BRUNSWICK, Maine - Senior John Lefeber laced a single to right field in the 12th inning to lift Bowdoin to a 4-3 win over 13th-ranked Tufts on Friday at Pickard Field.
Lefeber also had four hits and earned the win in relief for the Polar Bears, who improve to 17-11-1 (5-5 NESCAC). Tufts drops just its third game of the season and falls to 25-3 (6-2 NESCAC).
Tufts starter Kyle Slinger got out of a pair of early jams before the Polar Bears were able to get to him in the bottom of the fourth. After Lefeber singled and moved to third base on a pair of wild pitches, Eric Jacobsen singled him home to give the hosts a 1-0 lead. Bowdoin doubled its lead in the sixth frame when Lefeber doubled to center, advanced to third on a wild pitch and came home on a balk.
Bowdoin's Henry Van Zant cruised until the eighth inning when the Jumbos pieced together a game-tying rally. After a pair of walks and a sacrifice bunt by Connor McDavitt moved runners to second and third, James Howard singled to center to bring home Oscar Kutch. Reliever Jon Fraser gave up a sacrifice fly to Wade Hauser to tie the game, but escaped further damage as the game entered extra innings tied at 2-2.
Tufts took the lead in the top of the 11th when they loaded the bases on a hit-batsman, an error and an intentional walk. After Jacobsen cut down a runner at home for the first out of the inning, Matt Moser lofted a sacrifice fly to center to give the Jumbos a 3-2 edge.
Bowdoin was able to knot the game in the bottom of the frame when - again - Lefeber sparked a rally with a lead off single and moved to second on a sac bunt. After a grounder to first moved him to third base, Eric Jacobsen tapped a roller up the middle and beat the throw to first, allowing Lefeber to come home with the game-tying run.
Lefeber came into pitch in the 12th and stranded a pair of runners to push the game into the bottom of the 12th. Tom Wells started the game-winning rally with a one-out single and pinch-runner Matt Savard advanced to third when Chad Martin singled to right. With two outs and runners on first and third, Lefeber slapped his fourth hit of the day through the hole between first and second to bring home Savard with the walk-off run.
Slinger got a no-decision for Tufts after going seven innings, allowing two earned runs and striking out nine. Willie Archibald worked 3.1 solid innings of relief, permitting one earned run. Andrew David was charged with the loss by working the decisive 12th frame.
Henry Van Zant started for Bowdoin and allowed just two hits over 7.1 innings but walked six while striking out seven. Fraser tossed 3.2 frames of strong relief, allowing no earned runs and striking out two. Lefeber worked the 12th to get the win for the Polar Bears.
Lefeber went 4-6 with three runs scored for Bowdoin. Aaron Rosen had three hits and Jacobsen had two for the Polar Bears. Tom Petry reached base three times for Tufts in the loss.
The teams are scheduled to play a doubleheader at noon on Saturday. Due to the anticipation of poor weather, a decision will be made early tomorrow on any potential schedule changes.