WATERVILLE, Maine --- Senior Nik Beeson (Manchester, N.H. / Trinity) pitched six innings of shutout baseball, striking out six, and helped his own cause with a pair of hits as Thomas College posted a 4-0 win over Colby College on Tuesday.
The game, originally scheduled for Thomas' H. Allen Ryan Field, was moved to the brand new Colby Baseball/Softball Complex earlier in the day due to unplayable field conditions.
After setting the Mules (5-13) down in order in the top of the first inning, Beeson singled up the middle to give the Terriers (11-10) an early chance. He advanced to second on a wild pitch with two outs, but was stranded as freshman Zach Mathieu (Oakland, Maine / Messalonskee) lined out to end the inning.
Thomas exploded for four runs in the second inning. With one out, sophomore Aron Smestad (Corinna, Maine / Nokomis Regional) reached on a fielding error at second base, then came around to score on back-to-back singles by freshman Max Salevsky (Hollis, Maine / Bonny Eagle) and Hank Vinall (Blue Hill, Maine / George Stevens Academy). After Derek LeBlanc (fr., Madison, Maine / Madison) reached on a bunt single to load the bases, Salevsky came home courtesy of a balk and Vinall raced home on a wild pitch. LeBlanc scored the final run of the inning on an Anree Benitez (sr., Orlando, Fla. / University) RBI double to right field.
The Terriers threatened again in the third as Beeson singled and Mathieu walked to open the inning and a bunt single by sophomore Tristan Pena (Portland, Texas / Gregory-Portland) loaded the bases. Colby got two quick outs as Smestad flew out to center and Beeson was gunned down in a close play at home testing the arm of of Mule centerfielder Ryan Quinn. After a Salevsky single up the middle loaded the bases again, a fielder's choice ended the inning.
In the fourth, Colby had a pair of runners on with two outs as Andrew Currier singled to center and Dan Csaplar reached on a bunt single to third before Blake Egan hit into a fielder's choice to end the inning.
Thomas had a runner reach base in each of their last four at-bats but couldn't add to its lead.
Colby threatened to cut into the advantage with two outs in the sixth inning when Soren Hanson doubled down the left field line, but he was stranded after a pop out ended the inning. Csaplar opened the seventh inning with an infield single off Thomas reliever Taylor Bacon (jr., Skowhegan, Maine / Skowhegan) and moved to second on a ground out, but couldn't get any closer.
Matthew Mitchell drew a walk from Bacon to open the top of the eighth and advanced to third on a ground out and a wild pitch but was stranded after Hanson flew out to left.
The Mules had one final opportunity to cut into the Terrier lead as Currier led off the ninth by drawing a walk from reliever Connor Hope (so., Willimantic, Conn. / Windham). Dan Csaplar grounded into a double play, however, to erase Currier from the base paths and Andrew Della Volpe popped out to Kane in foul territory to end the game.
Beeson (1-1) scattered four hits and walked none while striking out six to get the victory. Bacon allowed gave up just one hit and walked one in two innings of relief, while Hope walked one in a scoreless ninth.
Salevsky had two hits, while Pena had a single and a pair of walks.
Colby starting pitcher Matt Garcia fell to 1-1 with the loss. He allowed four runs on eight hits and a walk. Bobby Forese threw 3 1/3 innings of hitless relief, walking two and striking out for before being lifted after beaning Kane in the helmet in the seventh inning. Will Cohen pitched the final 1 2/3 innings for the Mules, allowing no hits and walking one.
Csaplar accounted for three of Colby's five hits.
Both teams return to the diamond Wednesday afternoon. Thomas ventures to Orono to face the University of Maine, while Colby hosts the University of Southern Maine. First pitch for both games is scheduled for 4 p.m.