MEDFORD, Mass. -- Junior Kevin Davis keyed a Game 2 win with a two-run double as the Bates baseball team split a doubleheader at Tufts on Saturday, to win its NESCAC East Division series two games to one.
Tufts pitcher Kyle Slinger went 6.2 strong innings as Tufts won the first game 5-1, but Bates took the nightcap 5-3.
The Bobcats are now 7-5 overall and 2-1 in the NESCAC East. The Jumbos dropped to 8-7 and 1-2 in the division.
Slinger went 6.2 innings allowing four hits and one run with four strikeouts in the first game. He came one out shy of a complete game while improving to 2-1.
Tufts took the lead in the third after two were out. Scott Staniewicz doubled and scored when Connor McDavitt followed with a triple. The Jumbos would add three unearned runs on just one hit in the fifth to lead 4-0. Their fifth run came in the sixth inning courtesy of a two-out double by Wade Hauser, scoring Bryan Egan.
Bates had just one runner reach second base through six innings, but junior RF Steve Burke (Bedford, N.H.) doubled off Slinger with two outs in the seventh. Sophomore Rockwell Jackson (Fort Worth, Texas) followed with a walk and Tufts went to the bullpen. A single by senior SS Ryan Sonberg (Windsor, Conn.) brought in the lone Bates run.
Hauser was 2 for 3 with a run and an RBI for the Jumbos in game one. Staniewicz scored twice.
Junior 2B Griff Tewksbury (Concord, N.H.) had two of Bates' six hits in the first game. Bobcats junior starter Brad Reynolds (Lafayette, Colo.) and first-year reliever Chris Ward (Pasadena, Calif.) allowed just five hits, but Bates committed three errors. Reynolds was charged with just one earned run while allowing three hits in five innings for the loss.
Bates took a 4-0 lead with the help of Davis' two-run double in the second inning of Game 2. Sonberg also had an RBI double in the second inning after hitting a single and eventually scoring on a ground out by freshman 3B Sam Berry (South Hamilton, Mass.) in the first.
Tufts got one back in the bottom of the second when Eric Weikert was hit by a pitch and scored on a a single by Mike Barry.
The game took a dramatic swing on two pitches as the sixth turned to the seventh. With the bases loaded, Staniewicz was robbed of extra bases on a superb catch by Bates sophomore LF Nate Pajka (Douglas, Mass.) in the bottom of the sixth. Then on the first pitch of the top of the seventh, Bobcat sophomore catcher Mekae Hyde (Lewiston, Maine) homered to put the Bobcats up 5-1.
However, the Jumbos rallied in the ninth, putting the tying run on base. They closed to within 5-3 on a two-run double to the opposite field by Hauser. With the bases loaded and one out, Bates called freshman Sam Warren (Norfolk, Va.) out of center field to pitch. Warren induced two fly outs to right for a clutch save.
Davis finished the game 2 for 4 with two RBIs and a run for Bates. Sonberg and Hyde were both 2 for 4 with a run and an RBI apiece. Junior starter Dean Bonneau (Amherst, Mass.) earned his first win with five innings of two-hit, one-run pitching, striking out six. First-year Connor Colombo (Mendon, Mass.) pitched two innings of one-hit, no-run relief.
The Bobcats host Endicott in their home opener on Thursday at 3:30pm.