May 9, 2011

            The Panther baseball team dropped a pair of non-league games at Bowdoin on Saturday, falling 7-2 and 16-7.

            Christian Martin tossed a complete game, allowing two runs, to lead Bowdoin in Saturday's opener. Brendan Garner's run-scoring double broke a 1-1 tie and put the Polar Bears ahead for good in the third inning. Bowdoin added another run in the fourth on a double from John Lefeber and plated four runs in the sixth with the big blow coming on a two-run single courtesy of Brett Gorman.

            Martin (6-1) took over from there, striking out six batters overall and allowing just five hits. John Wiet (2-3) took the loss for the Panthers after allowing six earned runs and walking eight over 5.1 frames. Gorman had two hits and four RBI for the hosts, who also received a pair of hits from Lefeber and four bases on balls from Garner. Sophomore Joseph Conway (Hummelstown, Pa.) had a hit and scored both of Middlebury's runs in the loss.

The Polar Bears scored 11 runs in the second inning and cruised to victory in game two. Leading 2-1 heading to the bottom of the frame, Bowdoin sent 15 batters to the plate, taking advantage of a hit-by-pitch, four walks and tacking on seven base hits to chase Middlebury sophomore starter John Popkowski (New York, N.Y.) (0-3). Garner had a two-run double to spark the rally while Tim McGarry and Adam Marquit both added two-run singles. Panther sophomore reliever Andy Dittrich (Woodbury, Minn.) allowed eight earned runs in 1/3 of an inning before junior Dirk Vanduym (Madison, Wis.) closed out the inning for Middlebury. Ben Higgins (2-2) tossed five strong innings, striking out six and allowing just three hits and one run to earn the victory for Bowdoin.

Kyle LeBlanc had two hits, including a solo home run, and three runs scored to lead Bowdoin, who also got two hits and four RBI, including a triple, from McGarry. Junior Zach Roeder (Keene, N.H.) reached base three times and had a double to lead the Middlebury effort, while sophomore Thomas Rafferty (Chicago, Ill.) went 2-4 with a double and two RBI.

            Middlebury split a pair of non-league games with Tufts on Sunday at Forbes Field, winning the opener 3-2, while dropping the night-cap 5-2. The games complete the regular season for both teams as the Panthers finish 15-14 and the Jumbos cap their 2011 regular schedule at 24-7-1. The teams will meet again next weekend in the NESCAC Tournament hosted by Amherst. The Panthers and Jumbos will tangle on Friday, May 13th at 3:00 p.m. at A.I.C.

In game one, sophomore Michael Joseph (Scarsdale, N.Y.) tossed a seven-inning complete game, striking out eight batters and allowing just a pair of runs. Tufts’ Dave Ryan also tossed a complete game, giving up three runs on seven hits over six innings.

The Panthers struck in the first inning with sophomore Thomas Driscoll (New Canaan, Conn.) singling to right center to start the game. Senior Donald McKillop (Poway, Calif.) later singled through the left side to score Driscoll. Rafferty singled to left center with two outs, plating senior Will Baine (Rye, N.Y.) who had been hit by a pitch.

            Tufts tied the game in the fifth with a pair of runs on three hits. David LeResche tripled to left center and scored on a single down the right field line by Eric Weikert. Ian Goldberg followed with a double down the left field line to knot the game at 2-2.

Middlebury answered in the bottom of the inning, as first-year player Alex Kelly (Rockville, Md.) walked and was bunted to second by Driscoll. A Baine ground out moved Kelly to third before he scored on a single to left by McKillop.

            Joseph finished strong in the seventh with a one, two, three inning as the Panthers picked up the win. McKillop went 2-3 with a pair of RBI in the game, while Baine was 1-2 with a triple and a run scored.

            In the night-cap, both teams collected six hits apiece, as eight of the 12 hits scored runs for both teams. The Jumbos were particularly efficient, using a pair of three-hit innings to score all of their runs for a 5-2 victory.

Middlebury took an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first when McKillop launched a long one-out double to left field, plating Baine from first base. After the unsuccessful throw home to get Baine, McKillop raced to third, with a wild throw from the catcher to third allowed McKillop to score.

Tufts, using their first three-hit inning, took a 3-2 lead in the top of the third. Tom Howard opened the frame with a single. Billy Collins followed reaching on an error during an apparent double-play ball to third base, pushing Howard to second. After LeResche knocked in Howard with an RBI single to left, Goldberg walked to load the bases with no outs. Sam Sager plated Collins to tie the game at 2-2. After a strikeout, David Orlowitz hit a SAC fly to left, scoring LeResche from third.

In the sixth, Tufts hit three long doubles to score two more runs. Orlowitz opened the frame with a double to left-center. After a SAC bunt moving Orlowitz to third, Ben Walkey hit an RBI double to right-center. Howard followed with his own RBI double to left-center for a 5-2 lead.

Tufts ace reliever Edward Bernstein replaced starter Pat O’Donnell (5-0) in the seventh. Bernstein, entering the game with a perfect 0.00 ERA over 22.1 innings, struck out the side for his seventh save of the year.

            Howard paced the Jumbos going 2-3 with a double and RBI, as Orlowitz and Walkey each added RBI doubles.

Baine and Morris paced Middlebury with multi-hit performances in game two, as Baine added a double. McKillop accounted for the Panthers only other extra-base hit with his RBI double in the first. Panther rookie hurler Dylan Kane (Sands Point, N.Y.) (2-2) took the loss, allowing five runs, three earned, over seven innings.
• Baseball team record: 15-14
• Up next: 5/13 vs. Tufts @ Amherst/A.I.C. – 3:00 (NESCAC Tournament)