Van Zant 4-hits Bobcats
“You know if you throw a good game you’re going to get the win, and the hitters are definitely coming around and it’s just a matter of time before we get on one of those rolls,” said Van Zant after leading Bowdoin to a 3-0 victory in the opener of a Saturday New England Small College Athletic Conference doubleheader against Bates.
Bowdoin took the second game to complete the sweep, rolling to a 6-1 victory behind a four-hitter from hurler Tim Welch.
With the win, Bowdoin improved to 13-8 overall, 2-1 in Eastern Division NESCAC play, while Bates dropped to 12-10, 1-5 in the NESCAC.
Van Zant and Bobcats pitcher Tom Bartoni hooked up in brisk seven- inning opening-game affair. Bartoni threw just 63 pitches in his complete-game effort, but two long flyballs, with the help of a stiff wind, by Luke Regan scored Jordan Edgett twice, while No. 9 hitter Erik Jacobsen finished off a 3-for- 3 game with a seventhinning single, scoring Kyle LeBlanc, who bunted his way on and stole two bases, for a 3-0 lead.
But, it was Van Zant who stole the show. He permitted just four singles, struck out nine and didn’t walk a Bates hitter in his 94- pitch complete game shutout. Since returning north from Florida, Van Zant has pitched 13 scoreless frames.
“Fastball, curveball, a little bit of a slider seemed to work well today,” said Van Zant. “I wanted to keep the ball down, and was getting the low strikes, and if I could keep it down there, I knew I would be fine. The plan was to throw fastballslider early, then mix the curveball in late. The curveball worked a lot better, so I went with that more.”
Bowdoin scored the only run Van Zant needed in the second inning. Edgett ripped a double to the left- center field gap to open the frame. One out later, Regan lifted a flyball that carried to the base of the right-field wall. Bates outfielder Nate Pajka made a diving catch, but Edgett tagged and scored all the way from second base, avoiding the tag of catcher Mekae Hyde for a 1-0 lead.
Edgett began the fourth inning with a single and moved to third on a single by Dan Findley. Regan again hit a long flyball to right field, allowing Edgett to score for a 2-0 edge.
Bartoni, who struck out two and permitted seven hits, was touched for the third run in the seventh.
“That just gave us some more momentum,” said Van Zant, who retired the final three Bates hitters after Ryan Curit reached on an error.
Hyde, Curit, Kevin Davis and Jeff Clausen each singled for Bates.
Welch dominated Bates at Leahey Field to complete the sweep. He allowed one run, walked two and struck out four. Henry Van Zant pitched a scoreless ninth.
Welch got all the run support he needed in the third inning, as Bowdoin broke out of its offensive struggles with four runs. Aaron Rosen drew a one- out walk and reached third base on a single by Tim McGarry and a wild pitch. McGarry took off for second base, and Rosen stole home on the throw to second for a 1-0 lead. John Lefeber followed with a three-run home run over the left-field fence for a 4-0 Bowdoin lead.
The Polar Bears scored their final two runs in the fifth inning on four hits, including a double by Jacobsen and RBI singles by Lefeber and Findley.
On Friday, Bates used a late rally to earn its first win in Brunswick since 2005, downing the Polar Bears, 4-3.
The Bobcats, who had lost eight consecutive games at Pickard Field, rallied from a 3-2 eighth- inning deficit. Pajka brought home the tying and winning runs with a base-loaded single, scoring Davis and Curit.
Bowdoin put base runners on in both the eighth and ninth innings, but failed to tie the game.
Michael Spinosa earned the win, tossing eight innings and allowing six hits and three earned runs while striking out six. Brad Reynolds pitched the ninth to earn the save.
Christian Martin got a nodecision for Bowdoin. He pitched seven innings, allowing eight hits and two earned runs while striking out nine. Henry Van Zant was charged with the loss after allowing the two Bates runs in the eighth.
Bowdoin jumped on top 3-1 in the fourth when McGarry brought home LeBlanc and Regan with a double to rightcenter field.
Bates trimmed the lead to 3-2 in the fifth on an RBI single by Griff Tewksbury that scored Hyde, who was 3-for-4 with two runs scored to lead the Bobcats’ offense.
McGarry and Regan each had two hits for Bowdoin, which visits St. Joseph’s College today at 4 p.m.
Bates 4, Bowdoin 3
At Pickard Field, Friday
Bates — 100 010 020 — 4-11-1
Bowdoin — 100 200 000 — 3- 6-0
Michael Spinosa, Brad Reynolds (9) and Jeffrey Gunn; Christian Martin, Henry Van Zant (8), Ian Edwards (8) and Buddy Shea.
Doubles — (Bates) Griff Tewksbury; (Bow) Tim McGarry, Luke Regan.
Repeat hitters — (Bates) Mekae Hyde (3), Mike Ciummei, Griff Tewksbury, Kevin McGregor; (Bow) Tim McGarry, Luke Regan.
Bowdoin 3, Bates 0
At Leahey Field, Saturday
Bowdoin — 010 100 1 — 3-7-2
Bates — 000 000 0 — 0-4-1
Oliver Van Zant and Buddy Shea; Tom Bartoni and Mekae Hyde.
Double — (Bow) Jordan Edgett.
Repeat hitters — (Bow) Jordan Edgett, Erik Jacobsen (3).
Bowdoin 6, Bates 1
At Leahey Field, Saturday
Bowdoin — 004 020 000 — 6-13-2
Bates — 000 000 010 — 1- 4-0
Tim Welch, Henry Van Zant (9) and Buddy Shea; Karl Alexander, Mike Antonellis (6), Chris Fusco (8) and Jeffrey Gunn.
Doubles — (Bow) Erik Jacobsen, Buddy Sheal (Bates) Griff Tewksbury, Jeffrey Gunn.
Home run — (Bow) John Lefeber.
Repeat hitters — (Bow) Tim McGarry, John Lefeber, Dan Findley (3), Luke Regan, Buddy Shea; (Bates) Griff Tewksbury.
Records — Bowdoin 13-8, 2-1 NESCAC East; Bates 12-10, 1-5 NESCAC East.
Next for the Polar Bears — Today at St. Joseph’s College, 4 p.m