Salem State holds baseball to five hits in 6-1 road loss

Sam Maliska '15 allowed one unearned run over 1.1 innings of late relief in Bates' 6-1 loss at Salem State on March 24, 2015. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

SALEM, Mass. -- Salem State held the Bates baseball team to five hits over nine innings and scored five runs in the first two frames for a 6-1 non-conference victory on Tuesday. 

The loss drops the Bobcats to 5-3 on the season and lifts the host Vikings to 5-5.

Bates senior captain Nate Pajka (Douglas, Mass.) continued the hot start that has carried over from Bates' first six games in Florida a month ago and the Bobcats' last game, played eight days ago against MIT. The right fielder was 1-for-2 with the game's only extra-base hit, an RBI double, and also drew two walks. 

Salem State's first five batters in the first inning reached base off of Bates first-year starter Connor Speed (San Diego, Calif.), including RBI singles by the third and fourth hitters, Richard Fecteau and Jose Cedano. The Vikings then loaded the bases with a Ryan Beliveau single. Speed struck out Dan Connors and induced Tsonis George into a lineout, but Teghan Malionek drew a two-out, bases-loaded walk to give Salem State the early 3-0 lead.

Salem State scored two more runs in the second. Davis scored an unearned run thanks to two Bates errors and a balk, then back-to-back singles by Beliveau and Dan Connors scored Cedano for a 5-0 Vikings advantage.

Bates got an unearned run of its own in the sixth. Junior Samuel Warren (Norfolk, Va.) reached on a one-out error before stealing second base and reaching third on a single by senior Mekae Hyde (Lewiston, Maine). Pajka drove in Warren with his sixth double of the season and 13th RBI, both team highs. 

After the Vikings' early success, Bates pitching quieted their bats, allowing no hits from the third inning on and retiring 15 straight Salem State batters from the second inning into the sixth. First-year lefthander Connor Russell (Cumberland, Maine) threw three perfect innings with two strikeouts, followed by briefer scoreless outings for first-year righthander Robert Jones (South Berwick, Maine), senior lefthander Aidan Sullivan (Yarmouth, Maine) and senior righthander Sam Maliska (Palo Alto, Calif.).

Mike Richardson pitched four effective innings in relief to lift Salem State, allowing two hits and an unearned run to improve to 2-1 on the season. Starter Cato Lacroix went two shutout innings and gave way to Sean Buckland, who held Bates at bay for the third and fourth innings.

Pajka leads Bates in batting average (.455), on-base percentage (.513) and slugging percentage (1.000).

Bates' upcoming schedule has been rearranged. This weekend's scheduled home series against NESCAC rival Trinity has been postponed until May 1-2. Tomorrow's makeup game scheduled for tomorrow at Husson has been cancelled. Bates' next scheduled games are now Wednesday, April 1 at UMaine-Farmington (3pm) and Friday, April 3 at home against Bowdoin.

Baseball season preview 2015
February 13, 2015 Baseball season preview 2015