Baseball falls behind early in 8-3 loss to No. 23 Southern Maine

Sophomore Alex Simon struck out five batters in two innings of work out of the bullpen against No. 23 Southern Maine on Wed. May 3, 2017. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

GORHAM, Maine -- The No. 23 nationally ranked University of Southern Maine Huskies scored one run in the first, two in the second and three in the third to grab the early lead in an 8-3 defeat of the Bates baseball team Wednesday afternoon. 

Bates (14-13) recorded six hits on the day, with sophomore Dan Trulli (Melrose, Mass.) going 2-4 with a run scored and a run batted in to lead the way. Senior Eric Vilanova (Bridgeport, Conn.) added a double and a run scored.

Sophomore Justin Foley (Lynnfield, Mass.) got the start for Bates and tossed three innings on the mound. Foley (3-1) gave up six runs on eight hits, walking one and striking out two.

Meanwhile Henry Curran (3-1) went six innings on the hill for the Huskies (27-8), giving up three runs on six hits. He walked three and struck out nine.

The Bobcats threatened in the first. First-year Will Sylvia (Newton, Mass.) drew a walk leading off the game. He advanced to second on a passed ball and with one away Sylvia advanced to third on a wild pitch.

But back-to-back strikeouts left him stranded 90 feet from home.

With one out in the bottom of the first, Andrew Hillier doubled down the left field line. Hillier finished the day 4-4 with three runs scored and a walk. Matt Bender singled him in to give the Huskies an early 1-0 lead.

First-year Jack Arend (Newfields, N.H.) drew a one-out walk in the top of the second. He advanced to second on a ground ball but that is as far as he got as Bates left another runner stranded in scoring position.

In the bottom of the second, Jake Dexter reached on an infield single for the Huskies. Kip Richard doubled him in to extend Southern Maine's lead to 2-0. One out later, Tom Budrewicz singled in Richard to make the score 3-0 in favor of the Huskies.

Sylvia drew another walk in the top of the third to no avail. Then the Huskies broke the game open in the bottom half of the inning. With one out, Hillier doubled for the second time on the day. Bender drew a walk and Paul McDonough singled in Hillier. The Huskies pulled off a double steal and with two down Richard tripled in both runners, extending their lead to 6-0.

The Bobcats rallied in the top of the fifth. Trulli singled to start the frame. Junior Asher MacDonald (Hillsborough, N.C.) followed with a single of his own and senior John Dinucci (West Hartford, Conn.) bunted his way on base to load the bases. 

One out later, senior captain Ryan McCarthy (Plaistow, N.H.) drove in Trulli with a sacrifice fly. Senior captain Brendan Fox (West Hartford, Conn.) plated MacDonald with a single and the Bobcats trailed 6-2.

In the top of the sixth, the Bobcats pulled to within three. Vilanova got things started with a double. One out later, Trulli singled him in, making the score 6-3 in favor of the Huskies. 

A strikeout and a caught stealing ended the inning for Bates.

Senior Matt Doyle (Northborough, Mass.) was outstanding out of the bullpen on Wednesday. He threw three scoreless innings, scattering four hits and striking out one.

Sophomore Alex Simon (Windsor, Conn.) relieved Doyle and pitched the final two innings, striking out five but allowing a pair of runs, one in the seventh and one in the eighth.

The Huskies outhit the Bobcats 15-6 on the afternoon.

Bates is back in action Thursday when the Bobcats visit Maine-Farmington for a 6:00 p.m. first pitch.