GORHAM — Shyler Scates struck out 10 and Nick DiBiase hit two doubles and scored two runs as the top-seeded University of Southern Maine baseball team defeated sixth-seeded Western Connecticut 5-3 in the first round of the double-elimination Little East Conference tournament Wednesday at USM Baseball Stadium.

The Huskies (28-12), who are hosting the tournament, will play third-seeded Rhode Island College (21-12) at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, and the Colonials (17-21) will face fifth-seeded Eastern Connecticut (19-16) in an elimination game at 9:30 a.m.

Second-seeded UMass-Dartmouth (24-15) and fourth-seeded UMass-Boston (23-13), both first-day winners, will play at 3:30 p.m.

Scates, a junior right-hander, allowed three earned runs, eight hits and did not walk a batter. He was relieved by Andrew Richards, who pitched the final 12/3 innings for his eighth save.

DiBiase doubled to left to start the first, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a groundout by Brendon Joyce.

The Huskies went ahead 2-0 later in the inning when Sam Dexter scored on a sacrifice fly by Matt Bender.

Gus Constantino hit a solo home run in the third for the Colonials.

Bender doubled in Paul McDonough in the bottom of the third for a 3-1 lead.

The Colonials loaded the bases with one out in the sixth inning on a double, a hit-batsman and a single before Scates struck out the next two to end the threat.

Southern Maine extended its lead to 5-1 in the bottom of the seventh. DiBiase hit his second double and scored on a double by Dexter, who came home on an error.

Scates got the first batter of the eighth to ground out, but the Colonials put runners on second and third on a single and a double.

Richards relieved Scates and allowed a two-run single to Dave Palladino.

Richards gave up another single before inducing a grounder for an inning-ending double play.

The Colonials loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth, but Andrews struck out Palladino to end it.


BATES 16, KEENE STATE 11: Charlie Fay had four goals as the Bobcats (11-5) defeated the Owls (12-5) in the first round of the NCAA Division III tournament at Lewiston.

The Bobcats rallied for five straight goals twice after falling behind.

Bates trailed 6-2 with 4:50 left in the first quarter before Fay began the first run that put Bates ahead 7-6 with 5:08 left in the half.

Keene State scored the next three and led 9-7 with 10:08 left in the third. Fay sparked the next rally midway through the third and Conor Henrie got the winning goal and a 12-9 lead 2:20 into the fourth.

Jack Strain and Jack Allard each added three goals for Bates, which will play Tufts in the second round on Saturday.