NORFOLK, Va. -- The University of Maine baseball team swept a doubleheader from Norfolk State on Saturday afternoon. The Black Bears took the first game 4-2 in 11 innings and earned a 6-2 victory in the night cap. The Black Bears, who have won three straight, improve to 10-14 on the season, while the Spartans fall to 9-15.
In the first game, the two teams combined to score half the game's runs in the first inning. Michael Fransoso (Portsmouth, N.H.) led off the game with a single through the right side. Colin Gay (Franklin, Mass.) followed with a sacrifice bunt. Fransoso stole third base and scored on an Ian Leisenheimer (Middle Village, N.Y.) sacrifice fly. The Spartans answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame. James Taylor singled to right center field. Rafael Colon followed with a double down the left field line scoring Taylor. Colon scored when Cameron Day singled up the middle.
Maine tied the score at 2-2 in the top of the third inning. Fransoso led off the inning with a single to second base. He advanced to second on a Gay sacrifice bunt. Tyler Patzalek (Burlington, Ontario) singled to right field and Fransoso scored.
The game, which was scheduled to go seven innings, remained tied until the top of the 11th inning when Maine tallied a pair of runs. Patzalek led off the inning and drew a walk. He was pinch run for by Robbie Trask (Saco, Maine). Alex Calbick (Burnaby, British Columbia) singled to left field and advanced to second on the throw. Trask moved to third base. Trask scored and Calbick moved to third on a balk. Calbick scored the second run of the inning when Fran Whitten (Westborough, Mass.) hit a sacrifice fly.
Shaun Coughlin (Northford, Conn.) got the start for the Black Bears and went 5.2 innings on the mound. He allowed two runs on seven hits while striking out seven Spartan hitters. He was replaced by Mike Connolly (Middleborough, Mass.) who went the final 5.1 innings in relief. He did not allow a run and scattered just a pair of hits while striking out four. He picked up the victory and improves to 2-3 on the season.
Ryan Vanassche started for Norfolk State and went seven innings. He allowed two runs on seven hits. He was replaced by Chris Horne who went the final four innings. He allowed two runs on three hits. He picked up the loss and falls to 2-3.
In the second game, Maine jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Fransoso led off the game with a single through the right side. Scott Heath (Westbrook, Maine) followed with a single to first base. Ian Leisenheimer reached on an error on a sacrifice bunt to load the bases. Fransoso scored the first run of the game when Maine grounded into a double play.
The Black Bears added to their lead in the top of the fifth inning. Troy Black (Mississauga, Ontario) singled up the middle and then stole second base. Fransoso walked and then the duo pulled off a double steal. Ian Leisenheimer singled through the left side scoring both Black and Fransoso.
Norfolk State countered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Chris Warren doubled down the left field line and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Justin Lee walked and stole second base. Warren scored on a wild pitch. Cameron Day walked. Ross Cardwell singled to load the bases. Lee scored when Shane Hoggard hit an infield single.
The Black Bears added three runs in the sixth inning. Colin Gay singled to left field. Justin Leisenheimer (Middle Village, N.Y.) followed with a double and Gay advanced to third. Black hit a two-run single, driving home both Gay and Justin Leisenheimer. Black scored the third run of the inning on an Ian Leisenheimer sacrifice fly.
Jeffrey Gibbs (Toronto, Ontario) got the start on the mound for the Black Bears. He went 4.1 innings and allowed two runs on a pair of hits. He struck out nine batters in the game. Gibbs picked up the win and improves to 1-4 on the season. He was replaced by Connolly, who made his second appearance in as many games. He went the final 2.2 innings and scattered just two hits without surrendering a run to record his second save.
Jeff DiFulgo got the start in the second game for NSU. He went five innings and allowed five runs, four of which were earned, on nine hits. DiFulgo got the loss and fell to 0-4 on the season. He was replaced by Jeremy Sandifer who went two innings and allowed a run on two hits.
Maine goes for the series sweep on Sunday when the two teams finish the weekend set with a single game starting at 1 PM.