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Jumbos take first game of baseball's home-opening series

LEWISTON, Maine -- Tufts University took an 8-2 win over the Bates College baseball team on Friday in the NESCAC East Division opener for both teams, and the host Bobcats' home opener.

Tufts (9-3, 1-0 NESCAC East) scored three runs in the third inning off of Bates junior Michael Spinosa (Charlottesville, Va.), the only runs for either team through five innings. The Jumbos rallied with three hits after two outs were recorded, including doubles by junior Eric Weikert (Avondale Estates, Ga.) and first-year Wade Hauser (Palo Alto, Calif.).

Bates (11-5, 0-1 NESCAC) closed the gap to 3-1 in the sixth inning, as first-year Nate Pajka (Douglas, Mass.) drew a leadoff walk, advanced to third on a single through the right side by junior Kevin McGregor (Randolph, N.J.), and scored on junior Ryan Sonberg's (Windsor, Conn.) sacrifice bunt.

Spinosa hit junior Scott Staniewicz (Boca Raton, Fla.) with a pitch to lead off the seventh, then walked senior Sam Sager (Cranston, R.I.). Senior Matt Collins (Hopkinton, Mass.) moved the runners up with a sacrifice bunt before Weikert chased Spinosa with a single up the middle that scored Staniewicz. The Jumbos took advantage of a wild pitch, a sacrifice fly by Hauser and a Bates error to add two more runs in the inning after junior Mike Antonellis (Sudbury, Mass.) took the mound for a 6-1 lead.

After Bates added a second run in the eighth, again led off by a Pajka walk off of sophomore Dean Lambert (Cross River, N.Y.), followed by an RBI double to center field by sophomore Steve Burke (Bedford, N.H.). Lambert induced a groundout to end the threat. Tufts added two more runs in the ninth, as first-year James Howard (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) hit a two-out double off of Antonellis, and sophomore Nate Izzo (Saunderstown, R.I.) brought him home with a two-run home run to left field.

Tufts senior righthander Dave Ryan (Trumbull, Conn.) raised his record to 3-0 with his win, going seven innings and allowing just one run on three hits and seven walks, while striking out six Bobcats.

Spinosa (2-1) accepted his first loss of the season, and was charged with six runs (five earned) over six innings, giving up five walks and five hits while striking out five.

Howard led Tufts hitters, going 4-for-5, while Weikert was 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs. For Bates, Burke was 2-for-4 with the RBI double, and Pajka was 1-for-2 with two runs scored, a double and two walks.

The teams play a doubleheader at Leahey Field on Saturday, starting at 12pm (Live Stats / Audio).

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