BEVERLY, Mass. – A two-run shot to left in the top of the ninth by Southern Maine freshman centerfielder Nick Bowie (South Paris, Maine) broke a 2-2 tie and delivered a 4-2 win for the ninth-ranked Huskies over Endicott at North Field on Wednesday afternoon. Endicott dropped to 4-6 overall on the season in just their second game up north following a week at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational.
Endicott held a 2-1 advantage after a two-run, line drive homerun to left by senior captain Harry Oringer (Dartmouth, Mass.) in the bottom of the first erased a 1-0 Southern Maine lead. The Gulls maintained their lead through six innings thanks to 1-2-3 innings in the second and third by starter Zac Poland (Essex Junction, Vt.) and three shutout frames in relief by sophomore right-hander Eric Nagle (Manchester, Conn.).
In the top of the seventh, however, Southern Maine drew back-to-back walks to start the inning and put a runner on third on a wild pitch to get the game-tying run within 90 feet. With Bowie at the plate and no outs, Bowie chopped a grounder to third that allowed sophomore second baseman Jake Welch (Londonderry, N.H.) to slide safely into home making it a 2-2 game. Gulls junior reliever Nick Quattro (Canton, Conn.) was able to strand the potential go-ahead run at third by striking out the next batter, picking off Bowie at first, and getting Huskie senior catcher Brendon Joyce (Standish, Maine) to pop out to short.
Southern Maine threatened again in the top of the eighth after a one-out double down the left field line by sophomore third baseman Matt Bender (Walpole, Mass.) put a runner in scoring position. Endicott turned to junior righty Davarn Nova (Buzzards Bay, Mass.) to escape the jam and he did, forcing two fly outs to freshman Michael DeDonato (Chelmsford, Mass.) in left.
Welch led off the top of the ninth with a single to right center and after a groundout put one out on the board, Bowie delivered the game's big hit by clearing the wall in left to make it a 4-2 Southern Maine lead. The Huskies went on to load the bases with two outs looking to add insurance runs but Nova struck out freshman first baseman Anthony Capuano (Bangor, Maine) to end the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, Gulls junior right fielder Matthew Paola (Middlebury, Conn.) led off with a single through the right side to put the game-tying run at the plate with no outs. Southern Maine senior pitcher Andrew Richards (South Portland, Maine), who closed out the bottom of the eighth and was in line for the win, got a fly ball to left for the first out and then ended the game on a 4-6-3 double play to improve his record to 4-1 on the year.
Southern Maine junior pitcher Shyler Scates (Jefferson, Maine) threw 6 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing just four hits and one walk while striking out six batters in an efficient relief appearance. Scates came on in relief of starter sophomore Zack Bean (Westbrook, Maine) who was taken out after just one inning.
Gulls sophomore centerfielder Cam Farnham (Andover, Mass.) upped his average to .385 with two more hits and a run scored against the Huskies. Oringer went 1-for-4 with a two-run homer with four other players recording hits for Endicott.
Endicott opens up their CCC schedule at home on Friday, March 27th against Eastern Nazarene. Friday's league doubleheader starts at 2:00 p.m. from North Field. Southern Maine visits Western Connecticut State on Saturday for a Little East doubleheader starting at 1:00 p.m.