GORHAM, Maine – Freshman Sam Troiano hit two home runs, and sophomore Dylan Hapworth and junior Zach Quintal each hit one, as the University of Southern Maine defeated Bates College 10-3 in non-conference action Wednesday afternoon at Ed Flaherty Field.
The win was the eighth straight for the Huskies who improved to 26-8 on the season. The win also was the 1,000th in the distinguished career of veteran USM head coach Ed Flaherty. Flaherty, now in his 33rd season at the helm of the Huskies, became the 11th NCAA Division III head coach to achieve this milestone. He earned his first win on March 30, 1986, defeating Norfolk State 14-7. Flaherty now has a career record of 1,000-443-4.
USM rookie starter James Sinclair and Bates junior Brandon Smith were making quick work of the opposing batters through the first three innings until Troiano, with two outs, turned on a Smith fastball to drive his third home run of the season, a solo shot, over the left field fence.
USM exploded in the fourth sending nine men to the plate to score six times. Junior Devin Warren led off the frame with a single and Hapworth followed with his eighth home run. After Smith retired the next two batters, Quintal drove a ball to right center that cleared the fence for his seventh homer. Back-to-back singles by rookie Jason Komulainen and sophomore Anthony Degifico brought Troiano to the plate and the freshman drove a Smith offering over the left-center field fence for his first career two-homer game.
Sinclair cruised through the first four innings allowing just one hit. In the fifth, Bates took advantage of back-to-back, bases-loaded walks to sophomores Will Sylvia and Joe Lindgren to push across two runs and finish Sinclair's day on the hill. Junior Tanner Laberge came on to get out of the jam with a run-scoring fielder's choice and a strikeout to make it 7-3.
The Huskies tacked on three insurance runs in the sixth against senior reliever Connor Speed. After a 1-2-3 inning in the fifth, Speed struggled with his control in the sixth hitting three USM batters and walking one. Degifico was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force across the first run. The second run came across when the Bobcats turned a double play. The final run of the inning, and the game, came across on a Warren single.
Laberge would go 2.2 innings allowing no runs and just one hit while striking out four to pick up his first win of the season. Junior Ryan Gaydou and senior Bobby Delaney each pitched a scoreless inning.
Warren led the Huskies' 11-hit attack with three singles. Troiano and Quintal had two hits apiece.
Smith would be tagged with his third loss of the season after allowing seven runs on eight hits. He struck out four. Junior Justin White and sophomore Giovanni Torres had two hits apiece for the Bobcats.
Southern Maine closes its regular season home schedule on Friday (12 p.m.) hosting long-time Little East Conference rival Eastern Connecticut State University for a doubleheader. Bates will host USM in a rescheduled game on Saturday (12 p.m.).