Bowdoin takes two from Bates in baseball doubleheader
LEWISTON, Maine — The Bates College baseball team was unable to derail rival Bowdoin’s bid to clinch the top seed in the NESCAC Championship on Saturday afternoon, falling 3-2 in the final inning of the first contest of a doubleheader before dropping the second game 12-2.
A solid outing by Bobcat starter Griffin Finan (Bethesda, Md.) in the first game was spoiled in the top of the seventh inning by the Polar Bears when Bowdoin’s Chris McCann (Hopkinton, Mass.) laced a two-out single to center field off Bobcat closer Brian Buckley (Andover, Mass.) that scored Christopher Bucci (Medford, Mass.) with what became the game’s winning run.
Finan and a sharp Bobcat defense held the NESCAC’s most potent offense to just two second-inning runs until the final frame. Tyler Paul (Great Falls, Mont.) hit a two-out double to the left field wall in the bottom of the second, scoring Erik Hood (Berlin, N.H.) from first as Bates attempted to chip away at Bowdoin’s lead. Another clutch two-out RBI double tied the game in the bottom of the fifth inning, as Adam Worrall (Duxbury, Mass.) drove in the tying run for the Bobcats and chased the Bowdoin starter from the game.
Mark Bulger (Delmar, N.Y.) retired all eight batters he faced in relief to earn the win for Bowdoin and improve his record to 3-0 on the season. Finan took the loss to drop to 2-2 on the year after scattering seven hits; Finan pitched into the game’s final inning.
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Bowdoin offense, ranked ninth in Division III in both batting average and scoring, exploded for 12 runs and 13 hits against four Bates pitchers in a 12-2 victory. Bates was unable to put any runs on the scoreboard until the bottom of the fifth inning, when Alex Maulucci (Avon, Conn.) led off the home half of the frame with a solo home run off Bowdoin starter Ricky Leclerc (Manchester, N.H.), but by then the Polar Bears had already put eight runs on the board.
Leclerc helped his own cause in a six-run fourth inning with a grand slam home run from the cleanup spot. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Paul drove in Buckley with the final Bobcat run of the game to make the score 9-2.
Sean VanderVliet (Meriden, N.H) took the loss for Bates, dropping his record to 1-4. Leclerc went seven innings to earn the win for Bowdoin and improve his record to 3-1.
With seven games to play and their record at 10-15, Bates has a good chance to better the 13 game they won last season. The Bobcats host Husson College Monday at 4 p.m.
Bowdoin improves to 25-5-1 on the season and remains atop the NESCAC standings with a 10-2 record in league play.