NEW BRITAIN, Conn. - The Bowdoin baseball team saw its NESCAC Championship hopes dashed as Trinity freshman John Meuchner tossed the first complete game of his collegiate career, helping Trinity to a 5-3 win in an elimination game at the NESCAC Tournament Saturday morning.
Meuchner, who improved to 3-3 with the victory, allowed eight hits. He struck out seven and walked seven and stranded 13 Bowdoin runners on base.
Trinity, 21-18, got on the board in the top of the second inning when senior shortstop Steve Rogers led off with a double and scored on a two-out infield hit by second baseman Steve Howard.
The Polar Bears threatened to tie things in the bottom of the inning after a pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases with two out, but Trinity hurler Meuchner got John Lefeber to pop out to second to end in frame.
Bowdoin evened the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the third on a sacrifice fly to center by Luke Regan. The fly scored Oliver Van Zant who had doubled with one out and advanced the third on a wild pitch.
The Bantams took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth when Howard walked with one out, stole second and went to third on an infield hit by Adam Moossmann. Moossmann broke for a delayed steal of third with Cullinane at the plate and Howard broke for home. Shortstop Aaron Rosen bobbled the ball trying to throw home after taking the cutoff from catcher Duncan Taylor allowing Howard to score. Trinity nearly had a two-run lead on a single by Alex Almeida, but Bowdoin right fielder John Lefeber gunned down Moossmann at the plate for the final out of the inning.
After Bowdoin tied it again in the bottom of the frame on an RBI single by Sam Canales, Trinity retook the lead in the sixth. Reuger, Papa and Rogers led off the frame with consecutive singles to load the bases. Bowdoin starter Christian Martin fanned Marc Crowley for the first out but senior DH Bryan Ginsberg lifted a sacrifice fly to left to give the Bantams a 3-2 lead. Martin got pinch hitter Robert Ferrara to ground to second to get out of further trouble.
The Polar Bears bounced right back again in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 3-3 when Lefeber singled with one out, stole second and scored on a single by Oliver Van Zant.
Trinity took a two-run lead in the top of the seventh off Bowdoin reliever Henry Van Zant. Moossmann led off with a single and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Cullinane. Almeida singled to put runners on the corners and Moossman scored on a ground out by Mike Reuger. Almeida took second on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI single by Papa.
Meuchner didn't allow a hit after the sixth inning. He did walk the leadoff batter in the ninth but retired the next three hitters to send the defending NESCAC champs on to the elimination game against the loser of the game between Wesleyan and Amherst in Middletown Saturday afternoon.
Henry Van Zant took the loss for the Polar Bears and dropped to 5-3 on the season.