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NESCAC Tournament
Tufts 11    Bowdoin 6

At North Adams, MA
Saturday, May 12, 2007

Game Box Score

NORTH ADAMS -- The Tufts baseball team scored five unearned runs in the top of the ninth inning to earn an 11-6 victory over Bowdoin College in game three of the 2007 NESCAC Tournament hosted by Williams College on Saturday morning.

The Jumbos (24-11) stay alive in the tournament, while Bowdoin (18-16) is eliminated. Tufts plays Amherst College in an elimination game later on Saturday at 2:30 pm. The Jeffs defeated the Jumbos, 8-7, in the first round of the tournament on Friday. The winner will advance to the championship round, where it will face host Williams College tomorrow at 10:00 am.

Bowdoin scored a single run in the bottom of the eight to tie the score at 6-6 on a lead-off home run by Jon Koperniak. Jumbo freshman reliever Jordan Goldberg (Westborough, MA) stranded the go-ahead run on third base.

In the top of the ninth, Tufts had two outs with a runner on first when a Bowdoin error opened the floodgates. Jumbo sophomore 3B Kevin Casey (Milford, MA) and freshman 2B Nate Bankoff (Lynnfield, MA) hit run-scoring singles, and senior catcher Chris Decembrele (Walpole, MA) cracked a two-run triple. Jumbo closer Brian Casey (Milford, MA) retired the Polar Bears 1-2-3 in the ninth.

Tufts had come out and scored three runs in the top of the first, also aided by sloppy Bowdoin play. The runs scored on a passed ball, a wild pitch and on single by Kevin Casey. The Polar Bears scored twice in the second on one hit, with John Lawrie walking and scoring on a fielder's choice by K.J. Kozens, and Koperniak scoring on a sacrifice fly by Joe Pace after he has hit by a pitch.

In the third, a two-run double by Bankoff gave the Jumbos a 5-2 lead, but the Polar Bears answered with three in the bottom of the inning to tie the score at 5-5. Singles by Koperniak and Kozens, and a wild pitch plated the runs.

The Jumbos would score with Bowdoin's assistance again in the seventh to lead 6-5. Senior 1B Bryan McDavitt (Holden, MA) led off with a single and scored when junior RF Steve Ragonese's (Upper Saddle River, NJ) single was misplayed in the outfield. Koperniak's game-tying home run came soon for the Bowdoin, but the Jumbos broke the tie by taking advantage of extra opportunities in the ninth.

Tufts had 15 hits overall, with four by Kevin Casey that led to two runs scored and two RBIs. Senior LF Kyle Backstrom (Worcester, MA), returning to the starting line-up for the first time since March after an injury, was 3 for 5 with a run. Bankoff, Brian Casey and Ragonese each had two hits. Goldberg collected the win with 5.1 innings of excellent relief, allowing three hits and one run.

Koperniak was 2 for 3 with three runs and two RBIs for Bowdoin, which had eight hits. Pace and Lawler finished with two apiece. Carter Butland was also stellar in long relief for Bowdoin, allowing four hits and no earned runs in 5.1 innings.