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Webb powers baseball team past Wesleyan, 13-5





C. Burke


N.  Burke




LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates College baseball team spotted Wesleyan University four runs in the first inning before rapping out 16 hits en route to a 13-5 victory to start the teams' three-game series on Saturday at Leahey Field.

Bates sophomore catcher Gordy Webb (Hampden, Maine) clubbed two two-run home runs for the Bobcats (8-13) and sophomore Chris Burke (Andover, Mass.) went 4-for-5. Senior Ben Shwartz (Mattapoisett, Mass.; 3-0) earned the win, allowing all five of the Cardinals' (13-11) runs in five innings of work. First-years Karl Alexander (Cambridge, Mass.) and Tyler Kuehl (Plymouth, N.H.) both threw two innings of shutout relief to sew up the win.

It is the first visit to Bates for the Wesleyan baseball team since 1996. The teams compete in separate divisions of the New England Small College Athletic Conference. They'll play a doubleheader on Sunday at Bates, starting at 12 p.m.

The Bobcats scored two runs in the second and exploded for seven more in the third, all charged to Wesleyan starter Mike Barsotti (1-3), who allowed nine runs, six earned, on eight hits in 2 1/3 innings. Righthander Michael Cifuentes came on in relief of Barsotti and went the remaining 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs, three earned, on eight hits.

In addition to Webb and Chris Burke, junior Tom Beaton (West Newbury, Mass.), sophomore Noah Burke (Appleton, Maine) and sophomore Jake Simon (Waterford, Conn.) all collected two hits for the Bobcats, with Noah Burke driving in three runs and Beaton driving in two more. Sophomore Rich Velotta (Fairfield, Conn.) went 1-for-3 with three runs scored and two RBIs.

Drew Dominguez and Brice Kelly both had three of the Cardinals' 12 hits in the game, each going 3-for-5, with Kelly scoring twice and driving in two runs. Jeff Bizinkauskas went 2-for-2 and Julian Sonnenfeld went 2-for-4.

Wesleyan started the game off with four runs on six hits off of Shwartz, including a two-run double by Kelly and RBI singles by Justin Freres and Bizinkauskas.

Bates got two back in the second, as sophomore Pat Murphy (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) reached on an error and stole second, one of five stolen bases for the Bobcats on the day. Murphy came home on a ground-rule double by Velotta, who later scored on Beaton's single to right.

Bates broke out with seven runs on six hits in the third. The scoring started with Webb's first homer of the game, a low-trajectory rope that cleared the left-field fence and scored Simon, who had reached on a fielder's choice. Bates loaded the bases on signles by sophomore Noah Lynd (Meriden, N.H.) and first-year Michael Ciummei (Acton, Mass.), followed by Murphy's reaching base on an error. Velotta drew an RBI base on balls, and Beaton next was hit by a pitch for another RBI. Noah Burke dropped a single into shallow center to score Velotta and Murphy, and Barsotti was lifted for Cifuentes, who allowed an RBI single to Chris Burke before ending the damage by inducing a double play.

Wesleyan cut the score to 9-5 in the fifth. Derek Dettore led off with a walk and reached second on a wild pitch, but he was thrown out at home by center fielder Murphy on Kelly's single up the middle. Kelly scored, however, on successive wild pitches by Shwartz. It was one of two spectacular defensive plays by Murphy in center field. Earlier in the game he flipped over the fence in right-center to rob a Cardinal of a home run.

Bates made it 11-5 in the sixth on Webb's second two-run homer of the game, an almost identical shot to left, his fourth of the season.

Bates added two more runs in the seventh. Noah Burke's single scored Velotta, who had reached on an error, and he later came home on Simon's single to center.

BOX SCORE: Bates 13, Wesleyan 5