September 23, 2018
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Thomas Men's Lacrosse 9 at Johnson State 1

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9 1

First-year Kyle Carter drove in fellow first-year Will Sylvia with a sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth to give the Bobcats the lead for good in a 4-3 extra innings win over Bowdoin in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader.

Tied at three headed to the top of the ninth, Sylvia (Newton, Mass.) singled to lead off the frame against new pitcher Ryan Dixon (1-2). Senior captain Ryan McCarthy (Plaistow, N.H.) reached on an error by Dixon and Sylvia advanced all the way to third on the play. The Polar Bears brought in Seamus Keenan and Carter (Plantation, Fla.) greeted him with a sacrifice fly to bring home Sylvia. Keenan retired the next two batters to end the frame.

Sophomore Justin Foley (Lynnfield, Mass.) retired the side in order in the bottom of the ninth to secure the win. Foley (2-0) tossed five innings of one-run ball out of the bullpen to earn the victory. He allowed only three hits and struck out seven without walking anyone.

The Bobcats got on the board first against Bowdoin starter Brandon Lopez. McCarthy got hit by a pitch to start the top of the third.

Carter bunted him over and McCarthy advanced to third on a passed ball. Senior captain Brendan Fox (West Hartford, Conn.) drove in McCarthy with a ground out to short, giving Bates a 1-0 lead.

Junior Connor Russell (Cumberland, Maine) started game one for Bates and tossed two shutout innings before Bowdoin got to him in the third. With two outs, Lopez reached on an infield single. Evann Dumont-LaPointe drew a walk and Colby Joncas singled home Lopez, tying the game at one.

Bates answered right away with two in the top of the fourth.

With one down, junior Asher MacDonald (Hillsborough, N.C.) doubled to right. A Sylvia grounder moved MacDonald to third. McCarthy followed that up by reaching on an error by the Bowdoin shortstop. MacDonald scored on the play to make the score 2-1 in favor of Bates.

McCarthy stole second and Carter singled him home to extend the lead to 3-1.

But the Polar Bears got a run back in the bottom half of the inning. Joe Gentile singled to right leading off the inning. He was eliminated from the bases when Connor Lee reached on a fielder’s choice. Bjorn Hansen followed with a single and he got forced out when Sean Mullaney reached on a fielder’s choice for out number two. Lee advanced to third on the play and scored on a Nick Sadler RBI single, cutting the Bobcat advantage to 3-2.

Russell got Lopez to ground out to end the frame. Russell tossed four innings, allowing two runs on eight hits. He walked one in the no-decision.

Foley entered to pitch the bottom of the fifth. He retired the first two batters he faced but then Jack Wilhoite homered to tie the game at three. Gentile doubled after Wilhoite’s long ball, putting the go-ahead run in scoring position. Foley avoided further trouble by striking out pinch hitter Sawyer Billings.

Neither team scored again until the top of the ninth.

Foley retired the side in order in the sixth and worked around a one-out single in the seventh. Bowdoin had the winning run in scoring position with two outs in the frame but Foley struck out Wilhoite to send the game to extra innings. He finished the contest by retiring the final eight batters he faced in order, setting up the Bobcat offense for the go-ahead score in the top of the ninth.

Bates won game one despite being out-hit 11-7. McCarthy scored two runs and drove in a run without recording a hit. The Polar Bears committed three errors in the game.

Carter finished 1-3 with two runs batted in and MacDonald went 1-3 with a double and a run scored.

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