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Baroni, Bobcats top Tufts 3-0 in NESCAC opener

MEDFORD, Mass. -- Bates junior Tom Baroni threw a five-hit, nine-inning, complete-game shutout as the Bobcats won 3-0 at Tufts on Friday to open NESCAC East Division play.

Baroni (Mount Kisco, N.Y.), making his first appearance in 33 days, more than doubled his innings pitched this season in going the full nine innings, the first nine-inning effort of his college career. With characteristic pinpoint control, the lefthander issued no walks and allowed just five hits, including four singles, while striking out four. The Jumbos (7-6, 0-1 NESCAC East) only reached third base once in the seventh inning, when Nate Izzo hit a one-out double and advanced one base on a groundout.

The win snapped Bates' seven-game losing streak against Tufts, which began in 2010.

Bates (6-4, 1-0 NESCAC East) countered with six hits against three Tufts pitchers, scoring all three of their runs against starter Christian Sbily, who struck out seven in his seven innings. Sbily allowed an unearned run in the first inning before stringing together six straight shutout innings, then running into trouble in Bates' two-run eighth. First-year Conor Reenstierna (Lincoln, Mass.) drew a one-out walk, and first-year Samuel Warren (Norfolk, Va.) followed with a triple to center field, scoring Reenstierna for the insurance run. Sophomore Rockwell Jackson (Fort Worth, Texas) then delivered a single to right center to score Warren for the 3-0 lead.

Jackson also figured in the first-inning tally, reaching on a ground ball to the second baseman, who was charged with an error, then stealing second and coming home on senior Kevin McGregor's (Randolph, N.J.) single to center. McGregor's hit extended his hitting streak to eight games; the co-captain was 1-for-3 and saw his team-best batting average dip to .515.

Baroni finished off his shutout by retiring the Jumbos 1-2-3 in the ninth. He set down the last eight Jumbos in order, and 11 of the final 12.

The teams play a doubleheader at Huskins Field tomorrow as the series continued.