Southern Maine explodes late, downs Endicott to earn finals berth
HARWICH, Mass. -- Logan Carman scattered five hits and allowed only one run over 8.2 innings as the University of Southern Maine Huskies came from behind to defeat the Endicott College Gulls, 11-1, on Sunday to win the NCAA Division III New England Regional Championship for the second consecutive year.
The Huskies, 35-13 overall, advance to the NCAA Division III Finals. This will be the Huskies' eighth trip championship, and fourth trip since 2000. This regional title marks the third time that Huskies have won back-to-back titles.
Carman again proved dominant allowing only a single first-inning run. From there, Carman allowed only two more hits before giving way to Nate Veilleux to record the final out.
The Husky bats came alive in the latter stages of the game to pound out 15 hits and turn a 1-0 deficit into a 10-run cushion. Sam Dexter led the way going 4-for-5 and scoring twice. Forrest Chadwick, back in the starting lineup after being limited to pinch-hitting duties for the first four days of the tourney due to a leg injury, was 3-for-5, including a home run, and drove in four runs. Paul McDonough also went 3-for-5 to drive in two runs and score twice.
For the Gulls, Tad Gold was the lone repeat hitter with a double and single. Gold drove in the Gulls lone run with a first-inning single. JJ Branch held the Huskies in check over the first five innings allowing just three hits. USM finally got to Branch in the sixth inning for four consecutive singles that produced two runs, and knocked him from of the game during a nine-run explosion the eighth inning. The loss was just the second of the season for Branch against eight wins.
Endicott grabbed the lead as Cam Farnham led off the game with a single, and stole second with two outs. Gold brought Farnham around with his single to left field. Gold would take second on the throw, and later stole third, but was stranded there.
Cody Hall led off the Gulls' third inning with a single, and Carman misplayed a sacrifice bunt by Farnham that left runners at second and third with no outs. Carman got the next two hitters on a foul out and one of his five strikeouts before hitting Gold with a pitch to load the bases. Carman escaped by getting Matt Paola to hit a comebacker to the mound.
Southern Maine finally solved Branch in the sixth getting four consecutive singles from Dexter, McDonough, Chadwick and Matt Verrier to take the lead.
After a scoreless seventh inning, the Huskies put the game away in the eighth inning by sending 14 men to the plate en route to scoring nine times. Nick DiBiase, Dexter and McDonough had consecutive singles off Branch to make it 3-1 before Chadwick hit his sixth home run of the season over the right field fence. Branch faced two more hitters before being lifted.
Colin McLaughlin recorded the first out on a fielder's choice, but then walked Jake Glauser and served up an RBI single to Troy Thibodeau to make it 7-1. McLaughlin gave way to Tyler Hill who would get touched up for RBI singles by Dexter and McDonough. USM also scored runs on a double steal and a wild pitch.