PRESQUE ISLE - The U.M.P.I. Baseball team kicked off its annual Fall Classic intersquad scrimmage series on Friday. For the second consecutive season the series will follow a unique three team format. In a new twist, pitching performances affect the overall scoring of a team, as the overall score will now be determined by a team's overall runs scored, minus the team's earned run average (ERA calculated based on five inning games for the Fall Classic).
The Blue Team captained by Ghazaleh Sailors (SR, Santa Barbara, CA) took the lead after game one, riding the strong performance of Matt Curry (FR, Caribou, ME). Curry led all hitters on the day, going five for six with a double, three RBI, and a stolen base. He also stood out on the mound, pitching four and two-thirds innings, striking out eleven, while giving up just one earned run on two hits and two walks.
It appeared as though pitching was going to be the story of the day, as the Blue Team was the only team to score in the first two innings. Other than Curry's RBI single in the top of the first, the bats were relatively silent. The Gold team captained by Adam Begos (JR, Portland, ME) got on the board in the middle of the third with an RBI single from Keagan Page (FR, Washburn, ME). The White Team captained by Andrew Bartlett (JR, Damariscotta, ME) plated a run in the bottom of the third when Bartlett tripled, sending Tyler Seeley (FR, Presque Isle, ME) home. Chris Bernier (FR, Limestone, ME) and Curry helped the Blue Team respond in the top of the fourth with RBI singles. Gold would plate four in the fourth, highlighted by an RBI double by Brady Rowe (JR, Halifax, NS). The White Team pushed across four in the fifth with an RBI single and double from Seeley and an RBI double from Bartlett. Gold team's Jesus Garcia (FR, Jewett City, CT) pitched four strong innings on the mound, giving up two earned runs while striking out six.
The Blue Team managed to score five runs on the day, combining with the best team ERA of 2.25, giving them an overall score of 2.75. The Gold Team is close behind, plating six runs and the pitching staff giving up four earned runs in five innings of work puts their overall score at 2. The White Team trails, despite scoring six runs on the day. An ERA of 7.51 knocks their score to -2.51.
"With 14 new faces on this year's team the Fall Classic will be a vital assessment tool" said Head Coach Mike Pankow (2nd Season). "With so many spots up for grabs, the evaluation process is ongoing. It appears as though we have healthy competition for playing time at many of our positions, there are a lot of positives to take out of today's performance."
The second game of the Fall Classic will be on Wednesday, October 1. First pitch is scheduled for 7 PM at Presque Isle High School field.