Baseball Sweeps NESCAC East Pair from Bowdoin College, 6-1 and 6-5

MEDFORD – Senior pitcher Speros Varinos won for the seventh time in seven starts this season and junior 3B Tommy O'Hara had four hits including a home run and four rbis in the double-header as the #8 Tufts University baseball team swept Bowdoin College in NESCAC East action at Huskins Field on Saturday 6-1 and 6-5.

Ian Kinney saved his fourth game of the season in the nightcap

At 6-2 in the NESCAC East (21-4-1 overall), Tufts can clinch a NESCAC Tournament berth tomorrow when the teams meet again at Huskins Field for a single game at noon. Bowdoin, led today by senior Evann Dumont-LaPointe's three hits and two rbis, dropped to 11-14 overall and 3-5 in NESCAC East.

Varinos went the distance in the seven-inning opener, allowing five hits and one run with 11 strikeouts and a walk. He lowered his NESCAC-best earned run average to 1.47 and now has 57 strikeouts with just nine walks in 49 innings this spring.

Tufts gave their ace a lead in the bottom of the first scoring three times. After loading the bases with no outs, junior LF Mike McLaughlin hit a two-run double to left-center. The third Jumbo run scored on a sacrifice fly by senior CF Harry Brown.

Bowdoin cut into the lead right away when Colby Joncas led off the second with a double to left-center. Dumont-LaPointe followed with a single to left making it a 3-1 game. Another single by Sean Mullaney put runners on first and second with no outs, but Varinos retired three in a row including a pair of strikeouts.

The Jumbos continued their offensive ways with two more in the second to lead 5-1. After sophomore SS Will Shackelford led off with a single through the left side and was sacrificed to second, senior RF Oscar Kutch doubled him home. O'Hara's single through the right side scored Kutch.

O'Hara hit a bomb to right field leading off the bottom of the fourth making it 6-1 Tufts. Bowdoin threatened in the fifth as singles by Ben Suski and Ejazz Jui along with a wild pitch and a walk loaded the bases. However, Varinos got a called third strike to kill the rally.

Bowdoin reliever Duncan Finnegan did not allow a hit or a run in his two innings of work. Polar Bear starter Brandon Lopez took his first loss (3-1), allowing seven hits and five runs (three earned) in 2.2 innings.

Varinos finished the game striking out four of the final six batters he faced. O'Hara was 3 for 4 with two rbis and two runs scored, and Kutch went 2 for 4 with two runs and an rbi in the first game. McLaughlin also went 2 for 4 and had two rbis. The win was the 20th of the year for the Jumbos.

Tufts struck early again in game two, scoring once in the first and three times in the second to lead 4-0. Junior 1B Nick Falkson delivered an rbi infield single in the first scoring senior 2B Tom Petry, who had led off with a single. Shackelford smacked a two-run double to highlight the second and scored on a sac fly by O'Hara.

In the bottom of the fourth, O'Hara came through again with a run-scoring single through the right side to put Tufts up 5-0. A Bowdoin error, one of the Polar Bears' four in the game, had extended the inning.

Jumbo senior starter Tim Superko blanked the Polar Bears on one hit and a walk through four innings. Bowdoin rallied though, started by scoring in the fifth after Suski drew a two-out walk. He scored on a double to the right-center gap by Eric Mah making it 5-1.

Lopez was hit by a pitch to lead off the Bowdoin sixth, Joncas walked and then Dumont-LaPointe hit an rbi double to right-center. Freshman Brad Marchetti relieved Superko for the Jumbos and kept the damage to a minimum. Joncas would score on a ground out by Mullaney pulling Bowdoin within 5-3.

Petry's lead-off double sparked a run-scoring rally for Tufts in the sixth. He scored after two were out on a single by Falkson for a 6-2 Tufts lead.

The Polar Bears would close the gap to one (6-5) with single runs in the seventh and ninth. In the seventh Lopez singled home Mah, who had reached on a Tufts error. Two more Jumbo errors in the ninth led to a fielder's choice rbi by Mah, who became the tying run on first. Tufts junior reliever Ian Kinney saved the win with a double-play ball.

Superko earned the victory (4-0) with five innings giving up three hits and three runs with eight K's and four walks. Marchetti had a good relief outing of three innings allowing one hit and an unearned run, and Kinney picked up his fourth save. Petry was 2 for 5 with three runs at the top of the Tufts order in game two. Kutch and Falkson (two rbis) also had two hits for Tufts. O'Hara and Shackelford each drove home a pair.

Bowdoin had just four hits in the second game and nine on the day. Dumont-LaPointe was 2 for 4 with an rbi in the nightcap. Mah had two rbis. Max Vogel-Freedman started and took the loss giving up nine hits and six runs (four earned) with seven K's and two walks in six innings. Seamus Keenan was strong in two relief innings (one hit, no runs).