Barnes Goes 4-for-4 with Homerun But Maine Sweeps UMBC with 10-7 Win in Series Finale

Sophomore Jake Barnes
Sophomore Jake Barnes

BALTIMORE – UMBC sophomore Jake Barnes (Annandale, Va./Annandale) was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate and hit his second homerun of the year, but Maine rallied for ten runs in the final four innings and held off one last UMBC charge to take the series finale, 10-7, and sweep the America East series.

Barnes led the charge for the Retrievers (8-18, 4-11 AE) who have now dropped their last seven games while the Black Bears (21-14, 11-3 AE) won their sixth straight.

Freshman Mike Gomez (Nutley, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) threw 6.2 innings in his first career start, yielding four runs on six hits, but was no-decisioned as Maine took the lead in the eighth. Sophomore Kevin Ladner (Succasunna, N.J./Roxbury) took the loss for the Retrievers, surrendering three runs in two-thirds of an inning.

Reliever Mike Connolly (4-2) earned the win for Maine, throwing 4.1 innings after catching the first four.  He then returned behind the plate as Jake Marks got the final two outs to pick up the save. Connolly also went 2-for-4 at the plate and scored two runs.

Gomez came out firing for the Retrievers, sending the first 14 Blacks Bears down in order before Kyle Silva lined a two-out single to left to break up the no-hitter in the fifth.  By that time, UMBC had built a 4-0 lead with a four-run bottom of the fourth. 

After both teams went scoreless in their first three trips to the plate, Barnes broke the deadlock by banging his second career homerun over the left-field fence to put the hosts up 1-0.  The Retrievers were not done as junior Brandon Coluccio (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township/Brookdale) followed with an infield single.  A ground out to first advanced Coluccio, before sophomore Ian Glassman (Basking Ridge, N.J./Rutgers Prep) and senior Tom Gilchrist (Olney, Md./Sherwood/Chesapeake CC) hit back-to-back singles, the ladder of which brought in Coluccio.  Sophomore Anthony Gatto (Hauppauge, N.Y./Smithtown West) then roped a double down the left field line to bring in both runners for a 4-0 lead.

Although Silva broke up the no-hit bid with the two-out single, Gomez struck out Eric White to end the inning.  Gomez finished the day with four K's.

The Retriever lineup backed up its starter with another run in the fifth with Barnes once again involved.  The sophomore third-baseman got things going with a one-out infield single, moved to second on an errant pick-off move, and then came home as senior Jason Allinder (Snow Hill, Md./Snow Hill/Chesapeake CC) lined a single to left-center.

The Black Bears finally put a chink in Gomez's armor in the sixth with Connolly starting the inning with a double to deep left.  A ground out moved him to third and he came into score on a sac fly by Sam Balzano to cut the Retriever lead to 5-1.

UMBC looked to push back in the bottom half, putting two runners on with two down as junior Rob McCabe (Philadelphia, Pa./St. Joseph's Prep) and sophomore Vince Corbi (Medford, N.J./Shawnee) hit back-to-back singles.  Freshman Kevin Lachance (Clifton, Va./Centreville) then hit a line shot to center, but was robbed as Colin Gay made a diving catch to end the inning.

Maine capitalized on the momentum, scoring three times in the seventh and knocking Gomez out of the game with UMBC clinging to a 5-4 lead.

In the bottom of the seventh, Barnes led off with a double, but was erased as he tried to reach third on grounder by Coluccio.

Once again the Black Bears took advantage, using three straight walks to load the bases and then taking the lead on a fielding error.  White followed with a sac fly to right to make the score 7-5.

After UMBC went quietly in the eighth, Maine added three in the ninth for a 10-5 lead.  The lead did not look safe, however, as UMBC rallied and cut the lead to just three with two runs of their own. Corbi opened the inning with a single, and after a fly out, Barnes hit his second double of the day to put runners on second and third.  Coluccio then popped a single to left-center to bring in Corbi and put the pressure on.  Marks then came on but despite getting Allinder to fly to center, Barned came into score.  With a runner on second, Glassman drew a two-out walk, but that is where the rally ended as a fielder's choice ended it.

UMBC now wraps up its five-game home stand with a single game against George Mason on Wednesday, Apr. 17 at Alumni Field.  First pitch between the Retrievers and Patriots is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.

DAWG BITES

-          The win is Maine 19th straight in the series and increases their lead in the all-time series to 34-3.

-          UMBC last defeated Maine on Apr. 20, 2008.

-          The Retrievers and Black Bears will meet for another three-game series on May 17-18 in Orono, Maine.

-          The Retrievers are 0-4 on the current home stand.

-          McCabe, Corbi, Coluccio, and Allinder each picked up two hits on Sunday.

-          This is Barnes' first career four-hit game.  This is the second time he has been perfect at the plate this year after going 3-for-3 against Binghamton on Mar. 17.

-          UMBC is now 5-2 this season when leading after seven innings.