LANTANA, Fla. - Kevin McAvoy and Ryan Quintal each hit three-run doubles to lead Maine past the Penn baseball team, 10-5, Thursday evening at the Santaluces Athletic Complex.
The Quakers (0-6) scored three runs in the seventh inning to pull within one run of the lead, but the Black Bears (3-5)scored five in the bottom of the eighth to pull away.
Penn continued its negative trend of falling behind early when Maine jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning. Starter Brian Cirri (0-2) loaded the bases after a walk and two singles, and helped the Black Bears with a wild pitch that scored the runner from third. After another walk loaded the bases again, Cirri struck Bobby Brown out for the second out of the inning. But with the senior hurler just one strike away from ending the inning, McAvoy hit a looping double down the right field line that cleared the bases.
The Quakers got a run back after Tony Moses, who singled, scored on a fielder's choice by TimMay in the second inning.
Maine scored another run in the fifth to make it 5-1, but the Quakers would respond in the seventh inning. Josh Corn led off with a single, moved to third on a base-hit by Kyle Armeny and was driven in on another single by May. The next batter, Jim Farrell, connected for an RBI single that scored Armeny and advanced May to third base. May crossed the plate after a balk was called on Maine pitcher Scott Robinson to cut the score to 5-4.
But in the Quaker comeback was short-lived, as the eighth inning started with a questionable error by first baseman Sean Abate (the umpire called Cirri, who was covering first on a groundball, off the bag), and things seemed to go downhill from there. The Black Bears got RBI singles from Danny Menendez and Joe Hough to knock Cirri out of the game. After reliever Bret Wallace loaded the bases when he hit Matt McGraw, Quintal gave his team more breathing room with a three-run double to right centerfield.
Penn picked up another run when Armeny laced a double to right center that scored Moses, who had walked, but it would be all the Quakers could get.
Armeny led the Red and Blue with a 3-for-4 evening, while Joey Boaen added two hits.
Cirri allowed nine runs, seven earned, on 10 hits while striking out four and walking four.
Robinson (1-1) gave up four runs on nine hits through seven innings, punching out seven and walking none in the process. Joel Barrett and McAvoy had three hits each for the Black Bears, while Hough and Quintal added two hits each.
The Quakers play the second of three straight with Maine on Friday, March 10, with a 6 p.m. game on the home field of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Fla.