APPLETON, Wisc. — The University of Southern Maine baseball team had its record-breaking season come to an end in the NCAA Division III national championship game Tuesday afternoon.

The Huskies, who won a school record 46 games this season, needed to win a pair of games Tuesday to win their third national title.

They took the first one, beating Ithaca 5-4 in 13 innings but then lost a tough 4-1 decision to Linfield in the title game.

In the championship game, USM took a 1-0 lead into the fourth inning before the Wildcats scored all four of their runs.

Kramer Lindell and Kyle Chamberlain had RBI singles off Andrew Richards for Linfield in the inning.

It was all the runs Chris Haddeland needed. The sophomore pitcher improved to 15-1. He struck out five, allowed eight hits and walked three.

Erskine Academy graduate Nick Grady went 2 for 4 to lead USM while Messalonskee graduate Sam Dexter doubled and scored the lone run for the Huskies.

In the opener, Richards’ resilient right arm held up for 12 innings of relief or long enough for Chris Bernard to hit his game-winning triple, giving the Huskies a 5-4 win over Ithaca.

Richards threw 152 pitches, 103 for strikes, after relieving freshman Erskine grad Shylar Scates in the second inning. Richards, a sophomore from South Portland appeared in three of USM’s first four games in the tournament.

Monday was his only day of rest. He allowed an inherited runner to score in the second and two more runs in a tense, see-saw game.

Bernard actually hit a two-run homer in the top of the 13th inning but in the celebration at home, never stepped on the plate. He was out and was given credit for a triple. But instead of giving Richards a two-run lead to take into the bottom of the 13th, it was a one-run ballgame.

Richards allowed a bouncing infield single over his head to start the bottom of the 13th but got the three outs for USM’s 46th win of the season.

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