Baseball rallies late but comes up just short in 5-4 loss to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps

Senior John Dinucci went 3-3 at the plate against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

CLAREMONT, Calif. -- The Bates baseball team scored three runs in the top of the ninth but Claremont-Mudd-Scripps hung on to defeat the Bobcats 5-4 Friday afternoon.

Bates (2-3) wrapped up their February trip to California with a furious rally against the Stags (5-3).

Trailing 5-1 to start the ninth inning, first-year Giovanni Torres (North Haven, Conn.) delivered a pinch-hit leadoff single. Junior Connor DiVincenzo (Westwood, Mass.) pinch ran for Torres and Bates went to their bench again for the very next at bat, bringing in first-year Pat Beaton (West Newbury, Mass.) to pinch hit. Beaton reached on an error, giving Bates runners at first and second with nobody out. First-year Will Sylvia (Newton, Mass.) pinch ran for Beaton.

Senior co-captain Ryan McCarthy (Plaistow, N.H.) singled through the left side. Sylvia advanced to second and DiVincenzo scored on the play thanks to an error by the Stags' left fielder.

Two outs later, with runners at second and third, senior Brendon Canavan (Carlisle, Mass.) singled in both Bobcats to cut the deficit to 5-4.

But Claremont's John O'Malley struck out the next hitter to secure the narrow victory for the Stags.

Junior Connor Speed (San Diego, Calif.) got the start for Bates and ran into some trouble in the bottom of the third inning. 

With one away, Kevin Nakahara singled to left field. Chase Eller followed that up with a single of his own, advancing Nakahara to third. Nick DeGallier drove in Nakahara with a sacrifice fly and Evan Opperman reached on a Bobcat error.

That's when Emmett Covello delivered a two-out, two-RBI double to give the Stags a 3-0 lead. 

Speed (0-1) pitched very well for Bates, tossing seven innings, scattering six hits, allowing four runs, only two of which were earned, walking two and striking out eight.

The Bobcats tallied eight hits on the day but left 10 men on base. 

They got a run back in the top of the seventh. 

Senior John Dinucci (West Hartford, Conn.) singled to start the frame. One out later, junior Asher MacDonald (Hillsborough, N.C.) got hit by a pitch. First-year Jack Arend (Newfields, N.H.) singled in Dinucci to cut the deficit to 3-1. Bates eventually had runners on second and third with only one out, but a strike out and a fly out ended the inning.

The Stags wasted no time getting the run back in the bottom of the seventh. Henri Levenson singled to start the inning. He advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and moved to third on a wild pitch. He would eventually score on a fielder's choice to put Claremont up 4-1.

They added what turned out to be a huge insurance run in the eighth inning. With two outs and nobody on, Jack Savard singled. Then Levenson reached on a Bates error, and on the play Savard came all the way around to score, extending the lead to 5-1.

Three of the five runs Claremont scored were unearned, while three of the four Bobcat runs were also unearned. Bates made two errors on the day and the Stags made four.

Sam Baughman (2-0) pitched five innings of shutout ball for the win. He allowed only three hits and struck out eight.

Dinucci went 3-3 at the plate for Bates with a run scored. He is now 11-18 (.611) at the plate to start the seaosn. First-year Kyle Carter (Plantation, Fla.) tallied the only extra base hit in the game for the Bobcats, a double in the top of the third inning.

The Bobcats have a little time off before they visit Brandeis for a doubleheader on March 11 starting at noon.