Baseball splits Senior Day doubleheader with Plymouth State

Matt Doyle was one of nine seniors honored on Senior Day on Sunday, April 30, 2017 at Leahey Field. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates baseball team hosted the Plymouth State Panthers on Sunday for a Senior Day doubleheader at Leahey Field, with the Bobcats dropping game one 7-1 and prevailing 1-0 in game two. 

The Bobcats (14-12) continue their preparation for the NESCAC Championships with a visit to Maine-Farmington on Tuesday for a 6:00 p.m. first pitch.

Game One: Plymouth State 7, Bates 1 (7 innings)

The Panthers scored six runs in the top of the seventh to pull away late for a 7-1 victory over the Bobcats in game one of Sunday's doubleheader.

Until the seventh, game one was a classic pitchers' duel between Bates first-year Nolan Collins (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.) and Plymouth State's Connor MacRae. 

Collins (0-3) surrendered a run in the first but settled down after that. Josh Goulet got the Panther offense going with a double to left center leading off the game. He advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Ryan Richard ground out to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead.

On Senior Day, senior John Dinucci (West Hartford, Conn.) showed off his arm when James Garnett singled down the left field line. Garnett tried to advance to second and Dinucci threw him out.

Senior captain Brendan Fox (West Hartford, Conn.) singled with two outs in the first but got left stranded.

Nate Frederick singled to start the second for the Panthers. Two outs later, Collins picked him off to end the inning. Collins continued his strong outing by striking out the side in the third.

In the top of the fourth, the Panthers put runners at first and third with nobody out on a walk and a single. They attempted to pull off a double steal but junior catcher Reed Mszar (Manassas, Va.) made a perfect throw toward second that Fox cut off. He fired home to get the runner trying to score for the first out of the inning. Collins picked off the other running try to steal third and struck out Jarek Krajewski to end the inning.

The Bobcats' best opportunity to tie the game came in the bottom of the sixth. First-year Pat Beaton (West Newbury, Mass.) delivered a pinch hit single to start the inning. Junior Connor DiVincenzo (Westwood, Mass.) pinch ran and the Bobcats bunted him to second. Senior captain Ryan McCarthy (Plaistow, N.H.) got hit by a pitch but MacRae (1-1) struck out Fox for the second out of the inning. 

Alex Larson entered the game and got the next batter to ground out, ending the inning.

In the top of the seventh, Richard and Garnett got the Plymouth State offense going with a single and a walk respectively. Krajewski singled in Richard, chasing Collins from the game.

A walk loaded the bases and Ryan Boldwin singled in two runs to make the score 4-0 in favor of the Panthers. Another walk reloaded the bases and one out later pinch hitter Mitch Sytulek singled in another run. A pair of bases loaded walks made the score 7-0.

The Bobcats got on the board in the bottom half of the frame. Sophomore Dan Trulli (Melrose, Mass.) reached on a dropped third strike. He advanced to second a ground ball and moved to third when first-year Kyle Carter (Plantation, Fla.) singled to center.

First-year Jack Arend (Newfields, N.H.) pinch hit for Mszar and blooped a ball into shallow center that got misplayed by Plymouth State's shortstop. The Panthers were able to force out Carter at second on the play but Trulli scored to make the score 7-1.

Arend stole second but Larson struck out the next batter to end the game.

The Panthers tallied eight hits in game one while the Bobcats recorded only three hits. 

Game Two: Bates 1, Plymouth State 0 (7 innings)

Sophomore Brendan Smith pitched a complete game shutout and the Bobcats earned a 1-0 victory over the Panthers in game two of Sunday's doubleheader.

Smith (Hingham, Mass.) earned his first career victory, holding the Panthers (16-18) to just three hits, walking one and striking out five along the way.

Dallas DeFrancesco (1-2) also tossed a complete game but took the hard luck loss. He scattered five hits over six innings, allowing one run and striking out three.

After Smith (1-0) retired the side in order in the first, the Bobcats scored the only run they needed in the bottom half of the inning.

First-year Will Sylvia (Newton, Mass.) doubled to start the first for Bates. He advanced to second on a Fox ground ball and scored on an Arend grounder.

Arend recorded both runs batted in on the day for Bates. He leads the team with 15 runs batted in this season.

Smith retired the first 10 batters he faced before Richard reached on an infield single in the top of the fourth. Richard stole second and with two away, he advanced to third on a wild pitch. But Smith got Krajewski to fly out to end the inning.

Smith retired the side in order in the fifth. In the sixth, the Bobcats made some key defensive plays to maintain the lead. 

Eric Leitch singled with one out. Then he attempted to steal second but Mszar gunned him down for the second out of the inning. Goulet drew a walk and successfully stole second. Richard followed with a single to right and Sylvia threw out Goulet trying to score on the play, preserving the 1-0 edge for the Bobcats.

Smith struck out the first two batters in the seventh and got Nate Frederick to ground out to end the game.

Bates honored its nine seniors: Fox, McCarthy, Dinucci, RHP Anthony Telesca (Holtsville, N.Y.), LHP Matt Casieri (Medfield, Mass.), RHP Robert Jones (South Berwick, Maine), INF Brendon Canavan (Carlisle, Mass.), OF Eric Vilanova (Bridgeport, Conn.) and LHP Matt Doyle (Northborough, Mass.) before the doubleheader began on Sunday.