MEDFORD - The Tufts University baseball team won its fourth straight NESCAC East Division pennant and ninth overall while sweeping a double-header from Bates College on Saturday at Huskins Field. The Jumbos won the East with a 9-1 victory in the first game. Junior 1B Nick Falkson hit a two-run, walk-off home run to complete the sweep in game two, 6-4.
|Tom Petry had three rbis in the two games|
The Jumbos (25-5-1, 9-3 NESCAC East) will be the top seed from the East Division at the 2017 NESCAC Championship hosted by Colby College May 12-14. The Bobcats (13-11, 7-5) are the second seed from the East in the tournament.
Tufts senior 2B Tom Petry's two-run single to right field broke open a five-run third inning for in game one, propelling the Jumbos to the win. In game two, Bates' Will Sylvia singled, stole second and scored on a base hit by Brendan Fox in the top of the ninth to tie the game at 4-4 before Falkson's walk-off shot to left ended it.
Bates, who scored in the first inning in all three games this weekend, grabbed a 1-0 lead right away in game one. Sylvia was hit by a pitch to open the game, took third on a base hit by Fox along with a Tufts error and then scored on a single by Brendon Canavan.
Jumbo junior LF Mike McLaughlin homered to right field leading off the bottom of the second, tying the game 1-1. Sophomore CF Casey Santos-Ocampo later doubled to left-center and scored on single to center by sophomore SS Will Shackelford for a 2-1 Tufts advantage.
After Jumbo starter Tim Superko held the lead with a scoreless top of the third, junior 3B Tommy O'Hara led off the bottom of the inning with a walk. Falkson was hit by a pitch, and then McLaughlin singled to left scoring O'Hara for a 3-1 margin. A Bates error during a force-out attempt at second base that allowed McLaughlin to score was followed by Santos-Ocampo's rbi double. Petry then hit his two-run single and the Jumbos were up 7-1.
Superko was relieved in the middle of the fifth after going 4.1 innings allowing four hits and the one run with five K's and four walks. Sophomore reliever Brad Marchetti immediately got a double-play ball and would go on to retire seven of the eight batters he faced.
Meanwhile, Tufts freshman catcher Ryan Day, who had the game-winning rbi in Tufts' 4-3 victory over Bates on Friday, added an rbi double in the fifth. Santos-Ocampo scored after leading off with a walk. The Jumbos finished their offense in the bottom of the sixth as O'Hara walked and Falkson doubled him home.
McLaughlin was 2 for 4 with two runs and two rbis in the game, while Santos-Ocampo finished 2 for 3 with three runs and an rbi. Superko improved to 5-0 on the mound with the win in the seven-inning game. Marchetti pitched 2.2 innings of scoreless relief.
Sylvia finished 2 for 2 with a run atop the Bates order in game one. Starting pitcher Connor Russell took the loss after allowing four hits and five runs (three earned) in two innings.
In game two, Sylvia (4 for 6, 3 runs on the day) again got the Bobcats going. He led off with a walk and scored on a double by Ryan McCarthy. With two outs, the Bobcats would score two more runs on wild pitches to take a 3-0 lead. Both McCarthy and freshman catcher Jack Arend, who had singled, scored.
Bates would return the favor in the bottom of the inning. Singles by Petry and senior RF Oscar Kutch helped load the bases, and Kutch would score on a wild pitch. Petry and Kutch then both drove in runs in the second inning as the Jumbos tied the game 3-3.
Bates senior starter Anthony Telesca pitched into the sixth, when an unearned run gave Tufts a 4-3 lead. Jumbo senior CF Harry Brown hit a one-out double, went to third on a balk and then scored on a passed ball.
Telesca allowed six hits and four runs (three earned) in six innings. He was relieved in the seventh by freshman Miles Michaud, who worked the next two innings scoreless.
With Bates down to their final three outs, Sylvia and Fox tied the game at 4-4. Fox stole second to get into scoring position, but Jumbo reliever Ian Kinney got a foul out to end the frame.
With one out in the bottom of the ninth, O'Hara walked and scored when Falkson lined a home run over the fence down the left field line giving Tufts the 6-4 win.
Both teams had nine hits in the second game. Petry, Kutch, Falkson and Brown each had two for Tufts. Sylvia, Fox and Arend had two hits for Bates. Kinney was the winning pitcher in game two, improving to 3-0. Michaud took the loss (0-2).
Tufts plays non-league action at Eastern Connecticut on Monday night. Bates hosts Plymouth State in a double-header tomorrow.