Baseball edged by Tufts, 6-5 in 12 innings

Senior Samuel Warren tallied three hits on Sunday against Tufts. (File photo by Josh Kuckens/Bates College) 

LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates baseball team scored three times in the eighth inning to tie the game but Tufts pushed across a run in the 12th to prevail 6-5 Sunday afternoon at Leahey Field.

Sunday's game is the longest innings wise the Bobcats have played in NESCAC play since an 8-5 13-inning victory over Trinity in 2012.

Bates (12-19, 4-8 NESCAC) never led as they fell behind early in the game by a count of 3-0.

After cruising through the first two innings, starting pitcher Anthony Telesca '17 (Holtsville, N.Y.) ran into some trouble in the third against the Jumbos (26-6, 11-1 NESCAC). Tom Petry singled to start the frame. Christian Zazzali drew a walk and the Jumbos bunted the runners over. A Cody McCallum infield single drove in Petry and a wild pitch plated Zazzali to put the Jumbos up 2-0.

Tufts added another run in the fourth. Dan Kelly singled and one out later Oscar Kutch doubled in their third run of the afternoon. Of the 11 hits tallied by Tufts, Kutch's fourth inning double was their only extra base hit in the game.

Down 3-0, Bates tallied a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Junior Brendan Fox (West Hartford, Conn.) singled and senior Samuel Warren (Norfolk, Va.) followed with a single of his own. Fox advanced to third on the play and Warren promptly stole second base.

With runners at second and third and nobody out, senior Evan Czopek (Portland, Ore.) drove in Fox with an RBI ground out. Senior Berto Diaz (Carson, Calif.) contributed a sacrifice fly, driving in Warren and cutting the Tufts lead to 3-2.

Sophomore Connor Speed (San Diego, Calif.) entered the game in relief of Telesca in the top of the fifth and proceeded to toss five innings of two-run ball. The Jumbos managed to push across a pair of unearned runs in the seventh to extend their lead to 5-2.

Both teams made three errors in the contest and Tufts' defense cost them in the bottom of the eighth.

Junior Brendon Canavan (Carlisle, Mass.) got hit by a pitch to start the frame. Junior John Dinucci (West Hartford, Conn.) singled pinch runner Jamie Kennedy '19 (Boston, Mass.) to third, chasing Tufts starter R.J. Hall from the game.  

After Dinucci stole second, new pitcher Ian Kinney was greeted by a Ryan McCarthy '17 (Plaistow, N.H.) infield single as Zazzali could not get the ball out of his glove. Kennedy scored on the play while Dinucci held at second base. Fox lay down a sacrifice bunt and the throw to first got away. Dinucci came all the way around to score while McCarthy advanced to third. One out later, Czopek reached on a Zazzali error, plating McCarthy and tying the game at five. 

Bates did not score further in the inning and could not take advantage of multiple scoring opportunities down the stretch.

The Bobcats put runners at first and second with one out in the bottom of the ninth but a fly out and a ground out ended the inning.

Warren doubled to start the bottom of the 10th and Bates bunted him to third. But a strike out, a walk and a fielder's choice followed, ending the inning with Warren 90 feet away.

First-year Justin Foley (Lynnfield, Mass.) relieved Speed in the top of the 10th and blanked the Jumbos for his first two innings of work.

In the top of the 12th, Tufts finally broke through. With one away Nick Falkson singled. He stole second and with two outs, Petry singled him home. 

Bates had one last chance in the bottom of the 12th. Fox walked to start the frame. He moved to second on a wild pitch but two strike outs and a ground out ended the game with the tying run in scoring position. 

Warren finished the day 3-6 at the plate with a double and a run scored. Czopek tallied two of the team's four runs batted in despite not recording a hit. 

Bates finishes NESCAC play with a 4-8 record behind Tufts and Trinity, and tied with Bowdoin and Colby in the east division. The Bobcats still have a number of non-conference games remaining. They host Gordon Monday at 3:30.