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Baseball splits doubleheader at Berry College

Karl Alexander '12 earned his first win of the season with a complete-game, seven-inning effort. (File photo)

ROME, Ga. -- The Bates College baseball team scored four runs in the top of the seventh for a 6-2 victory in the first game of a doubleheader Friday at Berry College. The host Vikings evened the twinbill with a 6-4 win in the nightcap.

The teams will conclude their four-game series with a doubleheader Saturday at 1 p.m.

The opening game was scoreless until the Bobcats scored single runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings to go ahead 2-0. Sophomore Ryan Sonberg (South Windsor, Conn.) led off the fifth with a triple to right, and junior Mike Ciummei's (Acton, Mass.) sacrifice fly scored him. In the sixth, senior Pat Murphy drew a one-out walk, stole second base, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on senior Jake Simon's (Waterford, Conn.) single. But Cory Pitts and Austin Neely delivered RBI singles in the bottom of the sixth to tie the score.

Bates broke out in the seventh, putting two runs on the board on senior Chris Burke's (Andover, Mass.) two-run single and two more on RBI singles by Murphy and Simon.

Pitts led the Vikings with two hits in the opener. Murphy, Simon and Sonberg collected two hits apiece for the Bobcats. Burke and Simon each drove in a pair of runs.

Bates junior Karl Alexander (Cambridge, Mass.) earned the victory with a complete-game effort.  He scattered eight hits, while striking out one batter and walking none in the seven-inning affair for his first win this season.

Berry starter Casey Gray (3-1) took the loss. He allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits in 6 1/3 innings of work. Gray struck out six batters and walked three. 

In the nightcap, Berry took advantage of a leadoff walk by Cory Pitts, who advanced to second when the next batter, Austin Neely, sacrificed Pitts to second base.  Zach Farmer then gave Berry a 5-4 advantage with an RBI double to deep right-centerfield.

Thomas Johnson then drew a walk, and Bates head coach Mike Leonard replaced junior righthander Demitrios Gatzogiannis (Wells, Maine) with Pat Siebenlist.  Siebenlist walked the first batter he faced, Jonathan Stump, to load the bases, then gave up a sacrifice fly to Cason Dremann to give Berry the two-run cushion.

The 6-4 lead was enough for Berry hurler Elliott Alexander, who retired the side in order on three ground balls in the seventh to seal the victory.

Berry (11-8) twice held a lead before the fateful sixth inning, jumping out to a 3-0 advantage in the fourth, thanks to a run-scoring fielder's choice by Brandyn Jackson, an RBI single from Drew McDuffie and a Jackson's dash home on a wild pitch.

But Bates would tie the score with three runs in the fifth, a frame highlighted by Chris Burke's two-run single to right.

Berry retook the lead in the bottom of the inning, thanks to Jackson's sacrifice fly, only to give it up in the sixth on senior Rich Velotta's (Fairfield, Conn.) RBI single. But Berry answered with its two sixth-inning runs to claim the win.

Farmer was 2-for-2 and drew a pair of walks for the Vikings.

Ciummei was 2-for-2 with a pair of runs scored for Bates.

Alexander (1-0) earned the win out of the bullpen for Berry. Alexander allowed one unearned run on two hits and a walk in three innings.

He came on in relief of starter Cameron Rich, who allowed three runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out one batter in four innings.

Gatzogiannis (1-1) took the loss, allowing three runs in 1 2/3 innings.

Game 1 Box Score: Bates 6, Berry 2

Game 2 Box Score: Berry 6, Bates 4