University of Maine graduate student first baseman Joe Bramanti had a weekend he will never forget.
The North Andover, Massachusetts, native went 10 for 18 with three homers, three doubles and 12 runs batted in as the Black Bears swept the University of Maryland Baltimore County 17-1, 15-14 and 13-2 during a three-game series in Baltimore, Maryland.
UMaine improved to 10-13 overall and 7-2 in America East, while UMBC fell to 12-15 and 4-5, respectively.
Bramanti drove in eight runs in Friday’s 17-1 win with a homer, two doubles and a single and knocked in a pair apiece in Saturday’s and Sunday’s victories.
He homered, doubled and singled on Saturday, when the Black Bears built a 14-4 lead only to have it shaved to one late in the game.
Bramanti homered and singled twice in the series finale on Sunday.
“I feel really comfortable at the plate,” Bramanti said after Sunday’s win. “I’m sticking to the same plan and it’s finally paying off.
“I’m just trying to put the ball in play and hit it hard.”
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He said he has had six RBIs in a game at UMaine before but he can’t remember the last time he ever had eight, even dating back to high school.
Bramanti now has 37 runs-batted in in 23 games and his average of 1.61 RBIs per game is sixth best in the country among 293 teams.
The Black Bears pounded out 54 hits in the series including 18 extra-base hits.
The 45 runs is the most UMaine has scored in three consecutive games since April 6-7, 2012, when the Black Bears pushed across 67 in three games also at UMBC.
The first of the three games saw UMaine score a school-record 32 runs in a 32-14 win.
Bramanti had plenty of help as he was one of seven Black Bears with at least five hits in the series.
“We swung the bats pretty well,” UMaine head coach Nick Derba. “The lineup did a really nice job. No matter who we put out there, everybody had good at-bats and we put the ball in play.”
In Friday’s game, the Black Bears broke the game open with a seven-run, fourth inning featuring a two-run double by Jordan Schulefand and Bramanti’s two-out grand slam.
Jeff Mejia complemented Bramanti’s four-hit day with a double and two singles, Quinn McDaniel had a homer and two singles and drove in three, and Schulefand also drove in three with a double and a single.
Trever LaBonte and Colin Fitzgerald teamed up on a three-hitter.
On Saturday, Jake Marquez went five for five with a double, Scout Knotts knocked in four runs with a homer and single, and Mejia and Jake Rainess joined Bramanti with three hits apiece. Mejia had two RBIs. Freshman Jeremiah Jenkins had two hits and delivered three runs.
Matt Pushard pitched three innings of three-hit, three-run relief to hold off the rallying Retrievers and earn the save.
Myles Nicholson went four for five and drove in five runs for UMBC. Luke Johnson, Justin Taylor, Drew Roberts and Tony Krueger had two hits each.
On Sunday, Upper Marlboro, Maryland, native Jenkins walloped a pair of solo homers for UMaine and McDaniel, and Knotts also had three hits along with Bramanti. Knotts had two RBIs.
Schulefand homered and doubled and knocked in a pair, and Mejia had two hits and two RBIs.
Brett Erwin pitched five scoreless innings for the win, and Leif Bigelow pitched for the final four.
Nicholson doubled and singled for UMBC.
UMaine hosts the defending America East playoff champion New Jersey Institute of Technology on Friday at 4 p.m., Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at noon.