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Baseball Falls to Fordham, 6-5
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. -- The University of Maine baseball team fell to Fordham by a score of 6-5 this morning. The loss puts the Black Bears at 6-9 on the season while Fordham improves to 6-12 this season. Justin Leisenheimer (Middle Village, N.Y.) paced the Black Bears on offense by hitting 2-for-3 with a homerun, a run scored and an RBI.
Michael Fransoso (Portsmouth, N.H.) got things started in the top of the first inning for Maine by drawing a leadoff walk. After a failed pickoff attempt by the Rams pitcher Chris Pike, Fransoso advanced to second on the error, moving into scoring position. Fransoso got into even better position after stealing third. Colin Gay (Franklin, Mass.) helped Fransoso complete the trip around the bases after he grounded out to third base, chalking up the games' first run. At the end of the inning, Maine led 1-0.
Fordham notched their first run of the game in the bottom of the second inning when Brendan Maghini drove in Mike Mauri on a two out single up the middle. Mauri had reached on a single of his own and then stole second base to put himself in scoring position. Black Bear hurler Shaun Coughlin (Northford, Conn.) got Ryan Phelan to fly out to center field to end the inning.
Fordham took their first lead of the game in the next inning after grabbing a pair of runs. Coughlin made quick work of the first Ram that he faced after striking out Joseph Calabrese, however Matthew Cianci and Ryan Lee managed back-to-back hits in the following at bats; Cianci with a single and Lee with a double that advanced Cianci to third. Ryan Maghini knocked in the first run of the inning with a sacrifice fly to center field, brining Cianci home from third and advancing Cianci. He would then come around to score in the next at bat when Tim Swatek singled to left. Coughlin helped secure of the third out of the inning after getting Mike Mauri to groundout to shortstop. With three innings in the books, Fordham was up, 3-1.
Justin Leisenheimer cut the deficit to one run in the top of the fourth inning after crushing a one out solo shot to left field. The Rams were now only leading by a score of 3-2.
Shaun Coughlin got Maine back up to the plate quickly after a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the fourth. Fordhams' lead batter Stephan McSherry flied out to left field, while Brendan Maghini and Ryan Phelan both went down swinging, giving Coughlin his second and third strikeouts of the game.
In the bottom half of the fifth inning, the Rams were able to increase their lead to 6-2 after grabbing three runs. Joseph Calabrese reached on a lead off single and was advanced to second after Matthew Cianci was hit by a pitch. Ryan Maghini then reached on a fielder's choice and while Cianci advanced to second on a fielding error and then onto third while Calabrese came in to score the first run of the inning. Maghini and Cianci would both come around to score on a double down the left field line by Mike Mauri. After Luke Morrill (South Thomaston, Maine) came in for Shaun Coughlin in a pitching change, Morrill was able to help Maine end the inning with a strikeout and a groundout.
The Black Bears cut the Rams' lead in half in the top half of the sixth inning with a run driven in by Brian Doran (Ayr, Ontario). Doran drove in Tyler Patzalek (Burlington, Ontario) who had initially reached on a leadoff single to shortstop. Patzalek had advanced to second after Justin Leisenheimer singled through the left side and then took third on a failed pickoff attempt which resulted in an error.
Luke Morrill made quick work of the three batters he faced in the bottom of the inning when he struck out the side. He got Ryan Phelan swinging and Joseph Calabrese and Matthew Cianci looking.
Morrill kept the strikeout streak going when he tallied his fourth in a row in the next inning by striking out Ryan Lee for out number one. He would end up retiring his eighth batter in a row with another 1-2-3 inning.
Maine tallied another run in the top of the eighth inning on a bases loaded sacrifice fly by Scott Heath (Westbrook, Maine). Tyler Patzalek, who had reached on a leadoff single, came in from third to score the run. Fran Whitten (Westborough, Mass.) then came in from third on a wild pitch by Chris Pike to cut Fordham's lead to 6-5. Whitten had reached on a fielder's choice that sent Patzalek to second on an error. He then made it to second on a Brian Doran single and to third on Heath's sacrifice fly. After Morill retired his eleventh batter in a row, at the end of eight, the score was 6-5, Fordham.
Despite the late efforts of the squad, the Black Bears would ultimately fall to Fordham, 6-5.
Black Bear Shaun Coughlin was given the loss on the game after pitching 4.1 innings, allowing seven hits and six runs; five of which were earned. He also walked one and struck out three. His record now stands at 1-2. Luke Morrill pitched a perfect 3.2 innings in relief, tallying five strikeouts. Chris Pike earned his second win of the season after throwing 7.2 innings while allowing eight hits and five runs with only one being earned. He also walked four and struck out four. His record now stands at 2-0. Rich Anastasi picked up his second save of the season after throwing a perfect 1.1 innings of relief, recording one strikeout.
The Black Bears will finish off the day with a game against tournament host Seton Hall at 2 p.m.