Black Bear Nation FTS: Friday to Sunday

Wait a second.  You mean to tell us that the UMaine spring sports teams were actually able to play all their games this weekend?!?  May wonders never cease!

That’s right…after a slew of weather-induced challenges, Black Bear Nation was actually treated to a full slate of action this weekend.  Not only that, but the weekend was largely a success for our heroes.

As always (read: most of the time), Fill The Steins is here with our weekend round-up in the “Friday to Sunday”.  Let’s get to all the action!!!

Baseball: The Black Bear baseball squad traveled to Lowell this weekend for a three game set against UMass-Lowell at LeLacheur Park, and it turned out to be a trip well worth making.  The Black Bears came away with all three games of the series to run their winning streak to four.

Maine started off the weekend on a positive note by sweeping Saturday’s doubleheader by scores of 5-4 and 3-2, respectively.  In game 1, Maine’s offense was led by Alex Calbick, Scott Heath, and Shane Bussey, each of whom went 2-4 with an RBI.  Tommy Lawrence picked up the win on the mound, as he gave up 3 ER over 7.2 innings while striking out 9 and walking just 2.

In game 2 of Saturday’s twin bill, Shane Bussey was once again the hero, capping another 2-4 performance at the plate with the game-winning RBI in the top of the ninth, driving in Colin Gay.  After Bussey put the Bears ahead, Charlie Butler pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his 5th save of year and preserve the win for Burk FitzPatrick, who pitched a scoreless eighth.

In Sunday’s series finale, Maine overcame three errors to earn the weekend sweep with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the River Hawks.  All the scoring came in the second inning, with Bussey once again providing what proved to the be the game-winning RBI.  From there, it was a nervy 7 innings of scoreless ball dominated by the pitchers from both teams.  In the end, Maine’s Jeff Gelinas (W) and Scott Heath (S) combined to hold UMass-Lowell at bay and preserve the sweep for the Black Bears.

With the three victories in Lowell this weekend, Maine runs its record to 13-19 overall and 4-5 in America East play.  The Black Bears will look to keep the momentum going when they take on Colby at Mahaney Diamond on Tuesday at 4pm. 

Softball: The softball team was finally able to have a proper home opener this weekend and, while it didn’t all go Maine’s way, the Black Bears were able to win one of three games from UMBC over the weekend.

Things got off to a bad start for the ladies on Friday when they were shut out 3-0 by the Retreivers.  UMBC’s Jessica Holte pitched a complete game, four hit shutout and never allowed Maine to string any hits together.  Senior Hannah Hill was the hard luck loser for Maine.  She also went the distance, giving up only four hits in her own right.

The Black Bears returned the favor in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, however, as they took the Retreivers DOWNTOWN TO POUND TOWN by a mercy rule final score of 8-0.  Dagmar Ralphs led the charge at the plate for the Black Bears, going 4-8 (EIGHT at-bats…how’s that for turning over the lineup???) with 4 RBI, while Alexis Bogdanovich picked up the win in the circle with her complete game shutout.

Maine lost a heartbreaker to close out the weekend, falling by a final score of 7-6 in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader.  After allowing 5 runs in the top of the first, Maine couldn’t quite make it all the way back.  Their just-short comeback was led by Jessica Burk, who went 3-4 with a HR and 3 RBI at the plate.

With the weekend series loss, Maine now sits at 14-13 overall and 6-5 in conference.  Coach Coutts’ squad will look to get back to their winning ways when they host Husson at Kessock Field on Tuesday at 4pm.

Track & Field: Overall, it was a weekend of mixed results for the men’s and women’s track & field teams in Durham, NH this weekend.  The men picked up their second consecutive meet win, earning 152 points to host UNH’s 123 and Dartmouth’s 113.

On the women’s side, the Black Bears finished in 3rd place with 71 points, distantly behind UNH’s 165 point tally and Dartmouth’s 139 point haul.

Both teams return to action for a two-day meet in Worcester on April 16-17, hosted by Holy Cross.

Don’t forget that Fill The Steins will welcome UMaine women’s basketball coach Richard Barron on this week’s FTS Podcast.  Join us LIVE Sunday night at 7pm for what’s sure to be an entertaining conversation.  If you can’t listen live, remember you can always check out the archives here!  GO BLUE!!!


Photo courtesy: www.goblackbears.com

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