Orono, Maine— UMBC baseball dropped the opening game of the double-header with the Black Bears, 6-3, before winning the second game 3-1 after a big Connor Hax (Bowie, Md./Bishop McNamara) three-run home run. After having no hits in the opening game, Hax came through in the clutch, as Conrad Wozniak (Cypress, Texas/Cypress Woods/Frank Phillip) went the distance for his fifth win of the year.
The Retrievers got on the board first, scoring in the second inning. Freshman AJ Wright (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill West) and junior Andrew Casali (New Canaan, Conn./New Canaan) attempted a double steal, as Casali crossed home before Wright would be tagged out to give UMBC a 1-0 lead.
Maine would respond quickly, putting up five runs in the third inning off seven hits to take a 5-1 lead, a lead they would not relinquish. They added an insurance run in the third to lead 6-1 after three.
UMBC would try to cut into the deficit, scoring twice in the seventh. Tim Kelly (Hampton, Va./York/Virginia Tech) led off with a double, and would advance on a balk. Kelly would score after Mitchell Carroll (Oakton, Va./Oakton) singled to right center. Carroll would cross the plate the very next at bat, as Kevin Lachance (Clifton, Va./Centreville) tripled down the right field line to make it 6-3. However that would be as close as the Retrievers would get, falling 6-3 in game one.
Anthony Gatto (Hauppauge, N.Y./Smithtown West) led the offense going 3-4 with three singles in the opener. Lachance and Wright each had a pair of hits in the loss.
UMBC and Maine went scoreless early, as neither side could get much going offensively. Both starting pitchers went three innings before the first run was scored.
The Black Bears broke through on a solo home run from Brett Chappell to lead off the fourth.
The Retrievers would remain without a hit, until the seventh inning. Andrew Casali led off the inning with a single up the middle, and advanced to third after Wright beat out an infield single to third. After a Kelly foul out, Hax came to the plate with two on and one out. Hax swung and missed on the first pitch, but connected on the next pitch, blasting a three run homer to right to give UMBC a 3-1 lead.
Wozniak came in to close the door in the bottom of the seventh, picking up win number five with a 3-1 UMBC victory.
The Texas native went the distance for the fourth straight start, giving up five hits, one run with nine strikeouts. Hax had a big day in game two, going 3-3 with three RBI.
The rubber match will be played tomorrow, Sunday, April 17 starting at 1 p.m.