WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- The Bates baseball team tallied 19 hits but the Augustana College Vikings scored three runs in the top of the ninth to take the lead for good, defeating the Bobcats 11-8 Wednesday morning at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational.
Every hitter in the Bates lineup tallied at least one hit in the loss. Trailing 8-7, the Bobcats (0-2) tied the game at eight in the eighth. Sophomore Christian Beal (Flossmoor, Ill.) got the rally started with a double to left. Junior Jack Arend (Newfields, N.H.) bunted him to third and senior Dan Trulli (Melrose, Mass.) singled Beal home.
But after tossing a scoreless seventh and eighth, junior Miles Michaud (Madison, Conn.) ran into trouble on the mound in the top of the ninth. The Vikings' Tyler Nunez drew a leadoff walk and Gunnar Haskins got plunked while attempting to sacrifice. Jake Huber walked to load the bases for Ryan Granneman, who was already 4-for-4 with a homer on the day. Senior captain Alex Simon (Windsor, Conn.) entered the game for Michaud (0-1) and Granneman greeted him with a single to center, driving in two runs for a 10-8 Viking lead. One out later, Sam Beyer squeezed in Huber with another insurance run.
The Bobcats refused to back down. In the bottom of the ninth, junior Pat Beaton (West Newbury, Mass.) singled with one away. First-year Bryan Gotti (Westwood, Mass.) stepped to the plate as a pinch hitter and singled as well. But Viking reliever Bryson Prusator (1-0) got a pair of ground outs to the stop the rally and end the game.
Bates fell behind 5-1 early in the game, with the Vikings scoring three in the first and two in the second. Trailing 3-0 after a half an inning, Bates got on the board in the bottom of the first. Beal singled to start the inning and Arend drew a walk. One out later, senior Justin White (Whitesboro, N.Y.) singled in Beal to cut the deficit to 3-1.
After being held scoreless in the second inning, the Bobcats exploded for six runs in the third to take a 7-5 lead. With one away, Trulli singled to right. White and junior Giovanni Torres (North Haven, Conn.) followed with singles of their own, loading the bases. First-year Andrew Chi (Closter, N.J.), Beaton, junior Kyle Carter (Plantation, Fla.) and junior Jon Lindgren (Plainville, Conn.) kept the hit parade going, with all four smacking RBI singles off Augustana starter Connor Berek. Lindgren's single drove in a pair of runs to put Bates ahead 6-5, although he got thrown out at second on the play.
Beal drew a walk against new pitcher Josh Chamberlain and Arend followed with a single to score Carter, extending the Bates lead to 7-5.
With Bates up 7-5 through three innings, the Bobcats relieved senior starting pitcher Brendan Smith (Hingham, Mass.) with first-year Jared Pantalony (Brooklyn, N.Y.) to begin the fourth inning. He tossed a pair of scoreless frames before running into trouble in the sixth. The Vikings scored three off Pantalony in the sixth, but only two of the runs were earned.
Neither team scored in the seventh before Bates tied things up in the eighth.
The Bobcats left 11 men on base in the contest. White, Beaton and Lindgren all tallied three hits. White and Beaton went 3-5 with a run scored and an RBI. Lindgren finished 3-5 with a double and two RBIs. Beal finished 2-4 with double, two runs scored and two walks. Trulli went 2-5 with a run scored and an RBI. Chi also recorded a multi-hit game, going 2-5 with a run scored and an RBI.
Bates couldn't get Grannemann out. He finished 5-5 with a home run, two runs scored and two RBIs. The Vikings finished with 14 hits and only left six men on base. Prusator quieted the Bates bats down the stretch, earning the win with four and a third innings of one-run ball. Bates uncharacteristically committed three errors in the field.
The Bobcats are back in action against the Vikings Thursday morning. First pitch is set for 11am.