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Southern Maine Falls to SUNY Oswego 6-4

Senior Matt Bender, seen here against Keene State in April, went 2 for 4 in USM's loss to Oswego on Saturday (photo by Jason Johns).
Senior Matt Bender, seen here against Keene State in April, went 2 for 4 in USM's loss to Oswego on Saturday (photo by Jason Johns).

NCAA Division III New York Regional Tournament

Southern Maine Falls to Oswego 6-4
Huskies to Play Ithaca in an Elimination Game

            SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The SUNY Oswego Lakers continued their late-inning magic scoring three times in the bottom of the eighth inning to overcome the University of Southern Maine Huskies, 6-4, in a battle of unbeaten teams at the 2017 NCAA Division III New York Regional Tournament Saturday morning at Onondaga Community College.

            The loss drops the Huskies (32-12) into an elimination game against Ithaca College starting at 6:15 p.m.  The Lakers move on to the championship round on Sunday needing one win to clinch the regional title.

            Tied 3-3 going into the eighth, the Huskies took a 4-3 lead on a two-out RBI single from sophomore Devin Warren (Smithfield, Maine/Messalonskee).  Classmate Kip Richard (Kennebunk, Maine) led off the frame with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Andrew Hillier (Bangor, Maine).  Oswego senior reliever John-Michael Guarino (New Hampton, N.Y.) got the second out with a strikeout, but walked sophomore Jake Dexter (Oakland, Maine/Messalonskee) to set the stage for Warren.

            The Lakers, who won their two previous games with late-inning heroics, struck again in the home half of the inning against Dexter.  Three straight singles loaded the bases for senior Zach Koller (Endwell, N.Y.) who delivered two runs with a single to right-center field.  Junior Eli Holton (Hancock, N.Y.) brought home an insurance run with a sacrifice fly to left field.

            Guarino got the win allowing one run on four hits and one walk over 2 2/3 innings.  He struck out four.  Oswego's unbeaten junior starter Mitchell Cavanagh (Oneida, N.Y.) went 6 1/3 innings giving up three runs on seven hits and three walks while fanning three.

            Both sides hit 11 hits in the game.  Warren and seniors Paul McDonough (Wells, Maine) and Matt Bender (Walpole, Mass.) had two hits apiece for the Huskies.  Junior John Barnes (Greenwich, N.Y.) led the Lakers with three hits, including a two-run homer in the first inning that erased a 1-0 USM lead.  Kollar had two hits and two RBI.

            Dexter absorbed his second loss against four wins going two innings.  He allowed three runs on four hits, did not walk a batter and struck out one. 

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