Southern Maine Downs St. Thomas (Minn.) in 11 Innings, 4-1
AUBURNDALE, Fla. -- The University of Southern Maine Huskies used four consecutive two-out singles to produce three runs in the top of the 11th inning to defeat the University of St. Thomas (Minn.) 4-1 in a non-conference game Sunday afternoon at Lake Myrtle Field #4.
The win was the second straight for the Huskies and improved their overall record to 2-1. St. Thomas dropped its third decision in the last four games to slide to 3-5 overall.
St. Thomas junior left-handed reliever Drew Molin (Cottage Grove, Minn.) got two routine outs to open the 11th inning before the Huskies struck. Senior Paul McDonough (Wells, Maine) singled, and sophomore Jake Dexter (Oakland, Maine/Messalonskee) followed with a single to put runners at first and second. Rookie Andrew Olszak (Danvers, Mass.) singled and McDonough beat the throw to the plate to snap a 1-1 tie. Heads up base running by Dexter and Olszak put runners at second and third for sophomore Zach Quintal (Eliot, Maine/Marshwood) who delivered both with another single.
USM sophomore reliever Matt Correale (Peabody, Mass.), who came on in the eighth inning, retired the Tommies in order in the bottom half of the frame to get the win. Correale went 3.2 scoreless innings allowing one hit and one walk while striking out a career-high six.
In a scoreless pitchers duel between a pair of sophomores, USM right-hander Jack Donnelly (Walpole, Mass.) and UST southpaw Henry DeCaster (Shoreview, Minn.), neither team mounted a scoring threat. USM got a runner to third base with two outs in the first inning, but left him stranded. DeCaster found his grove later and retired 12 in row before McDonough's single. UST had a first-and-third situation with one out in the third, but Donnelly got a pair of fly balls to end that threat. Neither starter would be involved in the decision.
Southern Maine finally reached DeCaster in the eighth inning loading the bases on three straight one-out singles by Quintal, senior Matt Bender (Walpole, Mass.) and junior Sam Stauble (Harrison, Maine/Bridgton Academy). Sophomore Kip Richard (Kennebunk, Maine) brought home Quintal with a sacrifice fly, but DeCaster escaped any further damage with a groundout.
St. Thomas struck back against Donnelly and Correale in its half of the frame. Junior Jake Smith (Apple Valley, Minn.) led off the inning with a single and stole second before moving to third on a sacrifice bunt from senior Ben Carpenter (Wauwatosa, Wis.), and ending Donnelly's day. Correale gave up an infield single to sophomore Steve Cobbs (Woodbury, Minn.), but Smith was unable to advance. Cobbs would steal second before junior Hunter Hart (Delano, Minn.) brought home Smith with the tying run on a groundout to short. Correale got out of the inning with his first strikeout.
Both teams had threats in the ninth and 10th innings, but could not push across a run.
Southern Maine outhit St. Thomas 10-5 in the game. Quintal, Bender and Stauble had two hits apiece. No St. Thomas hitter had multiple hits. Donnelly went 7.1 innings giving up four hits and one walk, and matched his career-high striking out seven. DeCaster went eight innings surrendering six hits and one walk while fanning nine.
Southern Maine will take on the #6/#7-ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on Monday (11:15 a.m.) at Lake Myrtle Field #5. St. Thomas continues its Florida swing taking on Benedictine University on Monday (2:00 p.m.) at Lake Myrtle Field #6.