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Baseball drops two to Tufts, 3-2 and 8-4

LEWISTON, Maine -- Tufts University completed a three-game sweep of the Bates College baseball team in NESCAC East Division action on Saturday, winning 3-2 in Game 1 of Saturday's doubleheader before taking Game 2 by an 8-4 score.

Tufts (11-3, 3-0 NESCAC East) got all three of its runs in Game 1 in the sixth inning. Wade Hauser doubled to drive in Eric Weikert, who had walked. Tom Howard then homered to left field off of Bates lefthander Tom Baroni (Mount Kisco, N.Y.) to make it 3-0, Howard's first homer of the season.

Bates came back with two runs in the bottom of the sixth, including a one-out solo home run by first-year Mekae Hyde (Lewiston, Maine), his second of the season. Junior Ryan Sonberg (Windsor, Conn.) followed with a single and later scored on first-year Nate Pajka's (Douglas, Mass.) RBI base hit.

Kevin Gilchrist came on to pitch the seventh inning for Tufts starter Christian Sbily (2-1) and set the Bobcats down in order for his first save of the season.

Sbily allowed two runs on four hits and two walks over six innings, striking out five. For Bates, Baroni dropped to 1-1 in a solid outing, allowing three runs over six innings on six hits and a walk, and striking out six. Sophomore Brad Reynolds (Louisville, Colo.) pitched a scoreless seventh inning for Bates.

The Jumbos banged out 14 hits in Game 2, including 10 off of Bates senior starter Karl Alexander (Cambridge, Mass.), who went 5.2 innings.

Weikert doubled home Sam Sager to give Tufts the first run of the game in the third, and Hauser's sacrifice fly put the Jumbos on top 2-0 through three innings.

Bates made it 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth, when senior captain Mike Ciummei (Acton, Mass.) led off with a solo home run to left field, his first round-tripper of the season.

Reynolds came on in relief of Alexander after Tufts had plated three runs in the sixth inning, and he gave up an RBI single to Sager before leaving two Jumbos stranded with a strikeout. But the damage was done, as Tufts headed into the seventh with a 6-1 lead.

The Jumbos added two more runs on Howard's second two-run single of the game. Bates rallied for two runs with two outs in the bottom of the inning, taking advantage of a walk by junior Kevin McGregor (Randolph, N.J.), a Tufts error, and RBI singles by sophomore Jeff Gunn (Atlanta, Ga.) and Sonberg.

Freshman lefty Kyle Slinger went seven strong innings for Tufts, allowing three runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks to move to 3-0 on the season. Alexander, one win away from matching Bates' all-time victories record, accepted the loss for Bates to drop to 3-2.

Howard went 4-for-8 on the day with six RBIs. Hauser was 3-for-4 in Game 2, while Connor McDavitt, Sager, Weikert and Izzo all had two hits apiece.

For Bates, Ciummei was 3-for-4 in Game 2; Sonberg drove in a pair of runs, and McGregor was 1-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored.

Bates (11-7, 0-3 NESCAC East) will play a nine-inning game at Endicott College on Wednesday at 4pm.

Game 1 Box Score: Tufts 3, Bates 2

Game 2 Box Score: Tufts 8, Bates 4