NORTHBOROUGH, MA – University of Maine at Presque Isle finally stepped onto the field for their first games of the season on Sunday, splitting a double header with Anna Maria College. The Owls dropped the first game 6-3 in extra innings before taking the night cap by a score of 13-9.
Game one started with both teams threatening early but neither team able to capitalize. The Owls loaded the bases in the first and left two on in the third, while the AMCATS left single runners on in the first and third, and runners on first and third in the second inning.
Junior captain Andrew Bartlett (Damariscotta, ME) finally got the Owls on the board in the fourth by belting a solo homerun to right center field. Anna Maria answered back in the fifth when they were finally able to string together a couple of hits off of UMPI starter Matt Curry (FR, Caribou, ME). A double off the bat of Corey Andrade (SR, Mashpee, MA) plated two to give the AMCATS a lead. After adding an unearned run in the sixth, Anna Maria tried to close out the game in the seventh. A walk and a base hit set the stage for Barlett to hit in his second run with a single, and a fielding error allowed the Owls to tie the game and send it to extra innings.
It was freshman Nate Fredrick (Worcester, MA) that would have the last say in things as he belted a three run walk-off homerun to secure the win for Anna Maria. Tanner Jakola (FR, Leominster, MA) got the win in relief for the AMCATS. Curry took the tough-luck loss, throwing seven and one third, striking out nine, while walking three and scattering nine hits.
GAME TWO: UMPI 13 Anna Maria 9
The first three innings of game two resembled the beginning of the first game with both teams leaving multiple runners on base. The big action came in the top of the fourth when the Owls offense erupted and plated ten runs before it was all said and done. The inning was highlighted by a grand slam home run by Adam Begos (JR, Portland, ME). Mitch Thayer (SO, Colchester, VT) and Solomon Fast (FR, Phillips, ME) added to the scoring with 2 RBI doubles in the inning.
In all the Owls collected 8 hits and sent 15 hitters to the plate in the fourth inning. Anna Maria added single runs in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings to close the gap, but The Owls answered with an RBI single from Jesus Garcia (FR, Jewett City, CT) and a two RBI single from Curry.
The AMCATS put together a rally in the bottom half of the seventh, plating six runs before the Owls could finally seal their first victory of the young season.
Freshman starting pitcher Saul Nunez (Mapleton, ME) earned the win on the mound, pitching six innings, striking out seven and giving up just two earned runs. Andrew Sawyer (SO, Dracut, MA) took the loss on the mound.
The Owls look to return to action on Friday, March 27 as they start their spring break trip in Pennsylvania, against Penn State-Abington.