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Alexander paces baseball to 9-4 win at Salem State

SALEM, Mass. -- Bates senior Karl Alexander threw six shutout innings, moving within one victory of tying for the team's all-time record for victories, to lead the Bobcats to a 9-4 victory over Salem State University on Saturday afternoon.

Alexander (Cambridge, Mass.), who walked one with one strikeout, allowed only three singles through the first six innings as the Bobcats built an 8-0 lead. The righthander is now 3-1 this season and 14-11 for his career, and has moved out of a tie with Dennis Gromelski '88 for sole possession of second place on the team's all-time wins list, trailing only Mike Kinsman '05, who went 15-7 for his career.

Bates scored first in the second inning on an RBI single by junior Kevin McGregor (Randolph, N.J.). The Bobcats increased their lead in the fourth when senior captain Mike Ciummei (Acton, Mass.) singled, stole second, and later scored on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Steve Burke (Bedford, N.H.) and throwing error by the Vikings. Sophomore Jeff Gunn (Atlanta, Ga.) followed with a sacrifice fly that made the score 3-0.

Two consecutive hits in the fifth chased Salem State starter Ed Deren, who gave up four hits in four innings with four strikeouts, and three earned runs. Cory Collins relieved Deren and sophomore Ryan Curit (South Portland, Maine), who had doubled, scored the first run of the inning on an error by the catcher after a stolen base by Burke. McGregor singled home Ciummei and sophomore Griff Tewksbury (Concord, N.H.) with the bases loaded, and Bates led 6-0.

Bates scored two more in the sixth, as sophomore Kevin Davis (Andover, Mass.) led off with a walk, then advanced to second when Curit was hit by a pitch. Tewksbury singled to score Davis, and first-year Nate Pajka later hit a two-out RBI single to score Curit for an 8-0 lead.

Salem State got back into the game in the bottom of the seventh. Bates used three pitchers in the inning to halt the rally. Sophomore Brad Reynolds (Louisville, Colo.) opened up with a strikeout, but was pulled after a double by Steve Buitkus. Junior Mike Antonellis (Sudbury, Mass.) relieved Reynolds, and following a wild pitch and back-to-back walks to Chris Cocci and Matt Burgess to load the bases, a balk plated the Vikings’ first run. Ethan Trowt added an RBI groundout and Kyle McElroy came through with a two-run single that cut the deficit to 8-4. But junior Michael Spinosa (Charlottesville, Va.) ended the threat by inducing a fly ball out.

The Bobcats scored another run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by first-year Sam Maliska (Palo Alto, Calif.) after Salem State reliever Matt Turmenne, who allowed two base runners, was replaced by Andrew Guido.

McGregor finished the game 3-for-4 with three RBIs and Tewksbury added three hits and two runs for Bates, which improved to 10-4. Salem State (11-5) was led by McElroy, who went 3-for-5 with two runs batted in.

Bates plays a nine-inning game Tuesday at Husson University at 4pm.

Box Score: Bates 9, Salem State 4