Bowdoin College Holds Off Baseball for 3-2 NESCAC East Division Victory

MEDFORD – With the tying run on third base, Bowdoin College sophomore reliever Jack Wilhoite got a strikeout to end the game and give the visiting Polar Bears a 3-2 win at Tufts University in NESCAC East Division baseball action on Sunday at Huskins Field.

Casey Santos-Ocampo had a pair of clutch late-inning hits

With the victory, Bowdoin staved off elimination from the upcoming NESCAC Tournament. Tufts (21-5-1, 6-3 NESCAC East) entered with a  magic number of one and can clinch when they host a three-game series against Bates College next weekend. Bowdoin (12-14, 4-5) must sweep Colby next weekend and hope that the Jumbos are swept by Bates.

Bowdoin freshman starter Colby Lewis (3-2) allowed just three hits and two runs in 6.1 innings for Bowdoin today, striking out five and walking two. The Polar Bears took a 3-0 lead into the late innings before Jumbo sophomore SS Will Shackelford hit a two-out, two-run single in the seventh closing the gap to 3-2.

In the bottom of the ninth, Jumbo sophomore LF Casey Santos-Ocampo led off with a double to left and was sacrificed to third. Wilhoite entered and induced a pop up to shortstop and the strikeout to earn his first save.

Bowdoin had scored twice unearned in the second inning after Evan Dupont-LaPointe reached on an error. He went to third on a single by Sawyer Billings. After a sacrifice moved both up a base, Wilhote's ground out scored Dupont-LaPointe. Bjorn Hansen followed with an infield single plating Billings.

Lewis was able to strand Jumbos on base throughout his outing. In the second, Santos-Ocampo ended up on second with two outs after a Bowdoin error. Lewis got out of the inning with a fielder's choice. The Jumbos put the lead runner on in the fourth (Tommy O'Hara single) and fifth (Harry Brown walk), but Lewis worked out of both and Bowdoin took a 2-0 lead to the sixth.

The Polar Bears padded their margin to 3-0 in the sixth when Joe Gentile and Colby Joncas opened the inning with singles setting up first and third with no outs. Dumont-LaPointe hit a sacrifice fly scoring Gentile.

The Jumbos put a rally together in the bottom of the seventh as Santos-Ocampo singled through the left side and Brown walked, his third time on base. With one out, Bowdoin went to the bullpen for junior Logan Simon and he got a ground out that moved the runners to second and third. Shackelford then hit his two-run single through the left side bringing the Jumbos within 3-2.

Tufts starter R.J. Hall (2-2) completed seven innings giving up six hits and three runs (one earned) with three strikeouts and no walks. The Jumbos went to junior reliever Kevin Galasso in the eighth and he got six outs while allowing a two-out double to Wilhoit in top of the ninth.

Senior RF Oscar Kutch had led off the Jumbo eighth with a single to left field, but Simon got the next three outs to send the game to the ninth with the visitors ahead 3-2.

Santos-Ocampo was 2 for 4 with a run for Tufts, while Bowdoin's Billings was also 2 for 4 with a run.

Tufts plays non-league action at Eastern Nazarene on Tuesday and Bowdoin travels to St. Joseph's (Maine) for an out-of-conference game on Tuesday as well.