The University of Maine baseball team will make its first of two southern Maine appearances this spring with a game at 3:30 p.m. today against Rhode Island at The Ballpark in Old Orchard Beach.

Maine is also scheduled to play Northeastern in Sanford at Goodall Park on May 10.

The Black Bears played at The Ballpark during the fall baseball schedule, but look forward to helping the refurbished ballpark make its spring debut.

“We had a great experience then and I think it’s great we can come and play in the southern part of the state,” said Maine Coach Steve Trimper. “A lot of people know Maine baseball and read about it in the papers, but it gives us an opportunity to see alumni and for them to come back and see the alma mater.”

Maine took 2 of 3 in a weekend series against Albany that improved its America East record to 5-5, 15-21 overall.

“We can look like a million bucks and we can look like 50 cents, as the adage goes,” said Trimper. “We’re capable of being a very good ballclub, but we need to make sure we do it on a consistent basis.”

Maine is starting four or five freshmen on a regular basis this season, including third baseman Mike Connolly, who’s batting .256; second baseman Troy Black (.389); and catcher Fran Whitten (.263).

Maine beat Albany in a doubleheader Saturday, 3-0 and 5-3, but lost 7-6 in 12 innings on Sunday.

“It’s really the little things for us,” said junior center fielder Taylor Lewis, who is batting .302 with 42 hits and 16 RBI. “Sunday’s (extra-inning loss) brought forth those little things we still need to work on. Base-running is one of them, along with trying to get on, no matter what inning or what type of game.

“Our freshmen are learning and understanding the game. But it’s what we have to do to be a successful team.”

Junior left-hander Kevin Scanlan will be the starting pitcher against Rhode Island, said Trimper. He is 0-1 with a 19.06 ERA in four appearances.

“We used a lot of guys this weekend so we’ll have some guys in the bullpen who didn’t throw,” said Trimper.

Lewis said the team looks forward to playing in southern Maine.

“It’s a beautiful park, has that old-fashioned look to it,” he said. “Hopefully, we get as much of a fan base as we did this fall and get some fans who can’t usually make it up to our games at home (in Orono).”

Staff Writer Jenn Menendez can be contacted at 791-6426 or at: [email protected]