MEDFORD, Mass. - First-year pitcher Christian Martin struck out eight batters in eight innings and John Lefeber had three hits as the Bowdoin baseball team handed 17th-ranked Tufts its first conference loss of the season on Friday afternoon, 9-5. The Polar Bears (20-8, 8-1 NESCAC) reach 20 wins for the third consecutive season as the Jumbos fall to 20-6-1 (9-1 NESCAC).
Lefeber was 3 for 5 for the Polar Bears from the lead-off spot, with a pair of doubles and three runs driven in. Five others had multi-hit games for Bowdoin: Edgett, Gorman, senior LF Joe Comizio, senior 1B Dan Hicks and Marquit. The Jumbos were paced by Sam Sager's three-hit day, but no one else for Tufts had more than one base hit. Bowdoin out-hit the Jumbos 17-8 in the game.
The game remained tied 2-2 until the top of the fourth inning. Gilchrist retired the first two batters of the frame before senior 2B Adam Marquit reached on an infield single for Bowdoin. Lefeber then doubled to score Marquit all the way from first base. Edgett capped the two-out rally with a run-scoring single as the Polar Bears reassumed a two-run advantage, 4-2.
Tufts was shut down in the middle innings by Martin. The Jumbos could only muster five baserunners between the second and seventh innings. Tufts had the lead-off man aboard in the third, fourth and seventh innings, but a pair of double plays helped quell the rallies.
Heading into the bottom of the eighth Bowdoin still led, 4-2, despite leaving nine runners on base. Tufts cut the Polar Bear lead in half when senior 2B Frank Petroskey began the inning with a double and scored on a single by Sager. The Jumbos ended up leaving the tying run on third base though, keeping it 4-3 Bowdoin after eight full innings.
The Polar Bears exploded in the ninth inning to create some distance, sending nine batters to the plate, and scoring five runs on six hits. First year LF Kyle LeBlanc, who had pinch ran the previous inning, stroked an opposite-field home run to left to score the second and third runs of the frame. Lefeber completed the scoring with a two-run double.
Tufts attempted to rally in the bottom of the ninth as the first three men reached against Bowdoin reliever Ian Edwards. LeResche was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and then Orlowitz sent a long fly ball to deep center field that just stayed in the park. The fly ball did however bring home another run, but that was all the Jumbos could get.
The teams will play a doubleheader Saturday beginning at noon.