MANSFIELD, Conn. — Cam Seymour capped Southern Maine’s comeback from a late five-run deficit by hitting a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning, giving the Huskies a 7-6 win over Eastern Connecticut State in the final game of Little East Conference baseball championship series Friday.

Brogan Searle-Belanger led off the ninth with a double. One out later, Seymour hit a drive to left for his team-high 12th home run of the season.

USM (31-9) earned the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament. The tournament field will be announced Sunday night.

The second-seeded Huskies fell behind 5-0 and were held without a hit until the seventh inning, when they rallied for four runs. Janek Luksza and Tom Vesosky sandwiched RBI singles around a two-run single by Searle-Belanger.

Luksza then tied the game with another RBI single in the eighth.

Gage Feeney pitched five scoreless innings in relief for USM before Luke Broadhurst led off the ninth with a home run that put top-seeded Eastern Connecticut (32-6) back in front. Colton Lawrence came on to finish the inning and was credited with the win.

ALBANY SWEEPS MAINE: Maine’s Nick Sinacola broke the America East single-season strikeout record, but Albany (22-21, 20-16 America East) got three runs in the eighth inning for a 3-0 extra-innings victory over the Black Bears (19-20, 14-17) in a doubleheader opener in Orono.

Sinacola (8-3) finished with 14 strikeouts to bring his season total to 128 – nine more than the previous conference record. But the Great Danes broke up a scoreless deadlock with two outs in the eighth, as Will Feil hit an RBI single and Johnny Marti followed with a two-run homer.

In Game 2, Marc Wangenstein hit a tie-breaking three-run homer in the fourth inning and Marti added another two-run homer as Albany completed the sweep with a 9-3 win.

SOFTBALL

LINFIELD 10, SOUTHERN MAINE 2: Katie Phillips drove in three runs and invoked the mercy rule with a two-run single in the fifth inning as the third-seeded Wildcats (37-7) beat the fourth-seeded Huskies (31-5-1) in the opening round of an NCAA Division III regional in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

USM will need to beat top-seeded Wisconsin-Oshkosh (25-11) on Saturday morning to stay alive in the double-elimination regional. Oshkosh won its first game, 4-2 against Illinois College.

USM scored in the top of the first on Lauren Leidemann-Smith sacrifice fly after singles by Erin Martin and Ashley Tinsman and a walk to Kaitlyn Nelson. But the Huskies were held to three hits the rest of the way, including a home run by Tinsman in the third inning.

Linfield got three runs in the first, two in the second, one in the third and four in the fifth.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

UCONN: Coach Geno Auriemma’s contract has been extended through 2025 in a deal worth $15 million, school officials announced.

Athletic Director David Benedict said the five-year extension is retroactive to April 2020 and includes an annual base salary of $600,000. The Hall of Famer will get $2.2 million for speaking, consulting and media obligations in the first year, an amount that will increase $100,000 annually under the contract. It also includes bonuses based on postseason wins.

Auriemma, 67, has led UConn to a record 11 women’s national championships and 13 consecutive Final Fours.

 

 

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