WATERVILLE, Maine -- The Bates baseball team drew 24 walks over the course of two games on Sunday, defeating the Colby College Mules by scores of 9-4 and 12-0 in a doubleheader sweep at Coombs Field.
Bates was the "home" team on Sunday with the games being moved to Waterville from Lewiston due to field conditions.
The Bobcats (7-5, 3-0 NESCAC) are off to their best start ever in NESCAC play since the league formally became a playing conference in 1999.
Game One: Bates 9, Colby 4 (7 innings)
The Bobcats exploded for six runs in the fourth inning to defeat the Mules by a score of 9-4 in game one of Sunday's twin bill.
Sophomore Justin Foley (Lynnfield, Mass.) tossed four innings of shutout ball out of the bullpen to pick up the first win of his collegiate career. Foley allowed three hits, did not walk anyone and struck out a pair.
The Bobcats found themselves down 4-1 through three innings. In the bottom of the fourth, senior John Dinucci (West Hartford, Conn.) reached on an error. Senior Brendon Canavan (Carlisle, Mass.) drew a walk and a fielder's choice put runners at the corners with one out. First-year Kyle Carter (Plantation, Fla.) drove in Dinucci with a RBI grounder to cut the deficit to 4-2.
Junior Asher MacDonald (Hillsborough, N.C.) and first-year Will Sylvia (Newton, Mass.) drew back-to-back walks to chase Colby starter Bobby Forese (0-3) from the game. New pitcher Will Cohen walked senior captain Ryan McCarthy (Plaistow, N.H.) and first-year Jack Arend (Newfields, N.H.) to force in two more runs, tying the game at four.
The Mules went to the bullpen again and senior captain Brendan Fox (West Hartford, Conn.) greeted new pitcher Daniel Schoenfeld with a three-RBI double, putting the Bobcats up 7-4.
Incredibly, Fox's hit was the first of the afternoon for the Bobcats. They finished game one with only four hits. Meanwhile, the Mules accumulated 10 hits in a losing effort.
Bates drew 10 walks in game one while the pitching combination of junior Connor Russell (Cumberland, Maine) and Foley only walked one batter.
The Bobcats added two more insurance runs in the fifth.
Canavan walked to start the frame. He advanced to second on a Carter grounder and scored on a two-out RBI single off the bat of MacDonald. Sylvia followed with a single of his own and McCarthy got hit by a pitch to load the bases. Arend drew a bases loaded walk to extend the lead to 9-4.
Early on, the Mules did most of the damage offensively. They tallied two in the first on a Matt Garcia two-RBI double. Bates cut the deficit to 2-1 with a tally of their own in the bottom of the first. McCarthy got hit by a pitch and Fox drew a walk. Dinucci drew a walk as well and Canavan drove in McCarthy with a sacrifice fly.
But Colby went up 4-1 with a pair of runs in the third. Ryder Arsenault doubled to start the frame and Garcia followed with a single. Andrew Della Volpe drove in Arsenault with a sacrifice fly and Keenan Iuliano singled in Garcia.
But after Russell finished the third inning, Foley entered in the fourth and shut down the Mules for the remainder of the game, allowing Bates to pull off their biggest comeback win of the young season.
The win clinched Bates' ninth consecutive series victory over the Mules.
Game Two: Bates 12, Colby 0
The Bobcats swept Colby (3-10, 0-3 NESCAC) in a three-game series for the first time since 2013 with a convincing 12-0 win in game two of Sunday's doubleheader. They drew a season-high 14 walks in the victory.
Senior Anthony Telesca (Holtsville, N.Y.) turned in an outstanding performance on the mound, tossing seven plus innings of shutout ball, allowing only three hits, walking two and striking out four.
Fox had another big game at the plate, going 3-4 with two runs scored, a run batted in and two walks. Arend and senior Eric Vilanova (Bridgeport, Conn.) drove in three runs and drew three walks apiece. Carter added three runs batted in of his own. Bates actually missed out on a number of scoring opportunities, leaving 16 men on base in the victory.
The Bobcats scored a run in the first to take the early lead. McCarthy and Fox walked to start the frame. With one away, Canavan walked to load the bases and with two outs Arend walked to drive in McCarthy.
Bates held on to the 1-0 lead for the first four innings before they added two more runs in the fifth.
Dinucci got hit by a pitch and Canavan singled to put runners at first and second with nobody out. Vilanova bunted the runners over and the Mules tried unsuccessfully to get Dinucci at third, loading the bases. One out later, Carter drew a walk to force in a run. Then with two down, Sylvia drew a walk to make the score 3-0 in favor of the Bobcats.
Bates added two runs in the sixth, three runs in the seventh and four runs in the eighth to run away with the win.
In the bottom of the sixth, Fox singled and stole second. Two outs later, Vilanova and Arend drew walks to load the bases. Carter came up big with a two-RBI single to extend the lead to 5-0.
Sylvia singled to start the seventh and advanced to second on a passed ball. Fox singled him home to make the score 6-0. Dinucci followed with a single and one out later Vilanova tripled in two runs. Vilanova's triple is the first of his collegiate career.
With one out in the eighth, Sylvia drew a walk and McCarthy got hit by a pitch. Fox walked to load the bases and Dinucci drove in Sylvia with a sacrifice fly. After Canavan got hit by a pitch, Vilanova walked to force in a run. Then Arend capped off the scoring by singling in a pair to make the score 12-0 in favor of Bates.
Bates is back in action this Wednesday when they visit Thomas College for a 4:00 p.m. first pitch.