GORHAM, Maine – Freshman Devin Warren (Smithfield, Maine) registered three hits and drove in three runs, while also patrolling left field with a highlight-real catch to lead the University of Southern Maine to a 9-2 victory over the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth this afternoon in Game 7 of the 2015 Little East Conference Baseball Championship tournament at the USM Baseball Stadium.
The Huskies (30-12), the lone remaining undefeated team in the six-team double-elimination tournament, advanced to the Championship Round at 12 p.m. on Saturday, May 9. The Corsairs (25-16) suffered their first loss and await the winner between fifth-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University and fourth-seeded University of Massachusetts Boston in an elimination game at approximately 3:30 p.m.
Senior Alberto Vasquez (Roxbury, Mass.) led UMass Dartmouth's seven-hit attack, registering a pair of RBI singles to produce both runs. Senior Cory DeMedeiros (Fall River, Mass.) was 1-for-3 with an intentional walk and run scored, while classmate Ryan Medeiros (Acushnet, Mass.) went 1-for-4 with an intentional walk and run scored.
Southern Maine raced out of the gates, recording back-to-back doubles to take an early 1-0 advantage. The Huskies loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the third, and Warren followed with two-run single to centerfield. However, the Corsairs were able to minimize the damage with a ground out, strikeout and pop fly.
UMass Dartmouth utilized the momentum, stringing together back-to-back singles and an intentional walk loaded the bases with two outs. Vasquez stroked a single through the right side of the infield to score Mederiors and cut the deficit to 3-1.
After the Corsairs stranded a runner at third in the fourth, UMass Dartmouth chased the Huskies' starting pitcher with a hit-by-pitch and double that placed both runners into scoring position. Southern Maine senior Andrew Richards (South Portland, Maine) came out of the dugout to relieve sophomore Nick George (Peabody, Mass.) and struck out the No. 9 hitter. After an intentional walk loaded the bases, Richards induced a 1-6-3 ground ball, double play to thwart the threat.
The Huskies seized control of the contest, pushing across four runs in the ensuing frame to extend their advantage to 7-1. Senior Brendon Joyce (Standish, Maine) highlighted the inning with a two-run single.
The Corsairs bullpen held Southern Maine in check over the subsequent three innings before the Huskies tacked on two in the ninth.
Richards (10-4) limited UMass Dartmouth to two hits, a run, and walk, while fanning four over the course of six innings.
Junior George Bent (Barnstable, Mass.) allowed 10 hits, seven runs, and a walk, while striking out four in 4 1/3 innings. The right-hander was facing the Huskies' lineup for the third time this season.