Sylvia's big day at the plate not enough as baseball drops a pair of games to No. 10 Tufts

First-year Will Sylvia raised his batting average to .347 on the season thanks to his 4-6 day against No. 10 Tufts on Saturday, April 29, 2017. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

MEDFORD, Mass. -- First-year Will Sylvia went 4-6 at the plate with three runs scored over the course of two games on Saturday but the Bates baseball team fell to No. 10 nationally ranked Tufts in both contests by scores of 9-1 and 6-4 respectively.

The Bobcats (13-11, 7-5 NESCAC) finish their NESCAC regular season schedule in second place in the east division to the Jumbos (25-5-1, 9-3 NESCAC).

Bates hosts Plymouth State in a doubleheader on Sunday starting at noon. Sunday is Senior Day and the Bobcats will honor their nine seniors including senior captains Ryan McCarthy (Plaistow, N.H.) and Brendan Fox (West Hartford, Conn.) before the twin bill.  

Bates still has six road games after Sunday in preparation for the NESCAC Championships, hosted by Colby College, May 12-14.

By finishing second in the east division this season, the Bobcats qualified for the four-team NESCAC Championships for the third time in the last four years.

Game One: No. 10 Tufts 9, Bates 1 (7 innings)

The Jumbos scored two in the second and three in the fifth to take a commanding advantage in their 9-1 victory over the Bobcats in game one of Saturday's doubleheader.

The Bobcats jumped out to the early lead against Tufts starter Tim Superko (5-0). Sylvia (Newton, Mass.) got hit by a pitch to begin the top of the first. One out later, Fox singled and Sylvia moved to third on a Tufts error. Senior Brendon Canavan (Carlisle, Mass.) singled in Sylvia to give the Bobcats a 1-0 edge.

Tufts didn't waste much time coming back. Mike McLaughlin homered to lead off the bottom of the second and one out later Casey Santos-Ocampo doubled to left center. Then with two away, Will Shackelford singled in Santos-Ocampo, giving the Jumbos the lead for good.

The Jumbos chased Bobcat starting pitcher junior Connor Russell (Cumberland, Maine) in the third inning. Tommy O'Hara walked to start the inning and Nick Falkson got hit by a pitch. McLaughlin singled in O'Hara to extend the Jumbo lead to 3-1. Bates brought in sophomore Justin Foley (Lynnfield, Mass.) out of the bullpen. Malcolm Nachmanoff reached on an error and Falkson scored to make the score 4-1. Then Santos-Ocampo doubled in a run and two outs later Tom Petry singled in two to extend the lead to 7-1.

The Jumbos added one in the fifth and one more in the sixth.

Meanwhile Bates only recorded five hits on offense. They loaded the bases with one out in the fifth on a Sylvia walk, a McCarthy single and a Canavan walk. But new pitcher Brad Marchetti induced an inning-ending double play to get out of the jam.

The Bobcats went down in order in the sixth and got a one-out single from Sylvia in the seventh. But that was it as the Jumbos clinched the division title.

Sylvia went 2-2 with a run scored and a walk in game one. Canavan finished 1-2 with a run batted in and a walk.

Game Two: No. 10 Tufts 6, Bates 4

Nick Falkson hit a walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Jumbos the 6-4 victory in game two of Saturday's twin bill. 

Trailing 4-3 entering the top of the ninth, Bates rallied against Tufts closer Ian Kinney. Sylvia reached on an infield single to start the inning. One out later, he stole second and Fox singled him home to even the contest at four apiece. The Bobcats were unable to do further damage as a line out and a foul out ended the inning. 

With one out and nobody on in the bottom of the ninth, first-year Miles Michaud (Madison, Conn.) hit O'Hara with a pitch. That's when Falkson went deep, winning the game for Tufts.

Bates jumped out to a 3-0 lead in game two, chasing Jumbo starter R.J. Hall after just two thirds of an inning. 

Sylvia walked to begin the game. McCarthy followed with an RBI double to give the Bobcats a 1-0 edge. McCarthy advanced to third on a fly ball and scored on a wild pitch. With two outs, first-year Jack Arend (Newfields, N.H.) reached on an infield single. Sophomore Dan Trulli (Melrose, Mass.) drew a walk and that was it for Hall. Tufts brought in Rory Ziomek out of the bullpen.

Ziomek walked first-year Leo Watson (Indianapolis, Ind.) to load the bases. Then he uncorked a wild pitch, scoring Arend and pushing the Bobcat lead to 3-0.

The Jumbos got a run back in the bottom of the first against Bates starter senior Anthony Telesca (Holtsville, N.Y.). 

Petry and Oscar Kutch singled to start the frame. O'Hara walked to load the bases with nobody out. Two outs later, the Jumbos got on the board thanks to a wild pitch.

Tufts tied things up in the bottom of the second.

Ryan Day singled and Harry Brown walked to start the inning. One out later, Petry singled home a run and Kutch delivered a sacrifice fly, knotting things up at three.

Neither team scored again until the bottom of the sixth.

With one away in the sixth, Brown doubled. He advanced to third on a balk and scored on a passed ball to give the Jumbos a 4-3 lead.

Telesca ended up getting a no-decision thanks to Bates tying the game in the ninth. He went six innings, scattering six hits, giving up four runs (three earned), walking three and striking out four. 

Michaud (0-2) tossed a scoreless seventh and eighth before giving up the walk-off homer in the ninth. 

Each team recorded nine hits in game two. Sylvia went 2-4 with two runs scored and a walk. Fox went 2-5 with a run batted in and Arend went 2-5 with a run scored.