Baseball grabs early lead, falls to Augustana on third day of RussMatt Central Florida Invitational

Junior Jon Lindgren went 2-3 with a run scored and a walk against Augustana College on Thursday, February 21, 2019. (File photo by Theophil Syslo/Bates College)

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- The Bates baseball team took an early 2-0 lead, only to see Augustana score two in the third and four in the fourth on its way to defeating the Bobcats 10-3 Thursday morning at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational. 

Bates (0-3) collected eight hits and three walks but left eight men on base in the loss. The Vikings (3-0) tallied 10 hits and drew nine walks, leaving nine men on the bases.

The Bobcats got on the board in the top of the first against Augustana starter Chris Refka. Sophomore Christian Beal (Flossmoor, Ill.) got things started with a double to left. One out later, senior Dan Trulli (Melrose, Mass.) singled him home to put the Bobcats up 1-0. 

Bates added to its lead in the top of the second. Junior Pat Beaton (West Newbury, Mass.) got hit by a pitch and junior Leo Watson (Indianapolis, Ind.) tripled him in to make the score 2-0 in favor of the Bobcats.

But Refka (1-0) settled down after that and blanked the Bobcats for the next four innings. And after tossing a pair of shutout innings to begin the game, Bates starter sophomore Peter Schuldt (Winnetka, Ill.) ran into some trouble in the third. Will Troia doubled to center and advanced to third on a ground out. He scored on a passed ball to cut the Bobcat lead to one. Josh Barker drew a walk and Tyler Nunez singled him to second. Gunnar Haskins smacked a double but the Bobcats threw out Barker trying to score on the play. Unfortunately for Bates, another passed ball allowed Nunez to score, tying the game at two.

With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the fourth, Barker singled in a pair of runs to put the Vikings ahead for good. Nunez followed with a two-RBI double of his own to extend the Augustana lead to 6-2.

First-year Grant Iuliano (Waltham, Mass.) entered for Schuldt (0-1) in the fifth inning and impressed in his collegiate debut, tossing a pair of shutout frames. He did not allow a hit while striking out one and walking one.

The Bobcats got a run back in the top of the seventh. With one away, junior Jon Lindgren (Plainville, Conn.) smacked a double. Then with two down, first-year Andrew Chi (Closter, N.J.) singled him home to cut the deficit to 6-3.

But the Vikings added two runs in their half of the seventh and two unearned runs in the eighth to provide insurance down the stretch. Jake Huber hit a home run in the seventh and Augustana took advantage of a passed ball on a strikeout in the eighth.

Chi went 3-5 at the plate in the loss for Bates. He is now 6-14 with three RBIs through his first three games as a Bobcat. Lindgren went 2-3 with a run scored and a walk. He is off to a torrid start, 5-8 so far on the season with a pair of doubles.

Refka went seven strong innings for the win, scattering eight hits along the way. Nunez led the Vikings at the plate, going 3-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs. 

Bates looks to take the final game of the four-game set the Vikings Friday morning. First pitch is set for 10:30am.