Bowdoin Uses Late Rally to Earn First-Ever NCAA Tournament Victory

John Lefeber sparked Bowdoin's seventh-inning rally with an RBI single
John Lefeber sparked Bowdoin's seventh-inning rally with an RBI single

MANSFIELD, Conn. - The Bowdoin College baseball team scored four runs in the seventh inning to rally for its first-ever NCAA Tournament win on Thursday afternoon, 6-4, over the University of Southern Maine at a regional hosted by Eastern Connecticut State University.

Senior Jordan Edgett went 2-for-3 with a double, two RBIs and the game-winning base-knock to help the Polar Bears (26-19) keep their season alive and advance to another elimination game on Friday against Western New England. First pitch is scheduled for 10:00 a.m.

The NCAA win is the first in school history for Bowdoin, who are making their second-ever appearance in the Division III Tournament. Southern Maine finishes 0-2 in regional play and sees its season end with a record of 27-19.

Trailing 4-2 entering the seventh, Bowdoin nearly batted around and scored four times to take over the 6-4 edge that they would not relinquish. With the bases loaded, sophomore John Lefeber jacked a single to right before Edgett hammered a two-run double to the deep part of centerfield. After a plunked batter brought in another run, USM senior relief pitcher Dustin Stanton got out of the jam with a double-play on a line-out.

With momentum on their side, Bowdoin reliever Henry Van Zant punched out the side swinging in the seventh and would retire nine of his final ten batters to shut down the Huskies and help the Polar Bears stave off elimination.

Bowdoin originally had the early 1-0 lead after junior Dan Findley drove in Edgett from third on a single to the shortstop. Southern Maine came back in the bottom of the third and knotted the score 1-1 on an RBI solo base-knock to left with two outs.

In the top of the fourth, the Polar Bears promptly responded and scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded. Bowdoin looked poised to score more runs, but the USM starting pitcher Ben Ives made an outstanding individual effort to cut down a runner at the plate and he induced a line-out to end the threat.

The Huskies took advantage of a miscue in the bottom of the sixth for the 4-2 margin as the scoring was highlighted by a sacrifice fly by freshman Jake Glauser and an RBI single by sophomore Matt Powers.

Bowdoin sophomore Christian Martin started the frame and allowed the first two batters to reach before he was relieved by Van Zant, who got out of the sixth yielding one unearned run on a base-knock and tossed three frames of relief. Van Zant finished with five strikeouts and improved his record to 4-3. USM junior Nick Douglass shouldered the setback for allowing the go-ahead runs to score as he drops to 4-2 overall.

Findley and junior Tim McGarry also finished with two hits apiece for Bowdoin and Findley chipped in with a pair of runs driven in. For Southern Maine there were no multi-hitters and they did not finish with an extra base hit.