BRUNSWICK, Maine -- The Bates baseball team outscored Bowdoin 17-1 over the course of two games on Saturday, sweeping the Polar Bears and earning a spot in the four-team NESCAC Championships.
Bates (19-14, 9-3 NESCAC East) defeated Bowdoin (6-23-2, 3-9 NESCAC East) in game one 6-0 and the Bobcats cruised to an 11-1 victory in game two. With the pair of victories, the Bobcats complete their best regular season in program history within the NESCAC East, sporting a record of 9-3 heading into next weekend's NESCAC Championships.
The Bobcats will take on NESCAC West Division champion Williams Friday at 2:30pm. on the campus of Colby College.
Bates baseball's rise in recent years within the conference has been impressive. The NESCAC Championships were established in 2001 and in 2014 the Bobcats finished 7-5 in conference play, qualifying for the tournament for the first time. They also finished 7-5 and qualified for the tournament in 2015, 2017 and 2018. Their 9-3 record this year is a new high watermark for the program within the division. In addition, the Bobcats' record of 19-14 assures them a winning season overall for the first time since 2013.
Bates has now qualified for the NESCAC Championships in each of head coach Jon Martin's three years at the helm.
Game One: Bates 6, Bowdoin 0
Senior Justin Foley threw his second consecutive complete game shutout, sophomore Christian Beal went 4-4 at the plate, and the Bates baseball team defeated Bowdoin 6-0 in game one of Saturday's doubleheader. The win officially clinched a NESCAC playoff bid for the Bobcats.
Foley (Lynnfield, Mass.) held the Polar Bears to four hits over his seven innings pitched, striking out five along the way while walking two. He has now tossed 14 consecutive scoreless innings.
The Bobcats got on the board against Bowdoin starter Brandon Lopez (1-5) in the top of the second. With two outs and nobody on, junior Kyle Carter (Plantation, Fla.) doubled to center. Then Carter showed off his wheels when junior Jon Lindgren (Plainville, Conn.) beat out an infield single to second base. Carter, running on contact, raced around third and scored on the play, putting Bates up 1-0.
In the top of the third, junior captain Jack Arend (Newfields, N.H.) drew a walk to start the frame and Beal (Flossmoor, Ill.) doubled him home. First-year Bryan Gotti (Westwood, Mass.) drew a walk and one out later junior Will Sylvia (Newton, Mass.) singled in Beal to extend the lead to 3-0.
Beal got the offense going again in the top of the fifth, singling down the right field line with one away. Gotti drew another walk and with two outs Sylvia singled in Beal.
Up 4-0, the Bobcats scored twice in the sixth and once again Beal was in the middle of things. With one out, Lindgren singled and senior Justin White (Whitesboro, N.Y.) and Arend drew back-to-back walks, loading the bases. Beal singled in Lindgren and Gotti drove in White with a sacrifice fly.
Foley (6-2) took care of the rest, working around a pair of walks in the sixth and retiring the side in order in the seventh for the complete game shutout. This comes on the heels of Foley's complete game shutout last weekend against Colby. Foley has three wins in NESCAC action this season. He also earned a victory at Tufts on March 30.
Beal's monster game included two runs scored, a double and two RBIs. Lindgren went 3-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Sylvia finished game one 2-4 with two RBIs. Carter added a double and a run scored.
Eric Mah paced Bowdoin at the plate, going 1-2 with a walk. Lopez allowed six runs on 10 hits over six innings pitched. He walked six and struck out three.
Game Two: Bates 11, Bowdoin 1
The Bates offense exploded for five runs in the second inning and the Bobcats never looked back in an 11-1 win over Bowdoin in game two of Saturday's doubleheader.
Junior Nolan Collins (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.) won his seventh game this season, tying him with Bates legends Thom Freeman '63 and Pete Shibley '76 for the second-most wins in one season in Bates baseball history. Collins (7-1) allowed one run on four hits over five innings, walking one and striking out four. The bullpen turned in excellent work as well, with senior Brendan Smith (Hingham, Mass.), sophomore Henri Pratt (Pebble Beach, Calif.), first-year Jared Pantalony (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and senior captain Alex Simon (Windsor, Conn.) combining to throw four shutout innings.
Offensively, the Bobcats took the lead in the top of the first after Arend doubled with one away and with two down sophomore Noah Loughlin (Mililani, Hawaii) doubled in Arend.
Then Bates really got to Bowdoin starter Ben Osterholtz (2-1) in the top of the second. Sylvia led off with a single to center and one out later Carter singled to center as well. Sylvia advanced to third on the play and Carter moved to second on a pitch in the dirt. That set up senior Dan Trulli (Melrose, Mass.), who singled in both runners to make the score 3-0. Arend singled Trulli to third and Beal got hit by a pitch to load the bases. Loughlin singled home a pair of runners and first-year Antonio Jareno (Marietta, Ga.) singled in Beal, making the score 6-0 in favor of Bates.
Trulli and Loughlin drove in runs in the third and fourth innings respectively and the Bobcats capped off the scoring with three more runs in the fifth. Lindgren doubled to start the frame and advanced to third on a wild pitch. With one away, Arend drove him in with a grounder to second and reached base safely thanks to a Bowdoin error. Beal singled and with two away first-year Andrew Chi (Closter, N.J.) singled in Arend. Sylvia doubled in Beal and Bates led 11-1.
The Bobcats tallied 14 hits in game two and held Bowdoin to six hits. Loughlin led the way, going 2-4 with a double and four RBIs. Beal followed up his 4-4 game in game one by going 2-4 with three runs scored, a triple and a walk in game two. Arend also scored three runs, while going 2-6 at the plate with a double and an RBI. Jareno finished 2-3 with an RBI and Sylvia went 2-4 with a run scored, a double, an RBI and a walk. Trulli drove in three runs and scored a run as well.
Lopez went 1-3 at the plate for Bowdoin in game two, driving in their lone run with an RBI double in the third inning. Osterholtz allowed six runs on eight hits in two innings pitched. Reliever Colby Lewis allowed five runs on five hits over 2.2 innings pitched. Beckett Slayton finished the game for Bowdoin with a strong performance out of the bullpen, shutting out Bates in 4.1 innings pitched. He allowed just one hit and struck out five.
Meanwhile the aforementioned Bates bullpen allowed just two hits while striking out five over four shutout innings.