Brunswick, Maine – Ben Suski hit a walkoff homerun in the bottom of the twelfth inning to complete a New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) East Division baseball series sweep for the Bowdoin College Polar Bears against the Trinity College Bantams this afternoon. The Polar Bears improve to 10-12 overall and 3-3 in the NESCAC) and collect their first series sweep of Trinity (12-12, 3-6 NESCAC) since 2011. Trinity drops to 12-12 overll and 3-6 in the division. Bowdoin held on for an 8-4 win to open the day and outlasted the Bantams 11-10 in twelve innings for game two.
Bowdoin jumped out to an 8-0 lead following four innings of play in game one, but surrendered four to Trinity in the top of the fifth. Trinity sophomore 1B Johnny Stamatis (Ridgefield, Conn.) hit a single to center to drive in a run and senior 3B Nick DiBenedetto (Fort Myers, Fla.) bounced a shot off the top of the outfield fence and back into play for a three-run double. The Bantams had runners on second base in both the sixth and seventh frames but could not push a run across. Max Vogel-Freedman pitched 5.1 innings and gave up nine hits with four strikeouts and no walks. DiBenedetto who went 2-for-3 with three RBI.
After trailing 7-3 through five innings, the Bantams came back to take a 10-9 in the seocnd game heading into the bottom of the ninth but Ejazz Jiu tagged an RBI single to right to extend the game. Bowdoin had gone up early in the bottom of the first when Joe Gentile recorded an RBI groundout. Trinity responded in the top half of the second off an RBI double from Carter Snyder (Lemont, Ill.). The Polar Bears put up four runs in the second and the teams traded runs in the third thanks to RBI singles by Trinity freshman Matt Koperniak (Adams, Mass.) and Bowdoin's Eric Mah. Trinity junior Tyler Forgione (North Branford, Conn.) singled through the left side, producing another run for Trinity in the fourth and Jack Wilhoite homered to center for Bowdoin in the fifth. Forgione and junior Ryan Vultaggio (Vero Beach, Fla, Fla.) each pushed a run across the plate in sixth to continue chipping away at Bowdoin’s lead, but the home team got one run back in the bottom half of the inning.
Trinity exploded for a four-run seventh inning to take its first lead of the game. DiBenedetto doubled down the leftfield line to start the scoring for the Bantams. Rookie C Alex Rodriguez (South Windsor, Conn.) sent a sacrifice fly to center and Vultaggio blasted a two-run shot over the leftfield fence for the lead. Bowdoin SS Sean Mullaney tied the game with an RBI single to right in the bottom half of the inning, but the Bantams took a 10-9 lead in the top of the eighth when Koperniak drew a leadoff walk and scored on a passed ball.
After Jiu's game-tying single in the ninth, Trinity junior LHP McLane Hill (Marlborough, Conn.) escaped a bases-loaded situation to force extra-innings and another in the 11th frame. Five Trinity pitchers combined for 10 strikeouts, paced by Hill who tallied five in 2.2 innings of work despite the loss. Bowdoin recorded seven strikeouts with Whilhoite closing out the game and earning the win with five.