Esposito and Casali Homer but Retrievers Can’t Cool Maine Bats, Drop Both Games of Doubleheader
ORONO, Maine – After Maine pounded out 21 hits in a 17-0 game one win, sophomore Mark Esposito (Bethany, Conn./Amity Regional) launched his first career home run and freshman Andrew Casali (New Canaan, Conn./New Canaan) hit an inside-the-park homer, but the Retrievers could not hold off the Black Bears who took game two, 8-4, to complete the doubleheader sweep, Friday at Mahaney Diamond in America East play.
In game one, the Black Bears (24-26, 10-10 AE) pounded out 16 against UMBC (16-29, 6-17 AE) senior Mac Gill (Bethesda, Ma./Walter Johnson) who took the loss (1-7) while starter Tommy Lawrence (8-4) pitched six scoreless innings for the win. Shaun Coughlin kept the shut out over the final three innings to earn his first save.
Esposito went 2-for-3 in the opener to lead the Retriever offense which collected seven hits.
In the night cap, Maine started the scoring on a solo shot by Scott Heath, his second homer of the day, in the bottom of the first, but the Retrievers pushed back in the very next frame for two runs to take the lead. The Black Bears responded with four in the bottom half, though, to retake the lead en route to the doubleheader sweep.
Heath worked four innings to earn the win (3-2) on the mound while Jeff Gelinas pitched the last three to earn his first save of the year. Sophomore Riley Stephenson (Frederick, Md./Boonsboro) was charged with the loss (2-7) after giving up six runs on four hits over three innings.
Neither team scored in the first inning of the day's first game before the hosts opened their account with a single run in the bottom of the second on a lead-off solo home run by Troy Black. The next inning, ten Black Bears came to the plate, as Heath connected for a grand slam, and three batters later Brian Doran sent a two-RBI single to right to push the lead to 7-0.
UMBC went down in order in the top of the fourth and Maine answered with three more runs as Heath, Alex Calbick, and Doran each recorded RBI in the innings. The lead grew to 11-0 in the next frame as Heath collected his sixth and seventh runs-batted-in of the game with a run-scoring single to left.
Maine continued the offensive surge in the bottom of the sixth as Luke Morrill launched a three-run homer into the right-centerfield hedges for a 14-0 advantage. The Black Bears added to their lead with another three runs in the next inning as Heath scored twice and Black came across on an RBI single by Morrill.
In the second game, Heath gave the hosts the lead quickly, but then surrendered the lead as UMBC tagged him for two runs in the top of the second. Freshman Hunter Dolshun (Warwick, N.Y./Warwick Valley) started the inning with a walk and then moved to second as Esposito laid down a sac bunt. Junior Jake Barnes (Annandale, Va./Annandale) followed with a single to center to put runners on first and third and then senior D.J. Smith (Millersville, Md./Old Mill) dumped a single to right to score Dolshun to tie the game. Senior Brandon Coluccio (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township/Brookdale CC) then stepped up and dropped sacrifice bunt to score Barnes to break the tie.
Maine tied the game in the home half of the inning as Jonathan Salcedo brought in Doran with a sac bunt. The Black Bears then took the lead, 6-2, in the next inning with four runs.
Two innings later, Heath smashed his third home run of the day, another solo shot, and Black pulled an RBI single to left as the hosts pushed the lead to 8-2.
In the top of the sixth with one down, Esposito ripped a shot left that cleared the hedges just behind the fence to cut the lead to 8-3. The next inning, Casali ripped a ball to deep center and then raced around the bases for his third home run of the year.
UMBC and Maine now close out the 2014 regular season with a single game on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at Mahaney Diamond.
- Barnes moved to centerfield in the bottom of the eighth of game one, marking the seventh different position he has played in a Retriever uniform. He has played all positions except for pitcher and catcher.
- Sophomore Cory Callahan pitched 1.2 scoreless innings in the first game.
- Game two marked the third time this season that UMBC has hit two or more home runs in a game, but the team is 1-2 in such games.
- Esposito is hitting .389 (7-for-18) in five games against Maine this season.
- Senior Stephen Chrzanowski tossed two scoreless relief innings in game two.