Lambert Leads #3/#4 Southern Maine Past UMass Boston 8-3

Junior Andrew Hillier had two doubles and a single in USM's 8-3 win over UMass Boston (photo by Bryan Klabik).
Junior Andrew Hillier had two doubles and a single in USM's 8-3 win over UMass Boston (photo by Bryan Klabik).

Lambert Leads #3/#4 Southern Maine Past UMass Boston 8-3

            GORHAM, Maine -- Junior right-hander Ben Lambert (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy) hurled seven innings of two-hit shutout baseball as the #3/#4 University of Southern Maine Huskies defeated the visiting University of Massachusetts Boston Beacons 8-3 in Little East Conference action Tuesday afternoon at chilly Ed Flaherty Field.

            The win was the fourth straight for the Huskies and gave them a split of the teams regular-season home-and-home series.  The Huskies improved their record to 20-4 overall and 9-2 in conference action.  The Beacons, winners in five of their last six outings, slip top 15-10 overall and 6-3 in the conference.

            Lambert surrendered only a wind-blown single in the third inning and a single in the seventh to go along with five walks and seven strikeouts to earn his fifth win of the season.  He stranded a runner at third in the first, and runners at second and third in the second, but was dominant over the next five frames.

            The Huskies collected 13 hits off four Beacons hurlers, led by junior Andrew Hillier (Bangor, Maine) and senior Devin Warren (Smithfield, Maine/Messalonskee) who had three hits apiece.  Both had two doubles and a single.

            USM took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a leadoff walk to junior Dylan Hapworth (Winslow, Maine), a Warren single and senior Zach Quintal's (Eliot, Maine/Marshwood) RBI groundout.

            Warren ignited a three-run fourth-inning uprising with a one-out double, and moved to third on a Quintal single.  A groundout moved Quintal to second before Warren scored on a wild pitch and when the throw to the plate was errant, Quintal was able to come home on the play.  A walk and junior Andrew Olszak's (Danvers, Mass.) triple to right field scored the third run.

            Southern Maine came back in the fifth to score three more to open a 7-0 lead.  The Huskies loaded the bases on a walk and two singles.  Sophomore Sam Troiano (South Portland, Maine) scored the first run on a wild pitch.  A one-out walk to Quintal reloaded the bases, and senior Jack Sylvia (Glastonbury, Conn.) was hit by a pitch to force in a run. The third run came across on an RBI single from junior Kip Richard (Kennebunk, Maine).

            The Huskies final run came in the eighth as Hillier doubled, advanced to third on a groundout, and scored on a sacrifice fly from senior Jake Dexter (Oakland, Maine/Messalonskee).

            UMass Boston averted being shut out scoring three times in the ninth against junior reliever Colton Lawrence (Farmington, Maine/Mt. Blue).  Senior Charlie Huegi (Sandy Hook, Conn./Newtown) plated the first run with a fielder's choice, and classmate Nate Herzog (Riverhead, N.Y.) drove in two with a triple that ended Lawrence's outing and brought Dexter in to get the final two outs.

            UMB rookie right-hander Dylan Fashempour (Redlands, Calif.), who beat USM last week, went four-plus innings and was tagged with the loss.  Fashempour allowed seven runs on eight hits and three walks while fanning two.

            Southern Maine is back in action tomorrow afternoon (3:30 p.m.) at Ed Flaherty Field hosting Endicott College.  UMass Boston travels to Salem State University on Wednesday (3:30 p.m.).