Collins tosses complete game as baseball rallies to beat Bowdoin 3-2

Bates baseball came from behind to earn a 3-2 win over Bowdoin on Friday, April 19, 2019. (Theophil Syslo/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- Junior Nolan Collins did not allow a hit after the fourth inning, tossing a complete game to lead the Bates baseball team to a 3-2 victory over Bowdoin Friday afternoon in NESCAC East Division action at Leahey Field. 

Collins (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.) matched his career-high with eight strikeouts on the afternoon. He allowed five hits and walked just one batter. Collins (5-1) currently leads the NESCAC in strikeouts with 44 in 47 innings pitched this season.

The Polar Bears (5-18-1, 3-7 NESCAC East) led the Bobcats (12-12, 4-3 NESCAC East) 2-1 heading into the seventh inning. But with one away in the bottom of the seventh, Bates got a rally going against Bowdoin starter Brandon Lopez (1-4) when sophomore Colin Coyne (Falmouth, Maine) singled to left. Junior Jon Lindgren (Plainville, Conn.) followed with a double to right-center, chasing Lopez from the game.

Bowdoin brought in reliever Colby Lewis and senior Justin White (Whitesboro, N.Y.) battled at the plate, working a full count and drawing a walk. With the bases loaded, junior captain Jack Arend (Newfields, N.H.) wasted no time, jumping on the first pitch he saw and ripping a single down the right field line to put the Bobcats ahead 3-2.

Lewis got the next Bates batter to hit into a double play, but the Bobcats led for the first time on the afternoon. Collins retired the side in order in the top of the eighth, striking out the final two batters of the inning. 

The Polar Bears had a chance to tie the game in the top of the ninth. Chris Attisani reached on an error to start the frame, ending a string of 14 in a row retired by Collins. Gavin Cann bunted pinch runner Owen Gideon-Murphy to second. Collins struck out James McCarthy and got pinch hitter Brendan O'Neil to ground out to second, ending the game. Collins covered first on the play, securing the final put-out of his first career nine-inning complete game. 

Lopez took a hard-luck loss for Bowdoin, striking out 10 batters over six and a third innings. He allowed three runs on six hits and walked just one batter.

With two outs in the top of the first, the Polar Bears tallied four consecutive singles, plating two runs. Nick Merrill got the offense going with a single to left-center. Attisani followed with a single to left and Cann singled home Merrill. McCarthy followed with a single up the middle, scoring Attisani and giving Bowdoin a 2-0 lead.

Collins got Connor Lee to ground out, ending the inning. Collins allowed just one additional hit over the remaining eight innings, a Lee one-out double in the fourth. Lee got left stranded that inning thanks to back-to-back grounders to second.

After Lopez retired the first nine batters, the Bobcats tallied their first hit of the game when White doubled to lead off the fourth. He advanced to third on a passed ball and Arend drew a walk to put runners at the corners with nobody out. Lopez got out of the jam though thanks to a pop out, a strikeout and a ground out. 

With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Coyne got hit by a pitch. Lindgren followed with a single to left and White delivered a single of his own to score Coyne, cutting the Bowdoin lead to 2-1. Lopez struck out the next batter but the Bobcats trailed by just one run through five innings.

After neither team scored in the sixth, Bates took the lead for good in the seventh thanks to Arend's clutch hitting. The junior captain finished 1-3 with two RBIs and a walk. White and Lindgren both went 2-3 at the plate, with Lindgren scoring a run and White driving in a run. Both players tallied one double apiece. Coyne finished 1-2 with two runs scored. 

The Bobcats tallied seven hits and Bowdoin finished with five. Attisani paced the Polar Bear offense, going 1-3 with a run scored and a walk. Lee's double was the only extra base hit for Bowdoin. Each team committed one error. 

Bates and Bowdoin's scheduled doubleheader Saturday has been postponed until May 4. The Bobcats are back in action Monday when they host Thomas College at 4pm.