before Lugbauer drilled a line-drive home run to right.

“I shortened up my stance a little bit and things have been working well for me since then,” Lugbauer said.

In the third, Austin sandwiched walks around a single by Smith. Patane and Jarrett Lukas of Old Town delivered back-to-back sacrifice flies, then Kevin McAvoy of Brewer drew a walk.

Mercurio followed, jacking a high, three-run homer down the line in left to give the Bears a seven-run cushion.

“First one of the career; it felt real good,” Mercurio said.

Thomas scored single runs in the third, fourth, fifth and seventh but didn’t string many together. The Bears put it out of reach with a three-run eighth.



Thomas (9-13) Maine (15-18-1)

Player AB R H BI Player AB R H BI

Fieldsend, ss 5 0 0 0 Cather, cf 6 0

Chamard, cf 2 2 1 1 Menendez, 2b 4 3 0

Estes, ph 1 0 0 0 Smith, lf 4 3 1

Desjardins, 3b 2 0 1 1 Lugbauer, 1b 4 4

Rines, ph 0 0 0 0 Patane, ss 4 0 2

Schauwecker, c 4 0 1 0 Lukas, 3b 3 1

Cloutier, c 1 0 0 0 McAvoy, rf 2 1 0

Shain, 2b 5 1 1 1 Martin, rf 2 1 0

Martin, dh 4 0 0 0 Mercurio,c 5 1 4

Nickerson, 1b 1 1 0 0 Howard, dh 3 1

MacMillan, 1b 1 0 0 0

Geel, rf 3 0 1 1

Philbrick, lf 4 0 1 0

Totals 33 4 6 4 Totals 37 13 15 13

Thomas 001 110 100 – 4

Maine 305 101 03x – 13

E-Desjardins (11); Patane (9), Latta (2); LOB-Thomas 10; Maine 10; DP-Thomas 1; 2B-Menendez, Lugbauer, Martin, Mercurio; 3B-Lugbauer; HR-Chamard (2); Smith (9), Lugbauer (4), Mercurio (1); SF-Patane, Lukas; SB-Cather (13), Menendez (8), Howard (4)

Thomas IP H R ER BB SO

Austin (L, 0-1) 6 8 10 10 7 3

McPherson 2 7 3 3 0 1


Nolan 3 0 1 1 4 4

Benoit (W, 3-1) 2 5 2 1 0 5

Cox 1 0 0 0 0 3

Balentina 1 0 1 1 2 1

Latta 2 1 0 0 1 5

HBP-Nickerson (by Benoit); WP-Austin 3; Benoit, Balentina; PB-Schauwecker; T-2:38; ATT-260

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