PRESQUE ISLE – The Gold team grabbed a miniscule lead in the UMPI Owls Fall Classic on Monday, as two of the three teams made significant moves to tighten the race for the series win.
The biggest mover on the night was the trailing Blue Team. In games two and three the team struggled to drive across runs, but that was not the case on Monday. Fueled by an eight run first inning in which they collected six hits and received five walks, the Blue Team was able to put themselves in a position to contend for the series.
Cole Giberson (SO, Woodstock, NB) was the offensive leader on the night going three for four with three RBI, a walk, and two runs scored. Matt Curry (FR, Caribou, ME) was also three for four with two RBI, a walk, and two runs scored. Perhaps just as important in the series was the pitching by the Blue Team on Thursday.
Against the leaders coming into Monday, the White Team, Ghazaleh Sailors (SR, Santa Barbara, CA) and Aaron Kofstad (FR, Presque Isle, ME) combined to give up just two earned runs, shutting down the potent White offense and tightening the series. The Blue team made the biggest jump in the point total on the night, improving by over nine points to put them in striking distance at 12.85 points.
As previously mentioned the White Team was only able to plate two runs on the night. An offense that had been scoring at will throughout the series was unable to come up with a big hit to break open the flood gates. Despite the low scoring, White collected seven hits on the night, and left runners on in every inning.
Austin Bernier (FR, Fort Fairfield, ME), Tyler Seeley (FR, Presque Isle, ME), and Saul Nunez (FR, Presque Isle, ME) each collected two hits, with Seeley and Nunez adding a double. Perhaps the savior on the night for the White Team with the new scoring format this year (team runs – team ERA) was the standout performance of Nunez on the mound. In four innings of work Nunez gave up just two hits, one earned run, and struck out three. Even with his work on the mound, the White Team was only able to gain about a half point in the standings, and now sit in second place with 21 points.
The new leader in the clubhouse, the Gold Team, was able to plate five runs on the night. Led by Keagan Page (FR, Washburn, ME) who went three for four with a double, two RBI and scored a run, Gold was able to make up just enough ground to take a slight lead in the series. Jesus Garcia (FR, Jewett City, CT) was two for two with two doubles, an RBI, and two runs scored and Brady Rowe (JR, Halifax, NS) and Adam Begos (JR, Portland, ME) each added doubles to the hit column as the team took advantage of every offensive opportunity they had. Nathan Cameron pitched an inning and a third in relief, giving up one earned run and striking out one. The Gold team gained nearly five points on the night, putting them at 21.76 points for the series.
With a lead of less than a point for the Gold team and the Blue and White teams lurking behind them, the series has set up for an exciting finish in game 5. The Owls will spend the rest of their week preparing for their only outside competition date of the fall as they will host Eastern Maine Community College on Saturday, October 11 in a rare home doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 1 PM at Presque Isle High School. The Fall Classic series will conclude on Wednesday, October 15 with first pitch scheduled for 6 PM.