Maine Takes Weekend Series By Defeating Pitt, 8-5
Maine squeaked out an 8-5 win over Pitt on Sunday afternoon in the Snowbird Classic at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Fla. The Black Bears got the best of the Panthers in the weekend series, 2-1. Pitt outlasted Maine, 11-10, in Friday’s matchup and lost 11-7 on Saturday. The Panthers will head to Port Charlotte, Fla., to take on Harvard in a four-game series next weekend (Feb. 24-26).
Pitt’s pitching struggled in the two previous games against Maine, and it wasn’t much better on Sunday. The Panthers allowed eight runs on 10 hits and the quartet of pitchers had a combined ERA of 8.18. On offense, Pitt had just six hits. Noah Martinez had a solo shot in the bottom of the fifth, but other than that it was an uneventful afternoon for the Panthers’ bats.
Pitt got on the scoreboard first as Maine pitcher Noah Lewis walked Tommy Tavarez with the bases loaded. AJ Nessler then grounded out to second base to bring another run home to give the Panthers an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
Connor Goodman answered for Maine in the top of the third with a home run to left field off righty Candelario Erubiel, which brought in runners Quinn McDaniel and Jake Rainess to give the Black Bears a 3-2 lead.
In the bottom of the third, Nessler hit a fly out to right field that brought Noah Martinez home to tie the game at 3-3. It was Nessler’s second RBI of the afternoon. Maine broke the tie in the following inning, as Goodman reached on a fielder’s choice and McDaniel was brought home. Martinez responded in the bottom of the fifth with a home run to tie the game back up at 4-4.
Maine retook the lead in the top of the sixth, thanks to a single by Goodman to third base that brought home Rainess and Dylan McNary to give the Black Bears a 6-4 advantage. It was Goodman’s third RBI of the day.
In the bottom of the eighth, Dom Popa hit a single with two outs to bring Jack Anderson home and trim Maine’s lead to 6-5. However, Pitt was unable to rally after that score as Gianni Gambardella retired the side. Maine added some cushion to their narrow lead in the top of the ninth, as Nick White singled to left field to bring home Jeff Mejia and Jeremiah Jenkins to make it an 8-5 game. Closer Ryan Scott made quick work in the bottom of the ninth to secure the win for Maine.
This is no good.
I’m going to guess this is a “rebuild” year for Bell.
Bad, bad pitching so far this season.