Baseball sweeps Trinity, moves into tie for first place in NESCAC East

Senior captain Jake Shapiro earned the save in both games to help Bates sweep the Trinity College Bantams in a doubleheader on Saturday, April 21, 2018. (File photo by Theophil Syslo/Bates College)

HARTFORD, Conn. -- The Bates College baseball team swept a doubleheader with the Trinity College Bantams on Saturday, stunning the Bantams 5-3 with a late rally in game one and holding on to prevail 4-3 in game two. 

With the pair of wins, Bates (13-12, 6-3 NESCAC East) sweeps the three-game series and moves into a tie for first place in the NESCAC East Division standings. The Bobcats and Tufts both sport 6-3 records with three games remaining against each other. The Bobcats host the Jumbos for three games starting this Friday, April 27 at 3:00 p.m. at Leahey Field. Trinity wraps up the NESCAC season with a 7-5 record and is still alive for a playoff bid. Bowdoin (4-5) remains in the hunt as well with three games left. 

Game One: Bates 5, Trinity 3 (7 innings)

The Bobcats scored four times in the seventh inning to rally from a 3-1 deficit and win 5-3 in game one of Saturday's doubleheader with Trinity. 

Trinity starter Alex Shafer (4-3) had allowed just one run on six hits entering the top of the seventh. Two outs away from finishing the game, he walked pinch hitter senior Asher MacDonald (Hillsborough, N.C.) and Bates pinch ran with sophomore Pat Beaton (West Newbury, Mass.). But the next Bates hitter struck out and the Bobcats found themselves down to their final out, trailing 3-1. 

Beaton advanced to second on a wild pitch and pinch hitter first-year Noah Loughlin (Mililani, Hawaii) singled him to third. First-year Rob Matson (West Hartford, Conn.) pinch ran for Loughlin and sophomore Jon Lindgren (Plainville, Conn.) drew a walk to load the bases.

The Bantams brought in closer McLane Hill to face sophomore Jack Arend (Newfields, N.H.) and Arend drew a walk, forcing in a run and cutting the deficit to 3-2.

Sophomore Zach Avila (San Francisco, Calif.) stepped to the plate and delivered the biggest hit of his young career, a two-RBI single that put Bates ahead 4-3. Arend advanced to third on the play and scored on a passed ball to extend the lead to 5-3.

Senior captain Jake Shapiro (Sandy, Utah) entered the game in the bottom of the seventh and nailed down the save, striking out two to make a winner out of sophomore starter Nolan Collins (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.). 

Collins (2-2) tossed six innings of three-run ball, allowing four hits, walking three and striking out five. 

The Bantams grabbed a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Cooper Mooney walked to start the frame and Brendan Pierce doubled him to third. Trinity catcher Alex Rodriguez drove in Mooney with a sacrifice fly, Pierce advanced to third on the play and scored on a Ben Reinisch groundout. 

The Bobcats got one back in the top of the fourth. Arend singled to get things started and Avila followed with a single of his own. A groundout moved both runners up 90 feet and junior Justin White (Whitesboro, N.Y.) drove in Arend with an RBI groundout. 

In the bottom of the fourth, Trinity added an insurance run thanks to a Mooney double, a Pierce single and a double play that scored Mooney but also helped limit the damage to just one run.

The Bobcats went down in order in the fifth and left two stranded in the sixth before pulling off their big rally in the seventh. 

Bates outhit Trinity 8-4 in the game, led by Avila who went 3-4 with two runs batted in. Arend finished 1-3 with two runs scored, an RBI and a walk. Pierce recorded two of Trinity's four hits.

Game Two: Bates 4, Trinity 3

Avila's bases loaded walk in the top of the seventh broke a 3-3 tie and the Bates baseball team edged Trinity 4-3 in game two of Saturday's doubleheader. 

With the score knotted at three, Trinity starter Dan Marini (0-1) allowed a leadoff single to sophomore Kyle Carter (Plantation, Fla.) in the top of the seventh. One out later, senior Connor DiVincenzo (Westwood, Mass.) drew a walk. Then with two down, Arend drew a walk to load the bases. The Bantams brought Colby Fortin in to relieve Marini but Fortin also struggled with his control, walking Avila to force in the go-ahead run.

Up by one, Bates needed to record nine more outs to secure the sweep. Sophomore Miles Michaud (Madison, Conn.) came in to pitch the bottom of the seventh. He surrendered a one-out double but got a strikeout and a fly out to end the inning. 

Junior Alex Simon (Windsor, Conn.) hit a batter with one out in the eighth inning. Then he got a groundout and a strikeout to finish the frame unscathed.  

Shapiro finished things off in the ninth for his third save of the series and his team-record sixth of the season. Shapiro sports a 1-0 record with a 0.00 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 16.1 innings pitched. His six saves would have tied the former career record for the Bates baseball program, which he now owns with nine saves. Shapiro worked around a walk and a single to secure the series sweep. 

The Bobcats got on the board thanks to junior Dan Trulli (Melrose, Mass.) in the top of the first. Lindgren walked to start the frame and Arend doubled him to third. Then Trulli hit his team-leading third home run of the season to put the Bobcats up 3-0.

Bates starter junior Justin Foley (Lynnfield, Mass.) allowed two runs on eight hits over five innings pitched. He walked one and struck out four in a no-decision.

Down 3-0, Trinity got a run back in the bottom of the third. With one away, Johnny Stamatis drew a walk. Then Mooney tripled him home to cut the Bates lead to 3-1. Pierce doubled to lead off the bottom of the fourth. He stole third and scored on a Tyler Forgione sacrifice fly.

Senior Connor Speed (San Diego, Calif.) entered the game out of the bullpen in the bottom of the sixth. A hit batsmen eventually scored for the Bantams in the inning on a wild pitch, tying the game at three. But Speed (2-3) held the Bantams to just the one run and earned the win when Bates went ahead for good in the seventh.

DiVincenzo paced Bates on offense by going 2-2 with two walks in game two. Trulli and Arend provided the muscle with a three-run home run and a double respectively.