GORHAM, Maine -- Junior left-hander Tyler Leavitt spun a one-hit shutout in the nightcap to give the University of Southern Maine Huskies a sweep of the visiting Keene State College Owls in a Little East Conference doubleheader Saturday afternoon at the USM Baseball Stadium. The Huskies uses a seven-run rally in the seventh inning of the first game to take a 7-2 decision before Leavitt hurled the Huskies to a 3-0 win in second game.
The sweep moved the Huskies into sole possession of first place in the LEC standings with a 9-3 mark heading into next Friday's doubleheader the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. The two wins extend the Huskies' winning streak to five games and raised their overall record to 23-9. The Owls slip to 2-10 in the conference and 9-21 overall.
Keene State junior right-hander Eddie Dionne silenced the USM bats over the first six innings giving up just three hits and three walks as the Owls built a 2-0 lead with single runs in the third and fifth innings.
Sophomore Trevor Chapin (Northfield, N.H./New Hampton) was hit by a pitch with one out in the third, and scored when rookie Christian Bourgea (Litchfield, N.H./Campbell) followed with a double down the right field line.
In the fifth, the Owls strung together three consecutive singles to produce a run against USM junior starting pitcher Shyler Scates. Chapin led off the frame with a single followed by safeties by Bourgea and freshman Abe Grainger. Scates managed to escape further damage with a strikeout, and a bases-loaded, inning-ending double play.
The Huskies took advantage of the Owls bullpen in the seventh inning to score seven times. Junior Sam Dexter put the Huskies on the board with a sacrifice fly that score sophomore Jake Welch who opened the inning with a double. The big hit in the inning came from sophomoreMatt Bender who cleared the bases with a three-run double. After an Owls pitching change, senior Brendon Joyce was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second. Sophomore Damon Wallace doubled to left field to score Bender, and senior Dylan Morris drove a pinch-hit triple to right-center field to score Joyce and Wallace.
Senior Andrew Richards came on after Scates hit the first batter in the sixth and pitched four innings of shutout relief to earn his eighth win of the season. Richards did not walk a batter and struck out seven.
Leavitt was virtually untouchable over the first six innings allowing just three base runners on two infield errors and a hit batsman. The Owls got runners to third base in the first and fifth innings, but Leavitt left them stranded.
Bourgea broke up the no-hit bid leading off the seventh with a sinking liner to center that Wallace made a valiant bid on, but to no avail. Leavitt was not phased getting the next three batters on two fly balls and a strikeout, and would retire the final nine batters in order to preserve his third career shutout.
The southpaw did not walk a batter and struck out six to improve his record to 3-1. Keith Simpson went the distance on the mound for Keene State, striking out three in eight innings of work.
Southern Maine produced just enough offense getting two runs in the first inning, and an insurance marker in the eighth. Junior Nick DiBiase and Dexter stroked back-to-back singles to lead off the first before sophomore Paul McDonough lifted a double to left that scored DiBiase. Dexter scored as Bender followed with a sacrifice fly to center.
DiBiase scored the insurance run in the eighth leading off the inning with a double, and scoring on Bender's two-out single through the left side.
The Huskies are back in action tomorrow afternoon (1:00 p.m.) hosting Framingham State University for a single game. The Owls' next game is Monday (3:30 p.m.) against Framingham State.
(Release courtesy USM Sports Information)