HENNIKER, N.H. – University of Maine at Farmington senior Brett Wallingford reached the 100 career hit mark in the Beaver baseball team's split against North Atlantic Conference rival New England College, Sunday afternoon at Laurie Cox Memorial Park.
The Beavers couldn't complete the sweep, however, dropping a 9-4 decision to the Pilgrims in the nightcap.
UMaine-Farmington improved to 11-20 overall with the split, and 10-10 in NAC play – putting the Beavers well in line for a berth in the four-team NAC Tournament next weekend. New England College moved to 8-22 with the split, 5-15 in league play.
Wallingford collected his 100th career hit on a two-out single in the fourth inning. He picked up another single in the second inning of game two, giving him 101 career hits. Wallingford is the ninth player in program history to reach the 100 career hit mark.
Farmington sealed its game one victory with three runs in the top of the seventh, breaking a 2-2 tie.
Sean Cabaniss drew a one-out walk, and went to second when Dustin McCrossin was hit by a pitch. Cabaniss scored on Ben Keene's single down the left field line and McCrossin advanced to third, but Keene was gunned down at second trying to stretch his single into a double.
After a walk issued to Neal, Grady stepped up and belted a double to score McCrossin and Neal, and went to third on an NEC error.
Farmington's Joe Sullivan came on in the seventh to close out the win, fanning the first two Pilgrim batters he faced and inducing a grounder to second to end the game.
The Beavers scored single runs in both the second and third innings to take an initial 2-0 lead after three complete. Grayson Beressi plated Neal on a single to left field for the Farmington run in the second, while Trevor Hisler reached on an error in the third and eventually crossed on a wild pitch.
NEC answered with runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Eric Johnson broke UMF's shutout bid in the third when he scored from second on Scott Fortun's two-out single with an ensuing error on the Pilgrim pitcher. Francesco Dire crossed in the fifth on a fielder's choice grounder to second.
Neal recorded just one strikeout and allowed one earned run in the win, improving his record to 3-1 while dropping his ERA to 1.67. Sullivan picked up his second save of the season for his one inning of work.
In game two, NEC used a six-run fourth inning to build an 8-0 lead before UMaine-Farmington would even get on the scoreboard.
The Pilgrims started by putting up two runs in the third on Johnson's two-run single to center field.
NEC's six runs in the fourth included a lead-off solo home run by Scott DeLuca, an RBI double into left center off the bat of Kevin Caputo, and a two-run infield single by Johnson.
The Beavers finally got on the board with a three-run fifth inning, capitalizing on a leadoff single by Ethan Gouin and Mark Leahy's double into left field. Cabaniss plated Gouin with an infield single, and Keene drew a bases loaded walk that forced in Leahy. Grady hit into a fielder's choice grounder to short that allowed Hisler to cross for the third Farmington run. Hisler got aboard with a walk earlier in the frame.
New England College got another run in the bottom half of the fifth on Jordan Hubbard's RBI single to left field. Farmington answered with a single run of its own in the seventh, when Cabaniss stroked a leadoff double to left, and came home on Chad Snowman's sac fly to left field.
Farmington starter Jory Humphrey lasted three-and-a-third innings on the mound in the loss, allowing six earned runs on six hits with a walk and a strikeout. Ryan Camire, Brandon Soper, and Tom Grady all saw relief duty for the Beavers.
Brandon Quirk picked up the complete game win for NEC, striking out five Farmington batters while yielding 10 hits and three walks.
UMaine-Farmington faces Thomas College on Tuesday, April 29, to close out its regular season.