DeLAND, Fla -- Sam Balzano (Portland, Maine) went 4-for-6 with four runs scored and an RBI to lead the University of Maine baseball team past Stetson 16-4 on Saturday afternoon. Michael Fransoso (Portsmouth, N.H.) drove in three runs in the victory. Maine improves to 2-5 on the season, while Stetson falls to 2-4.
Maine got its offense going in the top of the first inning. Balzano singled down the left line and scored when Scott Heath (Westbrook, Maine) reached on an error. The Black Bears added to their lead in the top of the second inning. Eric White (Brewer, Maine) and Luke Mogel (Paoli, Pa.) drew back-to-back walks. White scored when Troy Black (Mississauga, Ontario) reached on an error.
The Black Bears exploded for seven runs in the top of the third inning. Mike Connolly (Bridgewater, Mass.) and Black led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Colin Gay (Frankin, Mass.) followed with a single to load the bases. Balzano drove home Connolly with a single. Fransoso then belted a three-run double. Heath singled driving home Fransoso. Mogel singled up the middle, plating Heath. White, who drew a walk earlier in the inning, scored the seventh run of the inning when Connolly singled through the right side.
Maine added three more runs in the top of the fourth inning. Balzano singled to first base. Fransoso was hit and Heath walked to load the bases. Balzano scored when Maine hit into a double play. White then belted his first career home run, a two-run shot.
Stetson got on the board with four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Mitchel Brennan walked and Carlos Garmendia was hit to load the bases. Konner Lutz singled to load the bases. Kevin Fagan followed with a three-run double. Fagan scored the fourth run of the inning when Tanner Blackman sinlged to center field.
Maine continued its impressive offensive attack. In the top of the sixth, Balzano singled and scored on an Alex Calbick (Burnaby, British Columbia) single.
The Black Bears added three more runs in the top of the seventh inning. Mogel walked and Jonathan Salcedo (Providence, R.I.) doubled. Mogel moved to third base on the play. Black singled to left field and Mogle scored. Salcedo scored when Gay singled to right field. Shane Bussey (Boynton Beach, Fla.), who pinch ran for Black, scored when Maine it into a double play.
A.J. Bazdanes (Nashua, N.H.) got the start on the mound for the Black Bears. He went 5.1 innings and allowed four runs on eight hits. Bazdanes improves to 1-1 on the season. He was replaced by Burk FitzPatrick (Berwyn, Pa.) who went 2.2 innings without allowing a hit. He struck out a pair of batters. Steve Trask pitched the final inning for the Black Bears. He did not allow a hit.
For the second day in a row, Stetson used seven pitchers in the game. Cameron Griffin got the start and went three innings. He allowed eight runs, seven of which were earned, on seven hits. He falls to 0-1 on the season.
Maine's schedule for Sunday has been altered. The Black Bears will play Florida A&M for a doubleheader starting at 11 AM at Tallahassee Community College.