Baseball outscores Husson 20-15 for third straight win
BANGOR, Maine — The Bates College baseball team banged out a season-high 23 hits, including freshman Nate Pajka’s fifth home run of the season, in winning 20-15 at Husson University on Tuesday, for the Bobcats’ third straight win.
The Eagles fell to 7-7 and saw their six-game win streak end, while Bates improved to 11-4 on the year.
Pajka (Douglas, Mass.) was 3-for-6 at the plate, homering in the third inning and driving in a team-high four runs while scoring four on the day. Junior first baseman Kevin McGregor (Randolph, N.J.) went 3-for-5, and tied for the team lead with four RBI and three runs scored. First-year Sam Maliska (Palo Alto, Calif.) chipped in three RBIs of his own on a 2-for-5 day at the plate. Junior Jeff Clausen (Southold, N.Y.) went 4-for-6 and scored two runs.
Jason Smith led Husson hitters, going 4-for-5 at the plate with two triples and a double, driving in a team-high four RBIs.
Husson jumped out to an early lead, scoring four while sending all nine batters to the box in the first inning. Dylan Foster led off the inning with a single to right center, and after a strikeout, Arthers doubled down the left field line. Jason Smith kept things going with his first triple of the day that plated Arthers. Nick Lancisi kept the rally going with a double to left center that brought home Smith, and it was quickly 3-0 in favor of the Eagles. After Shawn Smith reached on an error that put runners on the corners, Benjamin McLain put the ball in play, reaching on an error that scored Lancisi and Husson had a four-run advantage after one.
The Bobcats got one back in the top of the second, but it was in the top of the third inning that they took the lead with a four-run spurt. With two outs in the inning, first-year Mekae Hyde (Lewiston, Maine) started the rally with a single to left, and senior Mike Ciummei (Acton, Mass.) kept things going with a single of his own. Pajka stepped up to bat with the wind whipping out to left, and on the first pitch he hit a line drive in that direction that carried over the wall to level the score. McGregor singled to second base, and Maliska sent the ball down the left field line and that would plate McGregor and give the Bobcats a lead that they wouldn’t give up.
After the Eagles went down in order in the top of the third, the Bobcats loaded the bases with one out in the fourth inning, and Husson helped them out by walking three straight batters for three more insurance runs. The Eagles continued their troubles by committing three errors that inning for four more Bates runs, as the Bobcats hung seven in the inning to take a 12-4 lead after three and a half.
Husson rallied in the bottom of the fourth, as McLain started off by taking a pitch off the shoulder, and later swiped second. He came around to score as Josh Tardiff reached on a Bobcat error. McInnis smacked a pitch out to right field and as the ball got by the Bates fielder, the swift shortstop wheeled around the bases for an inside-the-park home run that plated Tardiff and brought the score to 12-7. The Eagles added one more as Arthers later reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on Jason Smith’s second triple of the day.
As the Eagles came within four runs of tying the game, the Bobcats stretched their lead by scoring five runs on seven hits in the top of the fifth to take a 17-8 advantage. Bates started the inning off with consecutive singles by hyde, Ciummei and Pajka, followed by McGregor’s double down the right-field line to score Hyde and Ciummei. Maliska and sophomore Kevin Davis (Andover, Mass.) got RBI outs before sophomore Griff Tewksbury (Concord, N.H.) singled home sophomore Jeff Gunn (Atlanta, Ga.) for Bates’ 17th run.
Husson once again rallied to keep it close, matching the five-run outburst in the bottom of the inning, including a three-run double by Jason Smith.
Bates added a run in the tops of the sixth and seventh, and the Eagles came up to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning trailing 19-13. The Bobcats pushed one more across in the top of the ninth to round out the scoring at 20-15.
Sophomore Chris Fusco (Annapolis, Md.) earned the win with three innings of relief, allowing two runs on four hits and no walks while striking out three.
Bates will kick off NESCAC East Division play beginning Friday at 3pm, when the open up a three-game series at home against Tufts.