Baseball wins 6-5 at Plymouth State behind Shapiro's home run, save

Jake Shapiro hit a home run and earned his third save in Bates' 6-5 victory at Plymouth State University on April 24, 2017. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

PLYMOUTH, N.H. -- Junior Jake Shapiro hit his first career home run in the third inning and earned his third save of the season with a shutout ninth, as the Bates baseball team won 6-5 in a non-conference game Monday at Plymouth State University.

Plymouth State dropped to 13-14 with the loss. Bates (13-8) next hosts Southern Maine on Wednesday at 3:30pm. After this weekend's three-game series at Tufts, the Bobcats will meet Plymouth State again on Sunday in a doubleheader at Leahey Field.

Sophomore Justin Foley (Lynnfield, Mass.) started the game for Bates and raised his record to 3-0, departing after five innings with the Bobcats ahead 6-3.

Bates collected 11 hits off of three Panther pitchers, with senior Ryan McCarthy (Plaistow, N.H.), senior Brendan Fox (West Hartford, Conn.), junior Asher MacDonald (Hillsborough, N.C.) and senior Eric Vilanova (Bridgeport, Conn.) notching two hits apiece.

Bates tied the game at 1-1 in the second with Vilanova's RBI single, then added four runs in the third off of Panthers starter Cam Cossette (0-1). 

Shapiro (Sandy, Utah) homered to right field to lead off the inning, and the next three batters all reached base safely as well. First-year Will Sylvia (Newton, Mass.) was hit by a pitch and moved to third base on McCarthy's double. Fox singled to center to score Sylvia, and McCarthy then came home from third on a wild pitch. Sophomore Dan Trulli (Melrose, Mass.) later grounded out to score Fox from third.

The Panthers halved Bates' lead with two runs in the bottom of the third. Jarek Krajewski hit a two-out double to score Ryan Richard from first base, and Ryan Boldwin's single scored Krajewski.

Shapiro scored again in the fourth, drawing a walk and moving to second on McCarthy's two-out single. Fox then singled to left to score Shapiro for a 6-3 Bates lead.

Plymouth State's Cam Ruziak singled in the sixth, took two bases on Andrew Salta's single, then came home on a failed pickoff attempt to cut the lead to 6-4. Ruziak's sacrifice fly to left in the bottom of the eighth scored pinch runner James Salta, but Bates reliever Miles Michaud (Madison, Conn.) preserved the one-run lead, inducing two straight groundouts to end the inning.

Shapiro, who started the game in right field, came on to pitch the ninth and struck out the leadoff hitter, Josh Goulet. Shapiro walked Richard, but Richard was thrown out trying to steal second by first-year catcher Leo Watson (Indianapolis, Ind.). James Garnett's fly to center field ended the game.