HARTFORD, Conn. -- Senior captain Connor Russell delivered a solid pitching performance on the mound but the Bates baseball team fell 3-1 to Wesleyan Saturday morning at the NESCAC tournament.
Russell (Cumberland, Maine) tossed six and two thirds innings of two-run baseball. He scattered six hits, walking one and striking out two. Alec Olmstead (5-3) earned the win for Wesleyan by going six and two thirds innings of shutout ball. He worked around three hits and five walks, striking out six along the way.
Neither team scored through the first four innings of action on Saturday. The Bobcats threatened in the third. With two outs, sophomore Jon Lindgren (Plainville, Conn.) drew a walk. Then sophomore Jack Arend (Newfields, N.H.) singled him to third. But Olmstead got the next batter to fly out to end the inning.
Wesleyan scored twice in the fifth to take the lead for good. Jake Alonzo singled to start the frame and the Cardinals bunted him to second. A wild pitch moved Alonzo to third and he scored on a Alex Cappitelli single to center. Andrew Kauf hit into a fielder's choice, then stole second. Danny Rose extended the Cardinal lead to 2-0 with a single of his own, driving in Kauf.
The Bobcats tried to rally in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, sophomore Kyle Carter (Plantation, Fla.) singled to right field. Sophomore Will Sylvia (Newton, Mass.) drew a walk but back-to-back strikeouts ended the inning.
Junior Alex Simon (Windsor, Conn.) took over for Russell (3-4) with two outs in the seventh inning. He walked the first batter he faced but a batter's interference call ended the frame.
Still down 2-0, Bates got two-out walks from Sylvia and Lindgren in the bottom of the seventh. The Cardinals brought in Ryan Earle and he got the final out of the inning, maintaining the shutout.
Bates got a run back in the bottom of the eighth. With one out, junior Dan Trulli (Melrose, Mass.) singled to center and junior Justin White (Whitesboro, N.Y.) followed with a single of his own. Sophomore Giovanni Torres (North Haven, Conn.) reached on an error, loading the bases with one out. A fielder's choice cut down Trulli at home but Carter drew a walk to drive in pinch runner sophomore Pat Beaton (West Newbury, Mass.) and trim the deficit to 2-1. Earle got the next batter to ground out, keeping the Cardinals up by a run.
With one away in the top of the ninth, Kevin Walek doubled, advanced to third on a Bates error and scored on a Kauf squeeze bunt to get the Cardinals an insurance run.
Lindgren walked to start the bottom of the ninth but Wesleyan closer Jake Alonzo got a strikeout, a fly out and another strikeout to end the game.
With the loss, the Bobcats conclude the season with a 14-19 record. The Cardinals (22-15) advance to play either Tufts or Amherst later in the day.