Bangor, Maine – The Thomas College baseball team split a doubleheader with North Eastern Athletic Conference East Division rival Husson University Thursday evening. The Terriers captured game one with a 2-1 decision, while the Eagles rallied to take game two 5-4 in 10 innings.
The Terriers now hold a record of 22-11 and are currently 17-3 in the NEAC East after dropping just their third conference loss of the season.
Husson was able to mount seven hits, all of which came from different hitters in what turned out to be a pitchers' duel in the late afternoon. Catcher Nick Lancisi scored the lone run for the home side on a 1-3 outing at the dish. Husson starter Pat McEwen went the distance despite being tagged with the loss, allowing just one earned on ten hits and a walk while adding a strikeout.
For the Terriers, first year starter Tim Locke earned the win, allowing one earned on six hits and a walk while striking out four. Locke gave way to closer Tom Babb in the seventh and the junior south paw threw a perfect inning to earn the save while striking out one. Offensively, lead-off hitter Jeff Richardson had the best day, going 3-4 at the plate. The Terrier runs were scored by catcher John Charves and Wes Perreault and came in on the sole hit of the game by Ethan Hurley who went 1-4 with an RBI out of the number two spot.
Husson took the lead in the bottom of the second when Lancisi led off the inning with a double to left field, and after a fly ball to right, he tagged up and advanced to third. The next batter was Niko Ververis who ripped a ball back up the middle to plate the game's first run. The next two Husson hitters reached base on catcher's interference and a single through the left side that loaded the bases, but Locke dealt a clutch strikeout and ground ball to end the inning with just one run across for the Eagles.
With one out in the top of the fifth, Thomas loaded the bases on three straight singles from Charves, Perreault and Richardson. That sent Hurley to the dish and the first year first baseman hit a clutch single to right center. The hit allowed Charves to score, and an errant throw by the Eagles let Perrault come across for what would be the game's deciding run. McEwen rolled a pair of huge ground balls to end the inning and keep the deficit at just 2-1.
Husson was able to load the bases in the bottom of the inning, but a line drive off the bat of Lancisi was snagged by Thomas third baseman Josh Gray and kept the Eagles from evening the score. Husson had another chance in the bottom of the sixth, but once again stranded runners on base, and in the bottom of the seventh, Babb was dominant and shut the door to give the Terriers the game one victory.
For the Eagles in game two, the player of the game was undoubtedly first year lefty starter Joe Stanevicz. Stanevicz threw nine innings in a game that was scheduled for only seven, allowing four runs on eight hits while fanning five. He seemed to get better as the game went along, blanking the visitors in his last four frames, and was backed up by Austin Clark who pitched the tenth to earn the win. Offensively, a trio of Husson hitters went 2-4 to lead the Eagles to the win in the rubber match; Shawn Smith had a team-high two RBI, Cody McInnis scored one and drove in another, while Kyle Vanidestine also came across the plate for Husson.
In the loss, Thomas sent five different pitchers to the mound with the loss eventually going to the final reliever, James McLamb. At the plate, the Terriers were led by centerfielder Cody Vigue who went 2-4 with a pair of RBI before he was forced to leave the game with an apparent finger injury during a play at the plate. Richardson remained hot in game two, going 2-4 with a walk and a run scored, while catcher Taylor Livingston took advantage of his start, hitting 2-3 with a run scored as well.
Thomas got on the board first in the top of the third when Livingston led off the frame with a base hit to right field. Perreault hit into a fielder's choice, but an error allowed Livingston to reach second safely. A walk to Richardson loaded the bases and Hurley once again came through with a clutch hit, singling to right for the RBI and it was 1-0 in favor of the Terriers.
Husson answered in the home half when Vanidestine reached on an error and Brandon Gendreau was hit by a pitch to start a no-out rally. Jake Arthers surprised a few in attendance by laying down a nice sacrifice bunt to move the runners over and after a pop-out to the first baseman, S. Smith singled to the gap in right center to plate a pair and put the Eagles on top 2-1 after three.
After a 1-2-3 inning by Stanevicz, Husson added a run in the bottom of the first when senior designated hitter Matthew Archetti was hit by a pitch to start things off. McInnis may have been trying to sacrifice bunt, but he legged it out and there were two aboard. That left the job to Vanidestine who obliged and laid down the SAC bunt, setting the table for Genreau who earned the RBI on a sacrifice fly to right field.
Trailing 3-2 in the next half inning, Thomas responded when Richardson singled to center, and after an infield fly ball, advanced to second on a wild pitch. Ben Goodall drove in Richardson on an RBI single to right field. Gray was hit by a pitch to keep the rally alive and Vigue ripped a double to right field that plated both Goodall and Gray to put the Terriers ahead by one. Vigue was gunned down trying to stretch his double to a triple, committing the cardinal sin of making the final out at third base thanks to a laser from Ververis in right field.
Husson would answer to tie things at four apiece in the bottom of the sixth when Jason Smith reached base on a dropped third strike. A sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch allowed J. Smith to move to third, and come home on a ground out by McInnis.
It seemed as though the Eagles would end things in the bottom of the seventh when Thomas made the move to Babb, their closer. Gendreau reached base on catcher's interference to lead off the inning, and after a strikeout, Lancisi singled up the middle to put two aboard for Husson. Babb was called for a balk, moving the runners to second and third. Terriers manager Greg King disagreed and was ejected after arguing his point. Thomas intentionally loaded the bases, and avoided the loss in regulation with a strikeout and a ground ball.
In the top of the eighth, Vigue hit a one out double to right center and advanced to third on a balk. The speedy Vigue was moving on contact when teammate Rob Nutter grounded to shortsop, and McInnis threw to the plate to nab Vigue who injured his finger diving into Husson's catcher Lancisi. The next batter was Thomas Cameron who belted the ball up the middle that deflected off Stanevicz and fell into the hands of Arthers who made a nice throw to make the final out at first.
The Eagles left two runners on base in both the eighth and ninth innings, but solid pitching by Stanevicz and Clark combined with good team defense prolonged the game until the bottom of the tenth. McInnis led off the inning with a single up the middle and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Vanidestine kept things going with an infield single, and a throwing error trying to catch McInnis advancing to third allowed Vanidestine to move up to second. With runners at second and third, the Terriers chose once again to give up the intentional free pass to load the bases which worked so well for them in the bottom of the second. This time, with no one out, Arthers seemed to just stick the bat out there and sent the ball into center field. The catch was made, and the relay home was not in time to get McInnis who won the game on the sacrifice fly.
The Terriers will take on first place Castleton in a four game series beginning Friday at 2:00 p.m. and concluding with a doubleheader on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.