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by: David S. Williams
Maine Holds Off Hatters, 6-3
Courtesy: Stetson University  
Release:  03/02/2014
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DeLAND—Stetson collected a season-high nine hits but a pair of three-run innings led Maine to a 6-3 win over the Hatters in the finale of the Stetson Invitational, Sunday at Melching Field.

For the second straight game, Dunn shook up the Stetson lineup. A trio of freshmen - left fielder Jake Pequignot, second baseman Colton Lightner and shortstop Mitch Piatnik - were inserted into the lineup along with sophomore designated hitter Wade McNabb. Pequignot and McNabb made their first career starts, and Lightner his second.

“We had to make a statement today,” said head coach Pete Dunn. “We have some veterans who weren’t in the lineup today because we aren’t getting production or leadership out them right now. We squared some balls up, but in Melching Field those are just long outs. We swung the bat a little better today, but still didn’t swing it when we needed to.”

The new lineup paid dividends immediately as for only the second time this season, the Hatters scored first. Center fielder Kyle Zech, batting leadoff in the revamped lineup, opened the bottom of the first with a double. Kyle Pitts sacrificed Zech to third, and Zech scored easily on Patrick Mazeika’s sacrifice fly, giving the Hatters a 1-0 lead.

The early lead, however, was short-lived. Maine plated three runs in the top of the second, with two coming on a double down the left field line by Brenden Geary. An infield single by Sam Balzano made it 3-1.

Maine extended its lead when Geary lined a bases loaded double to left-center field in the fifth, scoring three runs for a 6-1 advantage.

The Hatters clawed their way back into the game in the bottom of the sixth. Pitts and Mazeika hit back-to-back singles to start the inning, and moved up a base on a wild pitch. Pitts scored on a sacrifice fly by Wade McNabb to make it 6-2, and Mazeika scored two batters later on a double by pinch-hitter Robert Bruce to pull the Hatters within 6-3.

Stetson (2-9) had a chance to at least tie the game in the ninth inning after Tyler Bocock and Kevin Fagan singled. But two Maine (2-7) relievers combined to strike out the side, sending the Hatters to their fourth straight loss.

Freshman Taylor Cockrell (0-2) suffered the loss in his second start of the season after allowing six runs on eight hits in five innings. Cockrell struck five but also walked four batters. Reliever Adam Schaly enjoyed his best outing of the year, tossing 3.2 shutout innings.

Maine’s Scott Heath (2-1) earned the win after allowing three runs on five hits. Charlie Butler picked up the save.

Bocock led Stetson with two hits, while Mazeika reached base three times and rove in a run.
The Hatters return to action when they open a two-game midweek series at No. 3 South Carolina, 4 p.m., Tuesday in Columbia, S.C.

--SU--



Stetson Baseball


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