Bates College built a five-run lead late in the game and then held on for a 7-6 victory over host Babson College in non-conference baseball action at Govoni Field on a frigid Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Bobcats improved to 8-12 on the year, while the Beavers, ranked third in New England by the NEIBA, fell to 23-10.
Babson took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, as junior Billy Miller (Sagamore Beach, Mass.) singled with one out, took second on a groundout by junior Travis Jonasson (Needham, Mass.), and scored on a base hit to left by sophomore Chris Kucher (Westwood, Mass.).
That lead lasted until the top of the fourth, when Bates plated an unearned run off sophomore starter Kyle Lyon (Flemington, N.J.) to even the score at 1-1. Senior captain Chris Burke (Andover, Mass.) reached on an error to start the inning and then moved to second on a wild pitch. Senior Noah Lynd (Meriden, N.H.) followed with a fly out to deep center that allowed Burke to move to third, and the second wild pitch of the inning allowed him to score the Bobcats’ first run of the game.
The Beavers moved back in front in the bottom of the fifth, as Jonasson crushed his second home run of the spring to center field to give the hosts a brief 2-1 advantage. Bates then took the lead for good with three in the top of the fifth, including two more unearned runs. After Lynd was hit by a pitch with one away, first-year Griff Tewksbury (Concord, N.H.) and senior Gordy Webb (Hampden, Maine) recorded back-to-back singles to load the bases. Senior Jake Simon (Waterford, Conn.) then drove in the tying run with a fielder’s choice grounder that was mishandled at short, and senior Rich Velotta (Fairfield, Conn.) knocked in the go-ahead run with another fielder’s choice. Webb would score moments later on a passed ball as the Bobcats built a 4-2 lead midway through the ball game.
Babson had a chance to tie the contest in the sixth, when sophomores Trevor Boyce (Canton, Mass.) and Pat Matvichuk (Middleton, Mass.) both singled and moved into scoring position on a sac bunt by junior Sean Cleary (Milton, Mass.). However, Bates’ senior starter Paul Chiampa (Pembroke, Mass.) induced an inning-ending grounder to third off the bat of Babson’s leading hitter Dave Ahern (Bedford, Mass.) as the Bobcats maintained the two-run lead.
Bates scored two insurance runs in the in the seventh, beginning when senior captain Pat Murphy (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) doubled with one out and later scored on a two-out single to left by Lynd. After Tewskbury singled to left to chase Lyon, Webb greeted junior reliever Jeff Burress (Cuberland, R.I.) with a single to center, scoring Lynd with the sixth Bates run. The Bobcats then added another run when Webb drove in Burke with a fielder’s choice grounder to short in the top of the ninth.
The Beavers made a final charge in the bottom of the ninth, beginning when Ahern singled to right and scored when the center fielder mishandled a double off the bat of Miller. Bates then caught a huge break when Jonasson hit an infield single to short, but Miller was thrown out trying to advance to third.
After a walk and a foul out, first-year Chris Warren (Medfield, Mass.) hit a single to right, loading the bases with two away. Sophomore Trevor Boyce (Canton, Mass.) then drew a walk to force in a run, cutting Babson’s deficit to 7-4 and prompting the Bobcats to lift reliever Demitrios Gatzogiannis (Wells, Maine) in favor of Lynd. Matvichuk greeted the righthander with a hard-hit single to right, scoring Warren and Kucher and making it a one-run affair. However, Lynd would strike out first-year reserve catcher Brendan Collins (Abington, Mass.) on a 3-2 pitch to end the game and secure the 7-6 Bates victory.
Chiampa (1-1) went seven innings to earn the win for the Bobcats, allowing two runs on nine hits, walking three and fanning four. Gatzogiannis went 1 2/3 innings and surrendered four runs before giving way to Lynd, who got the final out for his first save of the season.
Tewksbury and Webb each went 3-for-5 to pace the Bates’ offense, while Lynd reached base four times with a single and three hit-by-pitches.
Despite taking a no-hitter into the fourth, Lyon (3-3) suffered the loss on the mound for the Beavers, giving up six runs – only three of which were earned – on seven hits while striking out six. Offensively, Miller and Jonasson each finished 3-for-5 on the day, while Boyce and Matvichuk added two hits apiece.
Saturday did feature some good news for the Beavers. With MIT’s 1-0 loss to Clark in game one of their doubleheader, Babson clinched the second seed in next week’s NEWMAC Double-Elimination Tournament. The Green and White will host third-seeded MIT in the opening round on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., with fourth-seeded Coast Guard heading to top-seeded Wheaton in the other first round matchup.
FULL BOX SCORE IS ATTACHED
Bates College 7, Babson College 6 (Apr 16, 2011 at Babson Park, MA)
Bates College......... 000 103 201 - 7 10 2 (8-12)
Babson College...... 100 010 004 - 6 14 2 (23-10)
Pitchers: Bates College - Paul Chiampa; Dmtrios Gatzogiannis(8); Noah Lynd(9). Babson College - Kyle Lyon; Jeff Buress(7); Jeff Browne(8); Derek Richards(9).
Win-Paul Chiampa(1-1) Save-Noah Lynd(1) Loss-Kyle Lyon(3-3) T-2:20 A-55
HR BAB - Travis Jonasson (2).