1991 & 1997 NCAA Division III National Champions

NCAA Regional: Southern Maine Edges Amherst 3-2

Pitcher Dalton Rice (file photo by Jason Johns).
Pitcher Dalton Rice (file photo by Jason Johns).

NCAA Division III Auburn, NY Regional
Southern Maine Edges Amherst 3-2

            AUBURN, N.Y. -- Sophomore Dylan Hapworth (Winslow, Maine) scored the go ahead run on a throwing error in the bottom of the eighth inning as the third-seeded University of Southern Maine Huskies rallied for a 3-2 victory over the sixth-seeded Amherst College Mammoths in a first-round game of the NCAA Division III Auburn, New York Regional being played at Falcon Park.

            The win moves the Huskies (28-13) into a winners' bracket game Friday night (7:45 p.m.) against Salisbury University, a 3-2 winner in 10 innings over St. Joseph's College-Long Island.  Amherst will take on St. Joseph's-Long Island in an elimination game in the afternoon (1:15 p.m.).

            Down 2-1 heading in the bottom of the eight, the Huskies tied the game on a double from junior Jake Dexter (Oakland, Maine/Messalonskee), a walk to Hapworth and sophomore Andrew Olszak's (Danvers, Mass.) RBI single through the right side. Hapworth advanced to third on Olszak's single to put runners on the corner.

            Junior Zach Quintal (Eliot, Maine/Marshwood) fouled out to the third baseman behind home plate.  After the catch, Olszak headed for second drawing an errant throw allowing Hapworth to score the tie-breaking run.  The run was unearned.

            USM junior right-hander Dalton Rice (Waterford, Maine/Oxford Hills) went eight innings to pick up his third win of the season.  Rice allowed two runs on six hits and two walks while striking out eight.  Dexter came on to retire the side in order in the ninth to earn his 12th saves of the season.

            Southern Maine took a 1-0 lead in the opening frame as Dexter and Hapworth had back-to-back two-out doubles off Amherst senior southpaw starter Sam Schneider (San Diego, Calif.).  That would be the only run Schneider would surrender in his seven innings of work.

            The Mammoths put up two runs in the third as the first three batters reached against Rice.  Rookie Kai Terada-Herzer (Honolulu, Hawaii) led off with a single and moved to second on a walk to sophomore Severino Simeone (Weston, Mass.).  After a wild pitch moved both runners up a base, senior Max Steinhorn (Washington, D.C.) singled to left to score Terada-Herzer.  Rice struck out the next batter for the first out before senior Ariel Kennedy (Chula Vista, Calif.) lifted a sacrifice fly to right field bring home Simeone.

            Rice and Schneider matched zeroes over the next four innings to keep the score at 2-1 in favor of the Mammoths.  Rice was helped by his defense in the eighth inning when Quintal threw out Kennedy at the plate trying to score for the final out of the inning.

            Junior Mike Dow (Joliet, Ill.), the second of two Amherst relievers used in the eighth inning, was the tough-luck loser.

            Dexter was the only batter with two hits in the game, both doubles, for either side.

            In other first-day games, Swarthmore College defeated Baldwin-Wallace University, 9-6, and top-seeded SUNY Cortland edged Westfield State University 5-4.