ALFRED, NY – The University of Maine at Presque Isle Owls (9-22) saw a narrow lead slip away in the first game, before coming back to claim game two in a doubleheader against the Alfred State Pioneers (8-19). The Pioneers would win the first game by a score of 4-1 before the Owls would win 5-4.
Game 1 – Alfred State def. UMPI – 4-1
Both offenses would be kept silent until the top of the fourth. Brady Rowe (SR, Halifax, NS) would reach on an error and steal second. Ryan Sanderson (FR, Cow Bay, NS) would drive him in with a single, and the Owls would take a 1-0 lead.
The Pioneers would do their damage in the fifth, when Robert Cardona (SO, Harlem, NY) would tie the game, driving in a run with a single. Franz Cullen (JR, Cazenovia, NY) would smack a triple to deep right to score two more and give Alfred State the lead. Cullen would cross the plate to give the home team an insurance run.
Alfred State's Brady Sass (JR, Caledonia, NY) would shut down the Owls to earn the complete game victory on the mound. He would strike out four and scatter seven hits to give up one unearned run.
For the Owls, Matt Curry pitched well but would take the loss. He would strike out four, walk one, and give up seven hits as well, but four earned runs would cross the plate.
Sanderson would go two for three from the plate for UMPI with a double and an RBI. Tommy Collins (SR, Pembroke, ME) would go two for two in the first game.
Game 2 – UMPI def. Alfred State – 5-4
The Pioneers would get on the board early in the nightcap as they would take advantage of a base hit and three walks to score a run. Owl's starter Andrew Bartlett (SR, Damariscotta, ME) would work out of the bases loaded, one-out jam and limit the damage. Alfred State would add to their lead in the third when Nick Padley (SR, Tonawanda, NY) would single to drive in a run.
The Owls would answer back in the top of the fourth, loading the bases with one out. Sanderson would score the first UMPI run on a wild pitch. Collins would single to right to bring another, and Rowe would draw a walk to bring in the third run of the inning, knocking the Pioneer starter from the game. While UMPI would strand the bases loaded, they would take a 3-2 lead.
That lead would be short lived as Cordona would single and steal second in the Pioneer fourth. Cullen would drive him in with a single of his own, but be stranded on second.
An outfield error would get the Owls going in the sixth, as Saul Nunez (SO, Mapleton, ME) would reach first and take second on a wild pitch. After a walk to Collins, Matt Cauchon would hit a ball to shortstop that proved to be trouble. As Cauchon would just miss out on an infield single, being thrown out by a fraction of a step, Nunez rounded third and collided with the Pioneer third baseman. As Nunez was scrambling to his feet to get back to third a throw to try and get him out was off the mark, and trickled into foul territory to allow the Owls to retake the lead. UMPI would miss a golden opportunity to extend their lead as a failed suicide squeeze attempt resulted in a runner being thrown out in between third and home.
The Pioneers went back to work in the bottom of the sixth, as Pedro Mora would double to lead off. After moving to second moved him to third, it appeared as though the Owls would dodge a bullet in the inning. A bunt to try and score Mora was fielded by Bartlett, who quickly through home to record the out on a close tag play. The Cordona-Cullen tandem would get the job done again, as Cordona would go on to steal second and score on a Cullen base hit to tie the game.
With a tie game in the seventh, Sanderson would reach on an error and move to second on a sacrifice. Jacob Powell (FR, Frankfort, ME) would rip a double down the third base line, bringing in the go ahead run. He would be stranded on second and the Owls would hold the one run lead. The Owls would hold on in the seventh to take the win.
Bartlett would go the distance, getting the win on the mound. He would strike out three and walk three, while giving up seven hits and four earned runs. Sanderson would collect multiple hits once again, this time going two for four with two runs scored. Powell would also go two for four with an RBI and a double.
The win snapped a six game losing streak for the Owls, simultaneously ending a six game win streak for the Pioneers.
The two teams conclude their four game series Sunday with a doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for noon.