Southern Maine powers to win

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Forrest Chadwick hit the second of two home runs for the Huskies on the day in the ninth inning. photo by Larry Radloff

By Erik Buchinger

GRAND CHUTE, Wis. -- Forrest Chadwick and Jake Glauser homered as Southern Maine defeated Salisbury 6-3 in game six of the 2014 NCAA Division III World Series from Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton, Wis.

Salisbury was eliminated from the World Series, marking the final game for Salisbury head coach Doug Fleetwood. Fleetwood announced last month that this would be his final season with the baseball program so he can focus fully on the Salisbury football team where he is the assistant head coach and offensive and recruiting coordinator.

“I joined Salisbury for the football program,” Fleetwood said. “I thought I’d do [baseball] for a couple years and see how things went. Those couple years turned into 14. It’s been a good run, but it’s time.”

Southern Maine scored first in the top of the second inning with a pair of singles by Forrest Chadwick and Matt Verrier, followed by an error by shortstop Pete Grasso and a double play that scored Chadwick.

Salisbury came right back in the bottom half of the second to take the lead 2-1 with three hits with two men out. Bill Root hit an RBI double down the left field line and Kyle Hayman doubled to score Root, but was tagged out after he over-slid third base to end the inning.

Postgame news conferences

Andrew Richards came in to relieve Huskies starter Shyler Scates, who exited in the top of the fourth after he went 3.1 innings and gave up six hits and two runs.

“Being in an elimination game down 2-1 and they had a runner on second with no outs, I just thought if that got to 3-1, that it would be a little tougher for us mentally,” Southern Maine coach Ed Flaherty said. “To me, that was a make-or-break time of that game, and when there’s a make-or-break time of a game, I’m going to go to Richards for the most part and it works out.”

Richards made his team-leading 30th appearance on the season and went 5.2 innings, gave up three hits, one run, none earned, and struck out three.

“It’s easy to pitch when we have the guys behind me playing defense,” Richards said. “I just have to throw strikes and let the other team hit, and they will make the plays.”

Southern Maine rallied for four runs in the top of the fifth. Jake Glauser hit the first home run of the World Series with a solo shot over the left field wall to lead off the inning to tie the game.

“Any time you’re down in a game, just getting even loosens you up a little bit,” Flaherty said. “That was a big hit for us in that game.”

Matt Bender and Paul McDonough singled and advanced to second and third on a groundout to third base. Sam Dexter singled to score Bender, and Chadwick hit a 2-RBI single to right that plated McDonough and Dexter, extending the lead to 5-2.

Sam Dexter said Southern Maine needed a big hit to get the offense going.

“It usually takes that one big inning to propel our offense,” Dexter said. “With Jake leading it off, I think it really sparked the rest of the lineup and that’s how we were able to bust that inning open.”

Dan Fein said Southern Maine became more aggressive at the plate in the fourth inning.

“I was throwing a lot of strikes, so I think they just kind of started to jump on it,” Fein said. “They hit the ball hard and put it in play and did what they were supposed to do. I tried to go out there and give it what I got, but they played well today. They’re a good team.”

Fein came into the game with a 3.71 ERA and an 8-1 record for Salisbury and was taken out in the seventh for Jon Schmedel after he walked John Carey and gave up a single to Chadwick.

“I felt alright on the mound,” Fein said. “Some days you just don’t have it.”

Fein got the loss after he went 6.2 innings and allowed 10 hits, five runs, three earned, walked one, and struck out two.

Schmedel hit the first batter he faced but got Chris Bernard to fly out to right field with the bases loaded to end the inning.

Salisbury cut into the lead in the bottom of the eighth with a bunt single by Hayman and an overthrow by Richards advanced him to second base. Hayman advanced to third on a fly out to right field and scored on a groundout to third base.

Chadwick connected on a pitch from Kyle Hamby in the top of the ninth and blasted a solo home run over the left field wall to make the score 6-3.

 “I was trying to get something in the air in the gap to try and get an extra-base hit,” Chadwick said. “I got an elevated fastball and I had been hitting to the left side all day. I think the wind helped out a little bit but it got out.”

Johnny Schiotis reached on an error in the bottom of the ninth, but Richards got Tom LaBriola to ground into a double play to end the game.

Southern Maine will play tomorrow at noon CT against the loser of the St. Thomas-Baldwin Wallace game.