The University of Maine’s baseball team finds itself perilously close to the cellar in America East after getting swept by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in Baltimore over the weekend.
The team that finishes last in the seven-team conference doesn’t qualify for the league tournament and the tourney is going to be held in Orono on May 23-27.
The Black Bears mustered only 17 hits in the three games as defending tournament champ UMBC is now 7-1 over its last eight games.
UMBC’s Matt Chanin and Greg Albert combined on a five-hitter on Sunday as UMBC triumphed 5-2 after coming from behind on Saturday to post 9-4 and 7-4 victories.
The Retrievers scored nine unanswered runs in Saturday’s opener to erase a 4-0 deficit and wiped out a 3-0 deficit with six straight runs in the nightcap.
UMBC improved to 9-6 in the conference, 17-20 overall, while the Black Bears fell to 6-9 and 11-28, respectively. The Black Bears have now lost five conference games in a row.
UMaine owns just a half-game lead over last-place Binghamton (7-11, 11-25-1) and Binghamton will visit UMaine for a three-game set next weekend.
On Sunday, UMaine sophomore reliever Cody Laweryson made just his second career start and pitched four scoreless innings before UMBC scored a run in the fifth to break a scoreless deadlock and chased him in a four-run fifth-inning rally.
Matt Campbell singled in the fifth and eventually scored on Zack Bright’s sacrifice fly.
In the sixth, Raven Beeman and Collin Stack singled and Zack DeThomasis’ squeeze bunt single scored Beeman. Campbell’s ensuing squeeze went for an RBI single and A.J. Wright walked. Jonah Normandeau replaced Laweryson and Bright’s groundout delivered another run before a Joey Goodwin sacrifice fly capped the rally.
UMaine reached Albert for a pair of runs in the ninth as Jeremy Pena and Danny Casals each singled before a one-out groundout by Chris Bec delivered Pena. Following a walk to Jonathan Bennett and his stolen base, Caleb Kerbs singled home Casals but Bennett was thrown out at the plate to end the game.
Christian Torres, Goodwin, Dimitri Floyd and Campbell all had two hits for UMBC and Pena had two singles for UMaine. Campbell, Bright and UMaine’s Brandon Vicens had doubles.
On Saturday, after Casals’ two-run single highlighted a three-run second-inning rally in the nightcap, Beeman hit a solo homer in the second and a five-run third inning that gave UMBC the lead for good featured Bright’s two-run homer and Beeman’s two-run triple off UMaine starter and loser John Arel, who had no-hit UMass Lowell in his previous outing.
Beeman also had a single to go with his triple and homer in the game. Wright doubled and singled and Floyd singled twice.
Pena homered and singled for Maine and knocked in a pair of runs and Hernen Sardinas doubled and singled.
In the Saturday opener, a decisive seven-run third-inning rally featured a grand slam by Stack after Bright had walloped a two-run homer off starter and loser Zach Winn.
UMaine had built its 4-0 lead thanks to Bennett’s two-run double and RBI single.
Goodwin had three singles for UMBC, Bright had a double to go with his homer and Beeman singled twice.
Bennett’s double and single represented two of UMaine’s four hits.
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