Baseball splits a pair of games with Plymouth State

First-year Bryan Gotti went 3-5 with two doubles and two RBIs in game two of the Bates baseball team's doubleheader against Plymouth State on Sunday, March 24, 2019. (Theophil Syslo/Bates College)

WATERVILLE, Maine -- The Bates baseball team split a pair of games with Plymouth State University, falling to the Panthers 5-3 in game one of the twin bill before bouncing back to win game two 6-3 Sunday afternoon on the campus of Colby College. 

The Bobcats (5-6) open NESCAC play Friday afternoon when they visit Tufts for a 3pm first pitch.

Game One: Plymouth State 5, Bates 3

The Panthers scored two runs in the seventh inning to take the lead for good, defeating the Bobcats 5-3 in game one of Sunday's doubleheader.

Alex Libby (1-0) pitched well for the Panthers, tossing seven plus innings of three-run ball, scattering five hits, striking out seven and walking two to pick up the win. Senior Justin Foley (Lynnfield, Mass.) pitched well for Bates but took the loss, going six and two thirds innings, allowing five runs on eight hits and striking out two. Foley (1-1) did not walk anyone on the afternoon.

Neither team scored until the fourth inning, as Libby and Foley started the game strong on the mound for their respective teams. In the top of the fourth, the Panthers got on the board with three runs. With one away, Josh Goulet doubled and Ryan Boldwin singled him home. Geoff Kayo executed a perfect hit-and-run, singling Boldwin to third. Then Andrew Salta doubled in both runners, putting the Panthers up 3-0.

Bates got one back in the bottom of the fourth. Sophomore Christian Beal (Flossmoor, Ill.) singled through the left side to start the frame. Beal stole second base and advanced to third on a wild pitch. With one out, junior captain Jack Arend (Newfields, N.H.) drove in Beal with a sacrifice fly to left field, cutting the Panther lead to 3-1.

The Bobcats evened the score in the fifth. Senior Dan Trulli (Melrose, Mass.) walked leading off the inning and junior Giovanni Torres (North Haven, Conn.) bunted him to second. The throw to first was low and Torres reached safely. Junior Pat Beaton (West Newbury, Mass.) bunted both runners over and junior Kyle Carter (Plantation, Fla.) doubled them in, tying the game at three. 

Neither team scored in the sixth and the Panthers took the lead for good in the seventh. With one out, Chris Mansour doubled down the left field line. Joe Routhier followed with a double of his own, putting the Panthers up 4-3. 

Torres made a spectacular leaping catch on a line drive off the bat of James Salta but Jimmy Zimolka greeted new pitcher first-year Jared Pantalony (Brooklyn, N.Y.) with a single up the middle, scoring Routhier and closing the book on Foley. Pantalony pitched well after that, tossing two and a third scoreless innings for the Bobcats.

Down 5-3, Bates threatened in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. Junior Jon Lindgren (Plainville, Conn.) singled with two outs in the seventh and Beal doubled him to third. But Libby struck out the next batter to end the frame.

The Bobcats chased Libby in the eighth when Arend walked to begin the inning and first-year Bryan Gotti (Westwood, Mass.) singled him to third. Alex Larson entered the game for the Panthers and promptly picked off Arend for the first out. Gotti advanced to second on the play and Trulli got hit by a pitch, putting runners at first and second with one away. A fielder's choice followed by a ground out ended the Bates threat.

In the ninth, Carter led off with a walk. Two outs later, senior Justin White (Whitesboro, N.Y.) delivered a pinch-hit ground rule double to left field. But Larson got Arend to fly out to end the game, earning his second save of the season.

Beal finished game one 2-5 with a run scored and a double. Carter went 1-3 with a double, a walk and two RBIs. The Panthers out-hit Bates 10-6 in game one, with Mansour and Routhier both going 2-4 at the plate.

Game Two: Bates 6, Plymouth State 3

The Bobcats tallied 16 hits and got some outstanding performances on the mound on their way to a 6-3 win over the Panthers in game two of Sunday's doubleheader.

Senior Brendan Smith (Hingham, Mass.) earned the win on the mound for Bates. Smith (1-0) scattered five hits over five innings of two-run ball, walking three and striking out two. Junior Miles Michaud (Madison, Conn.) was lights out of the bullpen, tossing two perfect innings and striking out three batters along the way. First-year Ian Tolis (Madison, Conn.) tossed a shutout inning of his own and senior captain Alex Simon (Windsor, Conn.) got the final three outs for the Bobcats.

Trevor Delesdernier (0-1) took the loss for the Panthers (7-6), going five innings and giving up four runs (three earned) on nine hits. He walked four and struck out three.

Bates grabbed the early lead in the bottom of the first and never trailed in the win. Beal singled and stole second base to get the offense going. One out later, Gotti doubled him in for the first run of the game. 

Then the Bobcats added three more runs in the third. Arend doubled to deep left to start the frame and Gotti singled him home. White followed with a senior of his own and junior Leo Watson (Indianapolis, Ind.) got hit by a pitch to load the bases. One out later with the bases still loaded, first-year Andrew Chi (Closter, N.J.) hit a slow roller to first, the Panther first baseman mishandled the ball and everyone was safe. White scored from third and heads-up base running from Watson led to a second run on the play, extending the Bates lead to 4-0.

Plymouth State got two back in the fourth. Ryan Richard reached on an infield single and Goulet drew a walk. One out later, Geoff Kayo singled in Richard and Andrew Salta drew a walk, loading the bases. Routhier grounded out to Torres, scoring a run to make the score 4-2. Smith got Gavin Cook to fly out, ending the inning with the lead still intact.

Bates picked up a pair of insurance runs in the seventh against Panther reliever Will Austin. Sophomore Colin Coyne (Falmouth, Maine) singled leading off the inning and Carter's perfect bunt resulted in a base hit, putting runners at first and second. Junior Will Sylvia (Newton, Mass.) followed with a bunt of his own. Boldwin, charging from his first base position, wanted to throw the ball to first but no one covered and everyone was safe, loading the bases.

Beal singled in Coyne and Arend singled in Carter to put Bates up 6-2.

Andrew Salta homered in the ninth but it was too little too late for the Panthers. Simon got a fly out, a strikeout and a ground out to end the game.

The Bobcats won despite leaving 13 men on base. Beal, Arend and Gotti tallied three hits apiece at the top of the order, with Gotti doubling twice and driving in a pair of runs. Carter finished his strong day by going 2-3 with a run scored and a walk in game two. White reached base four times in game two, going 1-2 with a run scored, two walks and a hit-by-pitch.

Bates pitching held the Panthers to just six hits in game two.