Telesca shines but baseball drops a pair of games to Trinity

Junior Asher MacDonald doubled in a run and scored a run as well in game one of Sunday's doubleheader against Trinity. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- Senior Anthony Telesca threw a complete game four-hitter, only allowing one run and striking out a career-high eight along the way in game two of Sunday's doubleheader against Trinity, but the Bates baseball team dropped both halves of the twin bill by scores of 6-2 and 1-0 respectively. 

The Bobcats (12-8, 7-2 NESCAC) are still in first place in the NESCAC East Division. They are one game ahead of Tufts with three games remaining starting this Friday at 3:00 p.m. in Medford, Mass. against the Jumbos to wrap up the conference schedule. Sunday's doubleheader marked the final two games in NESCAC play this year for the Bantams (15-13, 5-7 NESCAC).

Bates must take at least two of three next week against Tufts to win the East Division. They have already clinched a spot in the four-team NESCAC tournament.

Game One: Trinity 6, Bates 2 (7 innings)

Trinity first-year Alex Shafer struck out nine batters over the course of six and two thirds innings to lead the Bantams to a 6-2 win over the Bobcats in game one of Sunday's doubleheader.

The Bantams scored early against junior Connor Speed (San Diego, Calif.), who tossed four innings and struck out five batters on the afternoon.

In the top of the first, Nick Dibenedetto singled with two outs. He stole second and swiped third as well when Brendan Pierce drew a walk, putting runners at the corners with two outs. Carter Snyder ripped a single into right, scoring Dibenedetto and advancing Pierce to third. Then with Alex Rodriguez at the plate, Snyder purposefully got into a rundown and Pierce scored before Bates tagged Snyder out to end the inning.

Already down 2-0, Speed (1-3) allowed three runs in the second inning, only one of which was earned. Rodriguez singled to start the frame and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Cooper Mooney reached on an infield single, putting runners at the corners with nobody out. Jake Bennett singled in Rodriguez, extending the Bantam lead to 3-0. Speed retired the next two batters, but a Bobcat error on a groundball off the bat of Matt Koperniak allowed two more runs to score.

Down 5-0, Bates couldn't get much going on offense against Shafer (2-1).

Sophomore Dan Trulli (Melrose, Mass.) singled to start the bottom of the second and stole second to get into scoring position. But Shafer struck out the side, leaving Trulli stranded.

In the bottom of the third, senior captain Ryan McCarthy (Plaistow N.H.) drew a lead-off walk. But he got caught stealing and with two away senior Brendon Canavan (Carlisle, Mass.) singled. He got left on base when Shafer struck out the next batter.

Trulli singled with one out in the fourth. Two straight groundouts ended the inning.

Sophomore Brendan Smith (Hingham, Mass.) entered the game out of the bullpen for Speed in the top of the fifth. Speed gave up five runs (three earned) over his four innings on the mound. Smith tossed a scoreless fifth and a perfect sixth inning.

Meanwhile Bates went down in order in the fifth and senior captain Brendan Fox (West Hartford, Conn.) drew a one-out walk in the sixth. A double play instantly killed any scoring hopes in that inning however.

The Bantams added to their lead in the seventh thanks to Ben Reinisch double and a Koperniak RBI single.

Bates finally broke through with two runs in the bottom half of the inning.

With one out, first-year Leo Watson (Indianapolis, Ind.) drew a pinch-hit walk. First-year Connor DiVincenzo (Westwood, Mass.) pinch ran and junior Asher MacDonald (Hillsborough, N.C.) doubled him home. 

MacDonald's double chased Shafer from the game. Trinity brought in McLane Hill to finish off the inning. Hill retired the first batter he faced but McCarthy delivered an RBI single to cut the Bantam lead to 6-2.

First-year Kyle Carter (Plantation, Fla.) drew a walk and both runners advanced 90 feet on a wild pitch. Unfortunately for Bates, Hill got Canavan to ground out, ending the game.

The Bantams outhit Bates 9-6 in game one, with Mooney leading the way, going 2-3 with a run scored at the plate. Trulli went 2-3 for Bates and MacDonald recorded the Bobcats' only extra-base hit of the contest.

Game Two: Trinity 1, Bates 0

Trinity senior captain Chris Speer made his first start of the year worth the wait for the Bantams, going the distance and shutting out Bates while holding the Bobcats to just two hits in Trinity's 1-0 win in game two of Sunday's doubleheader.

Speer's performance included five strikeouts and just one walk. Meanwhile senior Anthony Telesca (Holtsville, N.Y.) dominated on the mound as well for the Bobcats, with a career-high eight strikeouts and only one walk in a complete game effort. Telesca (3-2) gave up just one run in a hard luck loss.

Telesca survived a rocky top of the first, where he walked the lead-off man and hit the second batter he faced. The Bobcats turned a 6-4-3 double play, then Telesca hit another batter, putting runners at the corners with two outs. He got Snyder to fly out, ending the inning unscathed.

Canavan drew a two-out walk in the bottom of the first against Speer but got left stranded when Fox lined out to left.

In the top of the fourth, Pierce went deep for his NESCAC-leading fourth home run of the season.

That's all the offense Speer needed.

The Bobcats recorded their first hit of the game in the bottom of the fifth on a Trulli single through the left side. He advanced to second with two away but MacDonald struck out to end the inning.

First-year Jack Arend (Newfields, N.H.) singled with two outs in the seventh for Bates' second and final hit of the day.

Telesca retired 15 batters in a row down the stretch until Rodriguez reached on an error in the ninth. Telesca got Mooney to ground out to end the inning, setting up the Bobcats' last chance against Speer.

McCarthy reached on an error to start the bottom of the ninth, giving the Bobcat faithful hope. But a double play and a strikeout quickly ended the game.

The 1-0 defeat marks the first time this year the Bobcats have been shutout.

They travel to Plymouth State on Monday for a 4:00 p.m. first pitch.