Defensive miscues cost baseball in 4-3 loss to No. 10 Tufts

First-year Jack Arend hit his first career home run on April 28, 2017 at No. 10 nationally ranked Tufts. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

MEDFORD, Mass. -- Junior Connor Speed turned in an outstanding performance on the mound and first-year catcher Jack Arend homered but No. 10 nationally ranked Tufts scored four unearned runs off five Bates errors to defeat the Bobcat baseball team 4-3 Friday afternoon. 

The Bobcats (13-9, 7-3 NESCAC) led 3-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth. With one away, Nick Falkson walked and Mike McLaughlin got hit by a pitch. Casey Santos-Ocampo hit a grounder to short and the throw to second was wild, allowing Falkson to score and McLaughlin to advance to third.

With the game tied at three, pinch hitter Ryan Day delivered a two-out RBI single to put Tufts (23-5-1, 7-3 NESCAC) on top for good. 

Speed (San Diego, Calif.) tossed a complete game, giving up four runs, none earned, on six hits. He walked two and struck out three.

Each team scored a run in the first.

With one down in the top of the first, senior captain Ryan McCarthy (Plaistow, N.H.) singled to right of Tufts ace Speros Varinos (8-0). He advanced to second on a ground out and scored on a two-out RBI double from senior Brendon Canavan (Carlisle, Mass.) to put Bates up 1-0. 

Poor defense hurt the Bobcats right away. With two outs and nobody on in the bottom of the first, Speed (1-4) walked Tommy O'Hara. Falkson followed with a single. Then McLaughlin reached on a Bobcat error. O'Hara scored on play, tying the game at one.

Harrison Frickman reached on a Bates error to start the second and advanced to second on the play. One out later, Tom Petry reached on another Bobcat error and Frickman scored to give Tufts a 2-1 lead.

Bates tied things up in the fifth. Junior Asher MacDonald (Hillsborough, N.C.) singled to start the frame. The Bobcats bunted him to second and with two away he came around to score when first-year Will Sylvia (Newton, Mass.) reached on a Tufts error.

Arend (Newfields, N.H.) stepped to the plate to lead-off the top of the seventh and smacked his first career home run, putting the Bobcats up 3-2.

Speed faced the minimum in the seventh before the Jumbos rallied in the eighth.

Ian Kinney tossed a 1-2-3 ninth inning to earn his fifth save of the season.

Each team recorded six hits in the game. The Bobcats' five errors matches the most they have made in one game this season.

Bates needs to sweep Saturday's doubleheader against the Jumbos to win the east division title. First pitch of the twin bill is set for 12:00 p.m.