Baseball's bullpen shines in 4-1 loss to No. 3 Southern Maine

Junior captain Jack Arend tags the runner out at the plate in the Bates baseball team's 4-1 loss to No. 3 nationally ranked University of Southern Maine on Wednesday, April 24, 2019. (Theophil Syslo/Bates College)
LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates baseball team's bullpen threw five shutout innings against No. 3 nationally ranked University of Southern Maine Wednesday in a 4-1 loss for the Bobcats against the Huskies. 
Tanner Laberge (2-0) held the Bobcat offense to two hits over eight innings of one-run ball to pick up the win. He walked two and struck out five. First-year Jared Pantalony (Brooklyn, N.Y.) took the loss on the mound for Bates, allowing four runs on eight hits in four innings pitched. Pantalony (0-2) walked two and struck out one. 
USM (25-5) scored one in the first and two in the second to grab the lead for good against the Bobcats (13-13) on Wednesday. With one out in the top of the first, Andrew Hillier tripled to right field. Sam Troiano hit a ground ball to third and junior Giovanni Torres (North Haven, Conn.) threw out Hillier at the plate for the second out of the inning. But a wild pitch advanced Troiano to second base and Jake Dexter singled him home, putting USM up 1-0.

With one out in the second inning, Zach Quintal singled to center. Jonathan Wilson doubled down the left field line, driving in Quintal, and Jason Komulainen doubled in Wilson, making the score 3-0. 

Meanwhile, Laberge retired the first nine Bobcats he faced. In the top of the fourth, the Huskies added another run. Komulainen reached on an infield single with one away and Andrew Olszak drew a walk. A wild pitch moved both runners up 90 feet. Then Hillier hit a fly ball to right. Senior Justin White (Whitesboro, N.Y.) made a diving catch and Komulainen tagged up and scored, extending the USM lead to 4-0.

The Bobcats got to Laberge in the bottom of the fourth. White drew a walk to start the frame and junior captain Jack Arend (Newfields, N.H.) recorded the Bobcats' first hit of the contest with a single through the right side. The Bobcats pulled off a double steal and an errant throw from the USM catcher sailed into left field, allowing White to score.

That proved to be the final run of the game for either side. After first-year Bryan Gotti (Westwood, Mass.) drew a walk, the Bobcats tried another double steal, but Arend got thrown out for the second out of the inning. Laberge got the next hitter to ground out, ending the frame.

Junior Miles Michaud (Madison, Conn.), junior Cameron Carlson (Tampa, Fla.) and senior captain Alex Simon (Windsor, Conn.) combined to shutout the Huskies for the final five innings. Michaud worked around two hits and a walk in two scoreless frames, striking out one. Carlson struck out three batters and allowed just one hit in two innings pitched. And Simon retired the side in order in the ninth, striking out two.

Arend tallied his second hit of the game with a two-out single in the sixth. But Bates went down in order in the seventh and eighth innings. In the ninth, the Huskies brought in Dexter to pitch. And with one away, Arend reached for a third time, drawing a walk. Then sophomore Christian Beal (Flossmoor, Ill.) ripped a single to left, bringing the tying run to the plate. But Dexter got a strikeout and a ground out to end the game, securing his sixth save of the season.

The Huskies finished with 11 hits and the Bobcats tallied three. Each team committed one error. 

Olszak, Quintal and Komulainen recorded two hits apiece for USM. Arend finished 2-3 with a walk for Bates.

The Bobcats are back in action Thursday when they host the University of Maine-Farmington. First pitch is set for 4pm.