Courtesy of Middlebury Sports Information
WATERVILLE, Maine - After falling to Tufts in Game 2, 5-0, the Middlebury Panthers bounced back with a 10-1 win over Bates (19-17) Saturday night to stay alive at the 2019 NESCAC Tournament hosted by Colby. The Panthers (24-12) will take on Williams in an elimination game on Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m., with the winner needing to beat Tufts twice in the afternoon to claim the crown.
In the Game 4 elimination game against Bates, Middlebury struck for four runs on three hits in the bottom of the second. Sam Graf walked, Henry Strmecki singled to left and Hayden Smith walked to load the bases. One batter later, Brooks Carroll delivered a clutch two-out single through the left side to plate Smith and Strmecki. Han followed, doubling to right center, as Carroll and Smith scored for the 4-0 lead.
Bates got on the board in the fifth when Justin White singled and later scored on a base hit through the left side by Christian Beal. The Bobcats tried to force in a run with two outs, but Jack Arend was thrown out at the plate on a delayed steal.
Middlebury blew the game open in the eighth with six runs on four hits. Justin Han walked before stealing second and third, setting a new tournament record with four steals in a game. Three batters later, Graf reached on an infield single to short, as Han crossed the plate for a 5-1 lead. Following a pitching change, Strmecki singled to load the bases, before Smith delivered a two-run base hit to center. One batter later, Carroll ripped a bases-clearing double to left center, making it a 10-1 game.
Alex Price (5-2) picked up the win, allowing just one run on six hits over seven innings with a career-high seven strikeouts. Andrew Martinson threw a scoreless eighth, as did John Tipps in the ninth.
Carroll went 3-for-4 in the game, surpassing the 100 career-hit mark with 102. He drove in five runs to go along with a double and a run scored. Graf was 2-for-3 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI. Strmecki was 2-for-4 in the win, while Smith went 1-for-3 with two runs scored and two driven in.
Bates starter Nolan Collins (7-2) suffered the loss, giving up seven runs on six hits over 7.2 innings of work and striking out 12, one shy of tying the record for most in a single game in the tournament. White, Beal and Giovanni Torres each had two hits for the Bobcats.