PRESQUE ISLE – Poor defense and hot bats turned the standings for the UMPI Fall Classic on its head on Wednesday night. The White Team took advantage of seven defensive errors and pounded 14 hits to move from last to first in the three team format.
Tyler Seeley (FR, Presque Isle, ME) led the offensive attack for the White Team with five hits on the night, three of them doubles. He knocked in two runs, scored four runs, and also walked once. Austin Bernier (FR, Fort Fairfield, ME) was three for five with a walk, four RBI, and two runs scored. Team captain Andrew Bartlett (JR, Damariscotta, ME) also went three for five with a walk, 2 RBI, and three runs scored. Saul Nunez was the lone pitcher for the White Team, and looked sharp, pitching three innings, striking out four, while giving up just three hits and one earned run. Combined with the fourteen team runs scored and the low ERA on the night, the White Team took advantage of the new scoring system (Runs scored – Team ERA) to jump into the lead with 14.26 points.
The Gold team was also able to take advantage in the lack of defense and added seven hits of their own to plate eight runs on the night. Nathan Cameron (FR, Epping, NH) started the scoring for Gold with a three RBI double in the first and would later score on a sacrifice fly from Brady Rowe (JR, Halifax, NS). Cameron would set the pace offensively for the Gold Team, with a three for four night. All three of his hits were doubles and added four RBI and two runs scored to help his team's cause. Jesus Garcia (FR, Jewett City, CT) was two for four with a triple and two RBI. The Gold team had no pitchers scheduled to throw, so the scoring was all positive for them. They end the night in second place with an overall score of 10.
The Blue Team was not as fortunate as the other two teams on the night. Only able to collect 3 hits in the time shortened game, combined with the defense's ability to tighten up during their half inning, Blue was only able to plate one run. Matt Curry (FR, Caribou, ME) led off the first with a triple and later scored on a wild pitch, showing some promise for the Blue offense, but they were unable to get anything else going on the night. Ghazaleh Sailors (SR, Santa Barbara, CA) and Aaron Kofstad (FR, Presque Isle, ME) collected the other two hits for the squad. Sailors was a starter on the mound and the victim of the majority of poor defense on the night. Although she gave up 16 runs, only two of them were earned as she walked four and struck out three in three innings of work.
Chris Bernier also got a start on the mound giving up five earned runs and striking out three in three innings of work. The inability to plate runs in the second game and overall team ERA has dropped the Blue Team from first to last with an overall total of 2.05 points. If game two has proven anything, it is that with this scoring system the fortunes of any team can change quickly and the Blue Team will be looking to climb back up to the top in the next matchup.
"Offensively we had a much better night" remarked Coach Pankow. "We were able to cut down our strike outs in this game and put constant pressure on the defense by putting the ball in play and making things happen. Defensively what happened tonight is unacceptable. We talked afterward about the focus that is required to play this game at this level, and it just wasn't there tonight. We need to be able to make the routine plays if we are going to put ourselves in a position to win this spring. We are an extremely young team and my hope is that we can use this as a learning experience."
Game three of the five game series will take place on Friday afternoon with first pitch scheduled for 2:30.