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Maine Falls to James Madison 5-2 in NCAA Regionals
CHAPEL HILL, NC -- The University of Maine baseball team saw its post-season run come to an end on Sunday afternoon with a 5-2 loss to James Madison University in the Chapel Hill Regional of the NCAA Tournament. The Black Bears see their season end at 33-24. Michael Fransoso (Portsmouth, N.H.) led the Maine offense in the game as he had a double and a triple.
Maine opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning. Fransoso doubled off the right field wall and then stole second base. He scored when Joey Martin (Portland, Maine) singled to left field.
JMU took the lead in the top of the second inning with four runs. Ty McFarland singled to center field and Bradley Shaban followed with a bunt single. Both runners advanced a base when Conner Brown laid down a sacrifice bunt. McFarland scored on an infield single by Cole McInturff. Shaban scored the second run of the inning when Johnny Bladel singled to left field. McInturff and Bladel both scored when Jake Lowery doubled to right center.
The Black Bears got a run back in the bottom of the third inning. Troy Black (Mississauga, Ontario) drew a walk and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. He scored when Fransoso tripled off the wall in right center field.
Brown singled up the middle and McInturff reached on a bunt single to lead off the top of the eighth inning. Brown moved to third when Bladel flew out and scored on a Jake Lowery sacrifice fly to make it a 5-2 final.
A.J. Bazdanes (Nashua, N.H.) got the start on the mound for the Black Bears. He went two innings and allowed four runs on six hits. He walked a pair of batters while striking out one. He falls to 1-5 on the season. Shaun Coughlin (Northford, Conn.) replaced Bazdanes and went 5.1 innings. He allowed one run on seven hits while striking out a pair. He was replaced by Jonathan Balentina (Willemstad, Curacao) who pitched the final 1.2 innings without allowing a hit.
Evan Scott got the start for JMU and went 7.1 innings. He allowed two runs on four hits while striking out four. He improves to 4-3 on the season. He was replaced by Alex Valadja who went an inning without allowing a hit. D.J. Brown pitched the final 0.2 innings.
It was a remarkable end to the season for the Black Bears who won 21 of their final 25 games of the season. In the process, Maine won an NCAA Regional game for the first time since 2005.