BEVERLY, Mass. – In their first of two regular season games against Southern Maine, Endicott's opponent in the 2013 NCAA Division III New England Regional Finals and currently the fifth-ranked team in the country, the Gulls scored early and often en route to a 16-7 victory over the Huskies on Friday afternoon on North Field. The Blue and Green got two five-RBI performances from senior catcher EJ Martinez (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and junior second baseman Harry Oringer (Dartmouth, Mass.) as Endicott improved to 7-2 overall on the season.
The Gulls will play their first Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) doubleheader starting tomorrow morning at 11:00 am at home against Eastern Nazarene (5-3). The Lions are playing their first games since returning from their spring break trip to Fort Myers, Florida where they scored doubleheader wins over Emerson and Finlandia while splitting with Hiram.
USM (10-4) got a 2-for-4 day at the plate from senior outfielder Forrest Chadwick (Gardiner, Maine) who tripled twice and scored twice. Sophomore outfielder Nick DiBiase (Portland, Maine) led the team with three RBI, knocking in two runs in the top of the second on a double to left center and adding one more on a fielder's choice RBI in the fourth. The Huskies will look to right the ship starting on Saturday, March 29th at LEC opponent Rhode Island College (5-8) for two games starting at 10:00 am.
On the mound for Endicott, starter Zac Poland (Essex Junction, Vt.) went four innings allowing six runs, four earned, on seven hits and a walk with two strikeouts. Poland benefited from two big offensive outbursts by the Gulls who put up four runs in the bottom of the first and seven runs in the bottom of the third to take an early 11-3 advantage. Gulls freshman Luke Morse (Westford, Mass.) came on in relief of Poland in the fifth and pitched 2 2/3 innings of one run ball to earn his second victory of the season.
Huskies starter, senior Chris Bernard (Scarborough, Maine) struggled in his two frames of work by allowing eight earned runs on seven hits and two walks with strikeout. Bernard dropped to 1-2 on the year. Bernard did, however, record two RBIs on an infield single in the top of the first and a run-scoring groundout in the top of the fifth.
Oringer went 3-for-5 at the dish with three runs scored and five RBI with his biggest blow coming in the bottom of the third as he capped off Endicott's seven-run inning with a three-run blast on the left centerfield wall to score Cam Farnham (Andover, Mass.) and Michael Cahill (Plymouth, Mass.). Farnham would score three runs in the game while knocking in run on a RBI single in the third and Cahill also registered a RBI hit in the same inning.
Martinez used a timely two-RBI double to right in the bottom of the first to help Endicott overcome an early 1-0 deficit with four runs in their first at bat. Martinez' hit scored Matthew Paola (Middlebury, Conn.) and Tad Gold (Martha's Vineyard, Mass.) who both knocked in runs earlier in the inning. Later in the game he walked with the bases loaded in the third and drove in runners in scoring position in both the fifth and seventh innings.
Endicott improved to 5-13 all-time against Southern Maine dating back to the 2001 season. In 2013, Endicott and USM met twice during the regular season and three times in the NCAA Division III New England Regional Tournament three times. After going 0-2 against USM in the regular season, the Gulls won 5-2 in the third game of the tournament to send the Huskies to the loser's bracket. USM battled back to reach the regional final where they defeated Endicott twice to advance into the College World Series. USM finished the season as the national runner-up to 2013 champion Linfield.
Endicott and USM will meet again on Wednesday, April 16th in Gorham, Maine.