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Heide sets single-season wins record as baseball splits





C. Burke



N. Burke



LEWISTON, Maine -- Bowdoin College clinched second place in the NESCAC East Division and a berth in the four-team NESCAC Baseball Championship with a 2-0 win over the Bates College baseball team in Game 1 of a doubleheader on Saturday at Leahey Field. The host Bobcats rebounded to split the twinbill with a 7-2 win in Game 2, to make junior Ryan Heide (Medfield, Mass.) Bates' all-time single-season winner with eight victories. Heide started the game at 7-1, tied with Pete Shibley's 7-1 season in 1976.

The Polar Bears (23-12, 6-6 NESCAC East) make their first trip to NESCACs since 2007 and will play Williams, the NESCAC West champion, to start the NESCAC Championship on Friday at Bentley University. Bowdoin hosts Southern Maine on Tuesday at 4 p.m. in its regular-season finale.

Bates (23-10, 6-6 NESCAC East) ran its school-record win total to 23, and tied Bowdoin and Trinity for second place in the NESCAC division. The Polar Bears move forward after taking two out of three from both the Bantams and the Bobcats.

Joe Pace blanked the Bobcats in Game 1, scattering five hits and four walks over seven shutout innings, while striking out five to raise his record to 3-2 on the season. Pace outdueled Bates sophomore Karl Alexander (Cambridge, Mass.), who submitted an excellent start, holding the Polar Bears scoreless over the first four innings and allowing two runs in a complete-game, seven-inning performance, allowing just seven hits with no walks while striking out six batters.

Bowdoin scored a run in the fifth as Dan Findley led off with a double, advanced to third on a groundout and came home on Reid Auger's ground-rule double that hopped the fence in center field. Alexander struck out Matt Ruane looking to end the damage.

But the Polar Bears got an insurance run in the sixth. Brett Gorman hit a one-out single, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a single to left by Joe Comizio.

Pace got senior Tom Beaton (West Newbury, Mass.) to ground out to second for the final out in the seventh to clinch the 2-0 win and the playoff spot, rendering Game 2 less meaningful.

Still, Bates rallied for six runs in the third inning off of Bowdoin starter Tim Welch (4-2). The scoring started with junior Pat Murphy (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) and Beaton hitting back-to-back singles, but Beaton's hit to right field was mishandled for a two-base error, scoring Murphy and putting Beaton at third. Junior Chris Burke (North Andover, Mass.) knocked in Beaton with a single to left. Burke made it to second on a groundout, then scored on junior Gordy Webb's (Hampden, Maine) RBI single to left. After junior Jake Simon (Waterford, Conn.) singled, junior Noah Burke (Appleton, Maine) walked to load the bases for Rich Velotta (Fairfield, Conn., who delivered a sharp two-run single to right. The right fielder overran the ball, allowing Webb to score Bates' sixth run.

Bates took the 6-0 lead into the seventh inning, when Bowdoin finally reached Heide with a solo home run by Auger to left field. The Bobcats got the run back in the eighth as Murphy singled, his third hit of the game, then would get to third as Bowdoin pitcher Ian Edwards' pickoff attempt sailed high. Murphy then came home on a wild pitch by Edwards to make it 7-1.

Heide pitched into the ninth, when Auger hit a one-out, RBI single to left. Bates head coach Edwin Thompson summoned first-year Mike Antonellis (Sudbury, Mass.), who got the next two outs in order for the win.

Beaton and Murphy both had three hits apiece for Bates in Game 2, while Auger led the Polar Bears' offense with two hits, including a homer, and two RBIs.

Bates hosts Fisher College on Tuesday in a doubleheader starting at 5 p.m. The season concludes with another non-conference game at Southern Maine on Wednesday at 4 p.m.

Link to Box Score and Play by Play:

Game 1: Bowdoin 2, Bates 0

Game 2: Bates 7, Bowdoin 2