GORHAM, ME. – The New England College baseball team upset No. 3 Southern Maine 10-2 in the opening game of the 2019 NCAA Division III baseball Gorham Regional, Friday afternoon at Ed Flaherty Field.
Score: New England College 10, No. 3 Southern Maine 2
Records: Pilgrims (26-15, 10-6 NECC) | Huskies (34-8, 14-2 LEC)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Southern Maine was the first team to have a runner reach base, as Andrew Hillier doubled to the right-center gap with one out in the inning. Pilgrim starting pitcher Nick Power induced a back-to-back ground out to second and shortstop to get out of the inning.
New England College would pick up the first runs of the game in the top of the second. Evan Delaney singled to center field, before advancing to second on a groundout. With two outs in the inning, Powers was intentionally walked, before Joe Maestu laced a double down the left field line, plating both runners.
In their next at-bats, NEC doubled their advantage over the Huskies. Christian Aybar led off the inning with a single through the left side of the infield. After advancing on a passed ball, Aybar scored on a fielding error by the USM first baseman. Delaney made it second and third with a single to left field, before both Connor Morin and Delaney scored on two-RBI double down the right-field line, off the bat of Xavier Nunez.
Southern Maine would finally get on the board in the bottom of the third inning, as the Huskies rattled off three straight singles before Andrew Olszak crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly to deep center field. The Huskies would cut into the NEC lead again in the bottom of the sixth inning, as Devin Warren scored on a Dylan Hapworth RBI single.
The Pilgrims put the game away in the top of the eighth. Morin beat the USM defensive shift with a single through the right side of the infield, plating Aybar. With the bases loaded, Luis Atiles singled up the middle, plating two runs, before Powers drove in Nunez with a single down the left field line. The 10th Pilgrim run came across as Atiles crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly.
Nick Power went the distance for New England College, as the southpaw struck out five while scattering nine hits.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
-This was the first-ever meeting between the two schools. New England College now leads the series 1-0.
-The win ties the NEC program record for the most in a single season (26).
-New England College made their first appearance to the NCAA postseason, as they downed Mitchell College 2-1 in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Championship game.
-Southern Maine returns to the NCAA Division III Baseball tournament, as they earned an at-large bid following losing in the Little East Conference Tournament.
-USM came into today's game leading Division III, allowing 6.61 hits per game. New England College had 12.
Saturday, May 18th, 3:30 pm - NCAA Division III Baseball Tournament
Release Courtesy of NEC Sports Information