Plymouth, NH -- The Maine-Presque Isle baseball team split a doubleheader with Plymouth State Wednesday afternoon losing game one 7-6 and winning the second game 4-3.
Game one: Plymouth State 7 UMPI 6
The Owls came out on fire, with the red-hot Brady Rowe leading off the game with a single to right, Jesus Garcia followed with a hard double to center and both scored on Matt Cauchons single to left. Shortstop Saul Nunez and junior Andrew Bartlett added RBI singles to give the Owls a 4-0 lead to start the game.
Garcia would add to the Owl lead with another RBI double, scoring Bartlett in the 4th inning and Bartlett drove in Matt Curry to give Presque Isle a commanding 6-2 lead going into the Panthers half of the 5th inning.
Owls lefty starter Curry had experienced smooth sailing through his first four innings of work, giving up just two runs on only 3 hits to the Panther lineup. The bottom of the fifth inning would prove to be a bit more treacherous for the young southpaw, as the bottom of the Panther lineup stung Presque Isle with two doubles and two singles that scored 3 runs for Plymouth State, bringing the Owl lead to just a single run at 6-5.
After a quiet Owl top of the 6th, the Panthers struck again using an Ian Grimes double to score two Panthers, who had led off the inning with single and a one-out walk. The Panthers took the lead 7-6 on the Grimes double and held the Owls hitless in their turn at bat in the 7th to cement the victory for Plymouth State.
Curry took the loss, going all 6 innings, striking out 4, walking one. Garcia led the hit parade with two doubles and Bartlett had two RBI for the Owls.
Game two: UMPI 4 Plymouth State 3
Down 1-0, the Owls used four Panther errors and singles from freshmen Cauchon, Curry and Nunez to score 3 runs in the second inning to fight back and take a 3-1 lead.
Owl Starter Garcia scattered 8 Panther hits in his 4-plus innings of work, showing perseverance normally beyond a freshman's grasp to only give up 3 runs. Bartlett followed Garcia on the mound and held Plymouth State to just a single hit in his 2.1 innings of scoreless relief and take the Owls into extra innings with the game tied 3-3.
In the top of the 8th inning, Garcia now playing right, smacked a double down the leftfield line and advanced to third on an Adam Begos shot to right that was dropped. Cauchon would register the eventual game winning hit with a single up the middle to score Garcia and give the Owls the 4-3 lead.
Saul Nunez came in to play the role of stopper and got the first out on a fliy out to center. The Panthers Cam Ruziak went against the baseball gods and attempted to stretch a hard hit double down the right field line into a triple. The Owls used a perfect relay from RF Garcia to second baseman Begos to gun down Ruziak at third and give the Owls two hard-earned outs. Nunez ended all hope the Panthers had by inducing a grounder to Cauchon at short and Cauchon tossed the ball to first to end the match and give the Owls their first extra-inning win on the season.
The Owls are now 5-16 and will next play Newbury College in a scheduled doubleheader, Saturday at noon on the campus of Maine-Orono. Saturday will be Presque Isle's senior day, celebrating Ghazaleh Sailors, as the Owls only senior. Sailors, the only female currently playing NCAA baseball is scheduled to start one of the games Saturday.