Whitten and Fransoso Lead Maine Past Norfolk State 16-5
NORFOLK, Va. -- Fran Whitten (Westborough, Mass.) went 4-for-6 with three runs scored and a pair of RBI as the University of Maine baseball team defeated Norfolk State University 16-5 on Friday afternoon in the first game of a four-game series. He belted three doubles in the game. Michael Fransoso (Portsmouth, N.H.) had three hits in the contest. Maine improves to 8-14 on the season. Norfolk State, who entered the game riding an eight-game winning streak, falls to 9-13.
The University of Maine jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Michael Fransoso led off the game with a single up the middle. He then stole second base and advanced to third on an error. Colin Gay (Franklin, Mass.) singled to first base plating Fransoso. Ian Leisenheimer (Middle Village, N.Y.) followed with a single to left field and Gay moved to second base. Tyler Patzalek (Burlington, Ontario) reached on an error. Ian Leisenheimer advanced to third on the play, while Gay scored. Alex Calbick (Burnaby, British Columbia) singled to center field and Ian Leisenheimer scored the third run of the inning for the Black Bears. Scott Heath (Westbrook, Maine) laid down a sacrifice bunt, advancing both Patzalek and Calbick a base. Fran Whitten reached on a fielder's choice. Both Patzalek and Calbick scored on an error on the play.
The Black Bears added a run in the top of the second inning when Calbick belted his first home run of the season, high over the right field fence. Maine extended its lead to 7-0 in the top of the third inning. Whitten doubled and scored when Troy Black (Mississauga, Ontario) singled to left field.
Norfolk State got on the board in the bottom of the third inning. Rafael Colon singled up the middle and scored when Cameron Day tripled to center field. The Black Bears, however, got the run back in the top of the fourth inning. Heath singled and scored when Whitten doubled.
Maine added six more runs in the top of the fifth inning. Black led off the inning with a single to center field and Fransoso followed with a double to right, advancing Black to third base. Ian Leisenheimer ripped his first triple of the season driving home both runners. Patzalek followed with a single to shortstop and Leisenheimer scored on the play. Heath singled through the right side and Whitten followed with his third double of the game. Patzalek scored on the play to extend the Maine lead to 12-1. Brian Doran (Ayr, Ontario) drove home both Heath and Whitten with a double of his own.
The Black Bears continued their offensive attack with a run in the top of the sixth inning. Gay reached on a fielder's choice and scored when Calbick reached on an error.
Maine kept its streak alive of tallying a run in every inning with a run in the top of the seventh. Whitten singled and scored when Fransoso doubled.
Norfolk State got a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Ryan Montgomery singled to right field and Hunter Kenney followed and drew a walk. Mark Wells singled through the right side to load the bases. Justin Lee followed with a two-run single scoring both Montgomery and Kenney.
The Spartans scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Shane Hoggard and Jason Ellington drew back-to-back walks. Montgomery was hit-by-a-pitch to load the bases. Hoggard scored on a wild pitch. Ellington scored the fifth run of the game when Mark Wells grounded out.
Stephen Perakslis (Abington, Mass.) got the start on the mound for the Black Bears and was impressive. He went six inning and allowed just one run in eight hits. He struck out four batters without allowing a walk. He picks up the win and improves to 2-2 on the season. He was replaced by Jonathan Balentina (Willemstad, Curacao), who went two innings and allowed two runs in three hits. He struck out five batters. Manny Pupo (Boynton Beach, Fla.) pitched the ninth inning for the Black Bears. He allowed two runs.
Jordan Egan got the start for the Spartans and went four innings. He allowed eight runs, just four of which were earned, on nine hits. He falls to 1-3 on the season. He was replaced by Chase Kyriacou who allowed six runs on seven hits over one inning. Ian Shiner threw two innings and allowed two runs on three hits. Horace Smith pitched the final two inning and did not allow a hit or a run.
The two teams will continue their four-game series on Saturday, March 31 with a doubleheader starting at 1 PM.