GORHAM – Ryan Yates struck out four and walked two, scattering three hits over 72/3 innings Thursday as the top-seeded University of Southern Maine beat third-seeded Keene State 4-0 in the second round of the Little East Conference baseball tourney.
USM (35-7) will play at noon today in the six-team, double-elimination event. The likely opponent will be Eastern Connecticut, which led UMass-Boston 9-0 when the game was halted by rain in the bottom of the fourth.
Troy Thibodeau of USM doubled in John Carey to break a scoreless tie in the fifth. Sam Dexter then doubled in Thibodeau.
The Huskies made it 3-0 when Forrest Chadwick doubled and Nick Grady tripled in the sixth.
Southern Maine closed the scoring in the eighth on back-to-back two-out doubles by Chris Bernard and Carey.
The tournament winner will advance to the NCAA Division III tournament next week.