Baseball sweeps Worcester State for five straight wins
DARIEN, Conn. — Freshman Nate Pajka (Douglas, Mass.) hit two home runs, including a grand slam, and drove in seven runs, and fellow first-year Mekae Hyde (Lewiston, Maine) also homered in Game 1, then junior Mike Antonellis (Sudbury, Mass.) pitched a three-hit shutout in Game 2, to lead the Bates College baseball team to a doubleheader sweep over Worcester State on Saturday at Darien High School.
The Bobcats (7-2) have won five straight games. They’ll next play a doubleheader at Haverford on Saturday, March 17, at 12:30pm, followed by a twinbill at Swarthmore on March 18 at 12:30.
Pajka hit a grand slam in the second inning of Game 1, staking senior starting pitcher Karl Alexander (Cambridge, Mass.) to an early four-run lead. Alexander went six innings and allowed three runs, with only one earned, on eight hits and no walks. He struck out six batters. Sophomore Dean Bonneau (Amherst, Mass.) threw two shutout innings in relief, with two strikeouts, and sophomore Bradley Reynolds (Louisville, Colo.) allowed a run in the ninth.
Leading 5-3 in the sixth inning, Bates added three more runs in the bottom of the inning, one more in the seventh, then exploded for six more runs in the eighth. Pajka’s second home run of the game, and his fourth in the young season, scored Jeff Clausen (Southold, N.Y.), who had doubled to lead off. Sophomore Steve Burke (Bedford, N.H.) kept things going with a single, followed by RBI doubles by both first-year Rockwell Jackson (Fort Worth, Texas) and senior Mike Ciummei (Acton, Mass.). Hyde then chased Ciummei home with a home run to left field, his first of the season.
After banging out 15 hits in Game 1, Bates got its three runs in Game 2 with the benefit of only two hits. Junior lefthander Nick Bonofiglio matched Antonellis goose-egg for goose-egg through the first five innings, holding the Bobcats hitless while he was at it.
After allowing baserunners in each of the first four innings, Antonellis set the Lancers down in order in the fifth and sixth innings. With skies darkening, Worcester State got a runner on base with one out due to an error, but Antonellis set down the final two batters, and the game was then called by the umpires.
Alexander moved into a tie for second place on Bates’ all-time wins list, with 13, for a 13-11 career record. Dennis Gromelski ’88 went 13-8 from 1985 to 1988. The team career wins record is 15, owned by Mike Kinsman ’05.