CASTLETON, Vt. – University of Maine at Farmington baseball (23-16) let a pair of late leads slip away on Friday in the North Atlantic Conference Championship Tournament. The Beavers were topped by Husson University (22-19) in the first game, 6-5, after ten innings and lost in the elimination game to Thomas College (20-19), 8-4.
UMF jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the Husson game in the first inning after forcing an infield error. In the third inning, the Beavers increased the lead to 2-0 after Ben Keene (Livermore, Maine/Spruce Mountain) crushed an RBI triple to right field.
After Husson answered with a run in the bottom of the third inning, Jimmy Parks (Springvale, Maine/Sanford) gave UMF a two-run advantage again with an RBI single through the right side.
The Beavers tacked on two more runs in the top of the eighth inning but Husson tied the game with one swing of the bat in the bottom of the eighth. With two outs and the bases loaded, Alex Chapman belted a grand slam over the right field fence to tie the game at 5-5.
UMF had scoring chances in the ninth and tenth inning but could not plate an eventual game-winning run.
In the bottom of the tenth, Husson drew the bases loaded and scored a suicide bunt play. Dan Whitney started running for home and Cam Archer laid down a bunt and UMF's throw home was too late.
UMF's two-through-four hitters in the lineup combined to hit 7-for-12 with three runs scored and two RBI. Trevor Hisler (Skowhegan, Maine/Skowhegan) had three hits, including two doubles.
The loss did not phase the Beavers early in the Thomas game as the offense scored four runs in the first four innings.
Thomas came roaring back with three runs through the first four innings and then plated five runs on five hits in the sixth inning for the final margin of victory.
Hisler and Keen both made the North Atlantic Conference All-Tournament Team.
After breaking the all-time hits record earlier in the season Tom Grady (Whitefield, Maine/Erskine Academy) finished his career with 127 hits to set the new all-time record. Grady topped Sean Cabaniss (Vassalboro, Maine/Erskine Academy) by one hit for the record. With his second hit in the Husson game, Cabaniss broke his own single-season record for most base hits.
UMaine-Farmington finished the season with 23 wins, the most in program history for a single season.