MANSFIELD, Conn. -- The Bowdoin College Polar Bears rallied for four runs in the seventh inning to erase a two-run deficit and went on to defeat the University of Southern Maine Huskies 6-4 in an elimination game of the 2012 NCAA Division III Mansfield Regional Tournament being played at the ECSU Baseball Stadium.
The loss ends the Huskies season with a 27-19 overall record. The Polar Bears continue on in the tournament and will play the loser of the Wheaton College-Western New England University game (in progress) on Friday (10:00 a.m.).
Bowdoin took advantage of two hits, three hit batsman, a fielder's choice and an infield error to produce four runs and wiped out the advantage Southern Maine had gained with three runs in the sixth inning. The Bowdoin seventh inning ended on an odd double play that took umpires nearly 10 minutes to sort out.
Junior Oliver Van Zant (Westport, Conn.) opened the seventh for Bowdoin by reaching on an infield error. Freshman Sam Canales (Saco, Maine) was hit by a pitch, and sophomore Duncan Taylor (Washington, D.C.) reached on a sacrifice fielder's choice as Van Zant beat the play at third, loading the bases.
After USM junior southpaw Nick Douglass (Poland, Maine) got a strikeout, sophomore John Lefeber (Branford, Conn.) singled home the first run. Senior Jordan Edgett (Lynn, Mass.) lined a double into the left-center field gap to plate two runs and give Bowdoin the lead. Douglass then hit the next two batters to force in the fourth run.
The bizarre ending to the inning when junior Luke Regan (West Roxbury, Mass.) hit a line drive USM senior pitcher Dustin Stanton (Cornish, Maine/Sacopee Valley) that sophomore first baseman John Carey (South Portland, Maine) caught off his shoe tops. Carey tried to tag the runner attempting to get back to first, but was not in time. In the ensuing confusion, Bowdoin's other two runners had not tagged up and Carey tossed to second base to double up the runner.
Southern Maine had taken a 4-2 lead in the sixth inning scoring three times. Freshman Jake Glauser (Goffstown, N.H.) drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly. The second run came home on an outfield error. Sophomore Matt Powers (Portland, Maine/Deering) brought in the third run with a single to center field.
Bowdoin grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Edgett scored on an RBI single by junior Dan Findley (Duxbury, Mass.). USM equalized in the third inning when senior David Ricker (Winthrop, Maine) was hit by a pitch for the 30th time this season. Ricker moved up to second on a balk, and came home on a single by junior Tucker White (Deerfield, N.H./Coe-Brown Northwood).
The Polar Bears retook lead in the fourth as Oliver Van Zant hit a sacrifice fly that scored junior Tim McGarry (Kennett Square, Pa.) who led off the inning with a single.
Bowdoin rookie hurler Henry Van Zant (Westport, Conn.), Oliver Van Zant's younger brother, picked up the victory. Henry Van Zant put in four innings of two-hit relief work to earn his fourth win of the season. The right-hander did not walk a batter and struck out five. The only run charged against him was unearned.
Douglass, the second of three USM pitchers, was tagged with the loss. Douglass gave up just two hits, but he hit three batters. Three of the four runs charged to Douglass were earned.
Edgett, McGarry and Findley were repeat hitters for Bowdoin. No USM batter had multiple hits.