Lambert Gets the Win in the Nightcap
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Sophomore right-hander Ben Lambert (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy) pitched eight innings to lead the University of Southern Maine Huskies to a 5-2 victory over the Rhode Island College Anchormen in the second game of the teams' Little East Conference doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Pontarelli Field.
The Anchormen hit three home runs and used two big innings to prevail in the first game slugfest 14-11. The doubleheader was the opening day of conference play for both teams.
The split gives the Huskies an 8-6 overall mark heading into their home opener on Wednesday (4 p.m.) against Bowdoin College. The Anchormen are now 9-7 overall and host Fitchburg State University on Monday (3:30 p.m.).
Southern Maine built a 3-0 lead heading into the home half of the fifth before the roof caved in. The Huskies got one in the first on an RBI single from sophomore Andrew Hillier (Bangor, Maine), and solo home runs in the top half of the fifth from sophomore Dylan Hapworth (Winslow, Maine) and junior Jake Dexter (Oakland, Maine/Messalonskee).
The Anchormen exploded in their half of the fifth sending 12 men to the plate to score nine times, highlighted by a three-run homer from senior Shaun Vigeant (Coventry, R.I.) and a two-run blast from sophomore Nate Vigeant (Coventry, R.I.), to take a 9-3 lead.
Hillier had a two-run single, and Hapworth followed with a RBI single in the sixth as USM scored four times to close the gap to 9-7.
The Anchormen came right back to score five times in the home half of the frame. With the bases loaded, senior Tyler Rains (North Kingstown, R.I.) cleared the sacks with a double to right center, and sophomore Ray Zincone (West Warwick, R.I.) followed with a two-run homer making it 14-7.
USM got three runs in the seventh on a three-run homer from Hillier, and one in the eighth on a sacrifice fly from rookie Jason Komulainen (Gorham, Maine), but could get no close.
Hiller paced the Huskies' 15-hit attack going 3 for 6 with six RBI. Hapworth, rookie Sam Troiano (South Portland, Maine) and juniors Zach Quintal (Eliot, Maine/Marshwood) and Devin Warren (Smithfield, Maine/Messalonskee) had two hits apiece.
Sophomore pitcher Gage Feeney (Cutler, Maine/Washington Academy) absorbed his first loss of the season on the hill. Feeney allowed eight runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out four in 4.1 innings of work.
Rains went 4 for 5 with three RBI, and Zincone was 2 for 5 with four RBI for the Anchormen. RIC senior starter Daniel Greaves (Warwick, R.I.) went the first five innings to get his second win. Greaves gave up three runs on eight hits and three walks while fanning three. He also benefited from two bases-loaded double plays to get out of jams in the second and third innings without allowing a run.
Lambert gave the Huskies just what they needed in the nightcap shutting down the Anchormen on five hits and three walks over eight innings. Lambert struck out seven. Dexter came on to pitch a scoreless ninth inning to earn his fourth save of the year.
RIC took a 2-0 lead in the third when Zincone scored on a sacrifice fly from sophomore Josh Silva (Seekonk, Mass./Providence Country Day) and an RBI double from senior Brad Douglas (South Kingstown, R.I.).
Dexter helped the Huskies with his bat in the fifth leading off the inning with a single and taking second on an outfield error. He advanced to third on a fly ball to center, and scored on senior Kyle Heath's (Westbrook, Maine) sacrifice fly.
Dexter had a hand in the Huskies' two-run seventh inning to take the lead. Warren led off the inning with a double, and Dexter followed with a bunt single to move Warren to third, and both runners moved up another base on a throwing error. Dexter took third on a single by sophomore Andrew Olszak (Danvers, Mass.), and scored the go-ahead run on Heath's second sac fly of the game.
USM added two insurance runs in the ninth on Heath's surprise two-out bunt single to score Warren and a bases-loaded walk to Quintal.
Hillier and Warren each had three hits in the nightcap for USM. Dexter had two hits and scored twice, and Heath had two hits and three RBI.
Nate Vigeant and sophomore Rommy Morel (Providence, R.I./Central) had two hits apiece for the Anchormen. Senior southpaw Andrew Viega (Lincoln, R.I.) took the loss on the mound going 8.2 innings allowing five runs (three earned) on 13 hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out five.
Southern Maine is scheduled to host Bowdoin for its home opener at Ed Flaherty Field on Wednesday.