College Baseball

Southern Maine Edges Rhode Island College 7-6


GORHAM, Maine –   Junior P Pat Foley (Norwood, Mass./Norwood) fired five scoreless innings in relief and the University of Southern Maine Huskies plated two runs in the top of the seventh to earn a 7-6 come-from-behind victory against the Rhode Island College Anchormen in the second round of the 2006 Little East Conference Baseball Championship Thursday at Towers Field on the campus of the University of Southern Maine. 


With their fourth consecutive win the Huskies improve to 29-13 overall and advance to the third round of the LEC baseball championship.  Rhode Island College, suffering its second loss of the tournament, is eliminated from the championship and concludes its season with a 20-20 overall record.  Southern Maine, the top seed, will face the winner of the Keene State College and Eastern Connecticut State University game. 


Trailing 6-5 heading into the seventh inning, Southern Maine turned four hits, including a pair of doubles, into two runs to earn the 7-6 victory.  Junior OF Ryan Bourque (Sanford, Maine/Sanford) led off the inning with a double to center field.  Bourque, who connected for two doubles in the game, came around to score the game-tying run when junior 1B Max Arsenault  (Boothbay, Maine/Boothbay Region) slapped a one-out RBI single to left field.  The Huskies then faced two outs with no runners on base after Arsenault was caught stealing, but senior pinch-hitter Brent Lemieux (Cumberland, Maine/Greely) delivered in his at bat rapping out a double down the left field line, setting up the go ahead run.  Lemieux crossed the plate for the game-winning run beating out the throw to the plate on a single to right field from freshman C Stefan Black (West Gardiner, Maine/Gardiner).


Rhode Island College jumped out to an early lead scoring four runs on four hits in the bottom of the first inning, including a two RBI single from freshman C Jordan Amorin (Swansea, Mass./Case) and a run-scoring single from sophomore 1B Jim Connell (Smithfield, Rhode Island/La Salle) down the left field line. 


Southern Maine clawed its way back into the game to knot the score up at 4-4 through the top of the fourth inning, scoring a run in the second, two more in the third and another in the fourth, but Rhode Island came right back to regain the lead in the bottom of the inning.  Anchormen senior 2B Ray De La Cruz (Providence, Rhode Island/Shea), who connected on a bunt single in the first, rang up USM starting pitcher junior Peter Bergeron (Keene, N.H./Keene) for a two-run home run to give Rhode Island a 6-4 advantage.  The home run was De La Cruz’s fourth of the season.


The Huskies pulled to within one run of the Anchormen, 6-5, in the top of the fifth as Black connected on his second RBI single of the game to score Bourque. Bourque led off the inning with a walk. The score remained the same through the sixth inning until the Huskies put together their two run rally in the seventh for the win. 


Southern Maine’s Foley, who entered the game in relief of Bergeron after the fourth inning, gave up just one hit in five innings  of work.  Foley (4-0) did not allow a run or give up a walk in the win while fanning five batters.  Rhode Island College junior P Brian Farley (N. Providence, Rhode Island/North Providence) took the loss for the Anchormen.  Farley (2-1) gave up one run on two hits in two thirds of an inning. 


Southern Maine’s Black finished the game with three hits in four at bats and two runs batted in, including the Huskies’ decisive seventh inning run.