Bangor, Maine – The first edition of the Mike Pankow led UMPI Owl Baseball squad was on display against outside competition for the first time Saturday. The Blue Crew would venture south to play Eastern Maine Community College (EMCC) in a fall doubleheader.
GAME ONE: EMCC 3 UMPI 2
In game one of the twin bill Saturday UMPI took control right off the bat. Senior Shane Smith led off the game drawing a walk and stealing second. Two two-out errors allowed him to cross the plate. Josiah Brazier would lead off the top of the second with a single, and would score off of a throwing error on Smith's infield single to give the Owls a 2-0 lead.
Eastern Maine CC answered back in the bottom half when Wickers drove in Jared Seamans to cut the lead in half. Seamans, the Golden Eagles' starting pitcher, settled in on the mound, keeping the UMPI bats off balance. EMCC managed to work out of a jam in the fifth when the Owls loaded the bases with one out. A hard hit ground ball to the first baseman followed by a sharp line drive directly at the centerfielder squashed the UMPI rally, keeping the score at 2-1.
Owls' Senior Jordan Perry seemed to be cruising at that point, striking out the first two in the bottom of the fifth. The Eastern Maine bats came alive at that point, scoring two runs with four singles and a walk before Perry could get out of the fifth. Marcus Smith and Seamans both hit RBI singles in the inning that put the Golden Eagles up 3-2.
UMPI was able to load the bases with two outs in the seventh, but the rally fell short giving EMCC the win in the first game. Seamans got the win on the mound for the Golden Eagles, pitching a complete game striking out seven, giving up two unearned runs, and allowing just four hits. Perry took the loss despite his strong performance, striking out seven in his five innings of work.
Game two was a different story for the Owls. It started with Smith ripping a double and Cam Morrell promptly following with an RBI single to take the early lead. UMPI extended that lead in the third when Alex Csiernik ripped a double that scored Justin Bergeron and Isaiah Straubel. Bergeron would add an RBI single in the fourth before the Owls would explode for five more in the fifth inning stretching the lead to 10-0.
GAME TWO: UMPI 11 EMCC 1
UMPI game two starter Andrew Bartlett kept the Golden Eagle offense off the board scattering six hits and striking out two in five innings.
The Owls offense would end up plating 11 runs on 14 hits. Six Owls starters had multiple hits in the game, with Csiernik going two for three with two doubles, a walk, two RBI, and two runs scored. Smith, Morrell, Bergeron, Straubel, and Bartlett all contributed with multiple hit games.
"Overall it was a good effort on the day, there are a lot of things that we need to clean up, but those things come with time," said Coach Pankow. "The team is adjusting well to the new philosophy and that is the key. If they continue to buy into what we are trying to accomplish, the mistakes we made today will be something we look back at and laugh about. It was a great day for the program from the standpoint of we got a great chance to evaluate ourselves against other competition and put into practice the few things we have gotten put in the short time we have had together."
The Owls will continue their fall schedule with the third game of the Fall Classic inter-squad scrimmage on Thursday at 6:30pm and the series will conclude with a doubleheader scheduled to begin at 1:30 on Friday, October 18.