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Baseball grabs early lead, beats Fisher 9-4 for seventh straight win

Junior Connor Speed did not allow a hit over his three innings of work on Monday, April 17, 2017 against Fisher College. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- Senior captain Ryan McCarthy homered to get the offense going in the first inning and the Bates baseball team scored six in the third to propel themselves to a 9-4 victory over NAIA program Fisher College Monday afternoon at Leahey Field. 

The Bobcats (11-5) won their seventh consecutive game, their longest winning streak since 2011.

Junior Connor Speed (San Diego, Calif.) got the start and pitched three no-hit innings, striking out four batters along the way. Junior Connor Russell (Cumberland, Maine) followed Speed on the mound and tossed two scoreless innings to earn the victory out of the bullpen. Russell (1-0) only allowed one hit and struck out one.

McCarthy (Plaistow, N.H.) led off the bottom of the first with a solo homer to left off Fisher starter Bryan DeJesus (5-4), the senior captain's second long ball of the season.

Then the Bobcats chased DeJesus in the third. McCarthy got things started with a lead-off walk. First-year Kyle Carter (Plantation, Fla.) followed with a single and senior Brendon Canavan (Carlisle, Mass.) singled home McCarthy to extend the lead to 2-0.

One out later, senior John Dinucci (West Hartford, Conn.) drew a walk to load the bases. First-years Jack Arend (Newfields, N.H.) and Zach Avila (San Francisco, Calif.) followed with walks of their own, plating two more runs for Bates. 

That was it for DeJesus. The Falcons (24-18) brought in Ismael Perez and junior Asher MacDonald (Hillsborough, N.C.) welcomed him to the game with a single to right field. Dinucci and Arend scored on the play, making the score 6-0 in favor of the Bobcats. First-year Will Sylvia (Newton, Mass.) singled home Avila to cap off the scoring in the inning.

Bates added another run in the fourth to take an 8-0 lead. Carter got hit by a pitch to start the frame. After Canavan reached on a fielder's choice, sophomore Dan Trulli (Melrose, Mass.) singled and Dinucci got hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Arend drew his second bases loaded walk of the game to plate Canavan.

Neither team scored again until the Falcons plated four in the seventh inning to cut the Bobcat lead to 8-4. Reinaldo Moreta smacked an RBI double, Luis Torres delivered an RBI single and Jaime Villafane contributed an RBI double of his own as the Falcons opened the inning with five consecutive hits.

Bates brought in senior Matt Casieri (Medfield, Mass.) and the lefty got the first batter he faced out before walking a pair of batters to force in the fourth run of the inning.

He induced a huge pop-out with the bases loaded and struck out Sam Schroeder to end the inning, preventing further damage.

Senior Robert Jones (South Berwick, Maine) pitched a 1-2-3 top of the eighth out of the bullpen for Bates.

The Bobcats picked up an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth. Carter and Canavan started the inning with back-to-back singles. One out later, Dinucci drew a walk to load the bases.

Then for the third time in the game, Arend drew a bases loaded walk, making the score 9-4 in favor of Bates. Arend finished the day 0-2 with a run scored, three runs batted in and three walks.

Junior Jake Shapiro (Sandy, Utah) retired the side in order in the ninth to secure the victory.

Bobcat pitching struck out 11 batters in the game while only walking two. Meanwhile the Bates offense drew 10 walks and only struck out three times.

Carter finished 2-4 with two runs scored. Canavan went 2-5 with two runs scored and a run batted in on the day. Dinucci drew two walks and finished 1-2 with a run scored. Avila scored a run, drove in a run, and drew two walks. MacDonald drove in two runs and Sylvia finished 1-3 with a run batted in and a walk. McCarthy's lone hit was his solo homer in the first. He also drew a walk.

The two teams used a combined 14 pitchers on the afternoon.

The Bobcats visit St. Joseph's Wednesday for a 4:00 p.m. first pitch. They welcome Trinity to town on Friday for a NESCAC showdown that gets underway at 3:00 p.m.