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Baseball sweeps Oglethorpe to finish Georgia trip at 5-2

ATLANTA, Ga. -- First-year Nate Pajka (Douglas, Mass.) homered in both games, and sophomore Griff Tewksbury (Concord, N.H.) homered in Game 2, as the Bates College baseball team wrapped up its season-opening trip to Georgia with a doubleheader sweep of Oglethorpe University on Saturday.

Bates (5-2) won Game 1 7-5, then rode the shutout pitching of junior Michael Spinosa (Charlottesville, Va.) for a 6-0 win in Game 2.

Bates got up 3-0 in the second inning of Game 1, taking advantage of three Oglethorpe errors and a two-run single by sophomore Steve Burke (Bedford, N.H.). The Bobcats added two more in the third, thanks to a single by senior Mike Ciummei (Acton, Mass.) and a pair of doubles by Tewksbury and sophomore Jeff Gunn (Atlanta, Ga.).

The lefthanded-hitting Pajka hit a solo home run to right field in the fourth to raise Bates' lead to 6-1. The Bobcats made it 7-1 in the fifth when first-year Mekae Hyde (Lewiston, Maine) doubled and scored on Gunn's single to center.

The Petrels (2-5) rallied for one run in the fifth and three more in the sixth to close the gap to 7-5. Sophomore lefthander Tom Baroni (Mount Kisco, N.Y.) left the bases loaded in the seventh to earn his second save and preserve the win for senior starter Karl Alexander (Cambridge, Mass.), who went six innings and allowed five runs on five hits and one walk.

Gunn went 2-for-3 in Game 1 with a run scored and two RBIs.

In Game 2, Spinosa set the tone from the mound by leaving one man on base and the Petrels scoreless over each of the first three innings. In the top of the fourth, he got the run support he needed for the win, as Bates scored a pair of runs on one hit -- a Tewksbury single -- and two Oglethorpe errors. Tewksbury stole home plate on a double-steal with Hyde, and first-year Rockwell Jackson (Fort Worth, Texas) scored on Hyde's fielder's choice.

Pajka doubled to lead off the fifth and later scored on a single by Ciummei. Tewksbury then came to the plate and belted a two-run homer to right field.

Pajka capped his exceptional day with another solo home run in the seventh. He finished 2-for-3 in the game with two runs and an RBI, while Tewksbury went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs.

Spinosa pitched six shutout innings, allowing just three hits and two walks while striking out seven Oglethorpe batters. Sophomore lefthander Chris Fusco (Annapolis, Md.) mopped up by pitching a shutout seventh inning.

The Bobcats will return to action on March 10, with a doubleheader against Worcester State College at Darien (Conn.) High School, starting at 12pm.

Game 1 Box Score: Bates 7, Oglethorpe 5

Game 2 Box Score: Bates 6, Oglethorpe 0