Middlebury Splits Pair of Games with Bowdoin

May 3, 2014

The Middlebury baseball team split a pair of low-scoring games at Forbes Field on a breezy Saturday against Bowdoin. The Polar Bears earned a come-from-behind 2-1 win in game one, but the Panthers rebounded for a 3-2 victory in the nightcap. Middlebury concludes its season with a 12:30 p.m. home doubleheader on Sunday against Tufts, while the Polar Bears play a single game at Saint Joseph’s.

In game one, the Panthers (5-22) got on the scoreboard in the first inning. Alex Kelly led off with a single up the middle. He advanced to second on an errant pickoff throw from Bowdoin starting pitcher Erik Jacobsen, and promptly moved to third on a fly out off the bat of Jason Lock. Kelly raced home on a run-scoring single to center field from Joe MacDonald.

The score remained that way until the fifth inning when Bowdoin strung together three-consecutive hits and tied the game at 1-1. Sam Canales started things off with a double down the right-field line, and moved to third on a bunt base hit from Duncan Taylor. Sean Mullaney singled through the left side of the infield, bringing Canales home. Following a pop-up on a bunt attempt and a groundout, the Polar Bears loaded the bases on a walk by Cole DiRoberto. However, Middlebury starter Eric Truss worked out of the jam getting Chad Martin to foul out to first.

Bowdoin (18-15-1) plated the winning run in the top of the seventh off Truss. The Polar Bears started their rally with one out. Aaron Rosen walked and moved to second a groundout by DiRoberto. Martin placed a seeing-eye single that fell between the second baseman charging out and both outfielders moving in, scoring Rosen from second.

In the bottom of the seventh, Middlebury got a two-out double from Ryan Rizzo, but Bowdoin reliever Jon Fraser struck out Kelly to end the ballgame.

Jacobsen went the 3.0 innings allowing just the one unearned run on five hits with three strikeouts. Harry Ridge (4-2) picked up the win, also throwing 3.0 innings with just two hits and a pair of strikeouts. Fraser picked up his first save of the year.

John Lefeber was 2-4 at the plate for Bowdoin, while Canales and Taylor each posted 2-3 performances.

Truss (0-7) took the loss for the Panthers, going all seven innings. He was charged with two runs on nine hits, struck out two and walked two. Kelly went 2-4 at the plate for Middlebury, while six other batters had one hit for the hosts.

In the nightcap, Bowdoin took the lead in the third with a run on a hit and were aided by a Panther error. With one out, Mullaney walked. After Middlebury starter Dylan Kane recorded a strikeout, DiRoberto singled down the right-field line as Mullaney scampered to third. In an effort to keep DiRoberto close at first, Kane quickly fired over but was a bit errant as his throw skipped away just far enough to allow Mullaney to score from third.

Trailing 1-0, Middlebury did all its damage in the bottom of the fourth with three runs on four hits. Jason Lock led off with a single and moved to second via a wild pitch. Max Araya singled through the right side, as Lock stopped at third. With runners on the corners and no outs, MacDonald doubled down the left field line, scoring Lock and moving Araya to third. Both runners moved up on a balk, and MacDonald scored Middlebury’s third run of the frame on a single back up the middle from Johnny Read.

Down 3-1, Bowdoin cut the Middlebury lead in half with a run on two hits in the sixth. Martin singled up the middle and Lefeber followed with a single to right-center off Kane. With runners on first and second, Jake Stalcup came on in relief. Canales laid down a sacrifice bunt, advancing both Polar Bears. Tom Wells followed with a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Martin. Stalcup struck out Bjorn Hansen to end the Bowdoin threat.

The Panthers went in order in the sixth, while Stalcup induced a groundout and a pair of punchouts to pick up his first save of the spring.

Michael Staes (3-2) went the first 5.0 innings for Bowdoin. He was charged with three runs on five hits and struck out three. Sam Herzig worked a perfect sixth in relief. Martin was 2-3 at the plate with a run scored.

Kane (1-3) went 5.0 innings. He surrendered two runs, one earned, on five hits with three strikeouts and a walk.