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Huskies, weather halt baseball team's comeback, 5-4

Mike Ciummei '12 went 2-for-3 with two runs batted in in Bates' 5-4 rain-shortened loss to Southern Maine. (File photo)

LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates baseball team came back from a 5-0 deficit to close the gap to 5-4, but the University of Southern Maine held on for a 5-4 win in a rain-shortened game on Saturday at Leahey Field. The game was interrupted by lightning with Bates at bat in the bottom of the eighth inning, no outs and a runner on first base, and after an hour's rain delay the game was discontinued, making moot the portion of the eighth inning that had been played.

Bates sophomore Michael Spinosa (Charlottesville, Va.) threw four strong innings in relief of senior starter Noah Lynd (Meriden, N.H.). Spinosa held the Huskies to one run in five innings pitched, though his 1-2-3 eighth inning does not count. The righthander officially went four innings and allowed the Huskies' game-deciding run on three hits and two walks, striking out one batter. Lynd allowed four runs on seven hits over three innings and took the first loss of his career, dipping to 2-1 on the season and 5-1 in his career.

Bates (18-15) reached USM first-year starting pitcher Logan Carman (Newfields, N.H.) for two runs in the bottom of the fourth, and the Huskies sent first-year righthander Nathan Veilleux (Belgrade, Maine) out to start the fifth inning. Bates scored a two runs off of Veilleux in the sixth before junior Greg Holmes (West Newbury, Mass.) came on to get the final out of the inning and leave a Bates baserunner stranded. Senior Mike Eaton (Sabattus, Maine), who started the game at first base, pitched a shutout seventh inning and also started the eighth for USM, and would up with his first save of the season for his efforts.

Lynd held the Huskies scoreless in the first inning, but USM struck for three runs in the second to assume the early lead. The Huskies led off with three straight hits -- a sharp single through the left side by sophomore Tucker White (Deerfield, N.H.), a double to left field by junior David Ricker (Winthrop, Maine), and an RBI single to right by sophomore Brett Barrett (Keene, N.H.). Ricker scored on first-year Troy Thibodeau's (Danvers, Mass.) one-out sacrifice fly, and Barrett scored the Huskies' third run on a single to left by first-year Forrest Chadwick (Gardiner, Maine).

The Huskies made it 4-0 in the third as Eaton hit his second double of the game to lead off, then scored on White's RBI single to center field.

Spinosa came on to start the fourth inning for Bates, and the Huskies scored what would become the game-winning run in that iinning. Thibodeau drew a leadoff walk, stole second base (USM's third steal of the game), then came home on Chadwick's single to center field.

After Carman held Bates scoreless over the first three innings on one hit, the Bobcats reached him for a pair of runs in the fourth inning to cut the lead to 5-2. Lynd, who had switched to designated hitter after Spinosa replaced him on the mound, led off with a double into the left-field corner, setting the Bates team record for career extra-base hits, with his 52nd. Lynd has 32 doubles and 20 home runs, moving out of a tie for the record with Ben Bines '01, who totaled 32 doubles, five triples and 12 home runs in a Bates uniform.

Sophomore Kevin McGregor (Randolph, N.J.) was hit by a pitch, and Lynd and McGregor were both moved up a base on senior Gordy Webb's (Hampden, Maine) bunt. Junior Mike Ciummei (Acton, Mass.) then drove in the Bobcats' first run on a single to center, and senior Jake Simon (Waterford, Conn.) hit a sac fly to center field to score McGregor.

With Spinosa setting the Huskies down in the fifth and sixth innings, Bates narrowed the gap to 5-4 with two more runs in the bottom of the sixth. Lynd was hit by a Veilleux offering to lead off the inning, moved to second on a sacrifice by Mcgregor, then got to third base on Webb's single through the hole. Ciummei picked up another RBI with another single to center field, scoring Lynd, and Webb scored on another sac fly to center by Simon.

Eaton moved from first base to pitch after Holmes walked Bates senior Noah Burke (Appleton, Maine) to lead off the seventh inning. Burke made it to second on a groundout by first-year Griff Tewksbury (Concord, N.H.), and Eaton, a lefthander, walked Lynd intentionally with the base open to face the lefthanded hitter McGregor, who struck out swinging to leave two runners stranded.

The Bobcats will take on Amherst on Sunday at Hadlock Field in Portland, the home of the Portland Sea Dogs, the Double A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. Slated for 5 p.m., the game takes place following the Sea Dogs' game against the New Britain Rock Cats, which starts at 1 p.m. The game can be followed via Live Stats and Audio Webcast.

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