LEWISTON, Maine --- Senior Derek Kane (Natick, Mass. / Natick) had two hits and drove in three to lead the Thomas College baseball team to a 4-2 victory over Bates College at Leahey Field.
Bates (7-11) threatened early on, stranding two runners in the first inning and one each in the second and third before finally breaking through in the fourth inning off Kane, who also started on the mound for Thomas (8-8).
The Bobcats grabbed the lead with a run in the fourth inning. With runners at the corners and one out, Conor Reenstierna scored from third on a delayed steal after Jake Shapiro was caught attempting to steal second.
The Terriers tied the game in the fifth as senior Anree Benitez (Orlando, Fla. / University) reached on an error, stole second and scored on a single by Kane.
After a scoreless sixth inning, Thomas grabbed the lead with three runs in the seventh. Kane knocked in Benitez and freshman Hank Vinall (Blue Hill, Maine / George Stevens Academy) with a two-run single to left and advanced to second when the ball was not fielded properly. Senior Nik Beeson (Manchester, N.H. / Trinity) followed with an RBI single that scored Kane from second to make it 4-1.
Terrier reliever Matt Rutherford (so., Saco, Maine / Thornton Academy) sat the Bobcats down in order in the seventh but ran into a bit of difficulty in the eighth. After issuing a leadoff walk to Brendan Fox, Jamie Kennedy reached on an error by Rutherford to put runners at first and second. A lineout to right and a groundout to second were followed by a walk to pinch-hitter Berto Diaz to load the bases. Rutherford was able to get out of the jam, though, as Evan Czopek grounded out to short to end the inning.
After finding themselves unable to add to their total in the top of the ninth, the Terriers brought in junior Dominic Esposito (Portland, Maine / Deering) in the last of the ninth for a chance at the save. After a groundout to open the frame, Ryan McCarthy drew a walk and moved to third on a single by Christian Colon. A sacrifice fly by Brendan Fox that scored McCarthy allowed the Bobcats to pull back one run, but that would be all as pinch-hitter Eric Vilanova flew out to center field to end the game.
Bates outhit Thomas, 8-5, in the game but also held a 4-3 advantage in errors.
Fox collected a pair of hits and the Bobcats' lone RBI. McCarthy, Colon, Reenstier, Shapiro, Kennedy and John Dinucci all added singles.
Benitez was just 1-for-4, but reached base three times in the game courtesy a single, an error and a bean ball. He stole second base each time. Kane (two), Beeson and freshman Isaiah Arana (Orlando, Fla. / Timber Creek) accounted for Thomas' other hits.
The Bobcats were able to get three solid innings out of starter Justin Foley. Foley allowed just a walk while striking out four. He was followed by six relievers who threw one inning each. Mark Cunningham was tagged with the loss after scattering three hits and a walk in the Terriers' three-run seventh inning.
Kane threw four innings, allowing one run on six hits and a walk while striking out three. Senior Isiah Fleming (Fairfield, Maine / Lawrence) pitched the fifth and sixth innings, grabbing the win to improve to 2-0 after allowing just one hit and striking out a pair. Rutherford allowed just a pair of walks and struck out one in two innings, while Esposito collected his third save of the year after allowing one run on one hit and one walk in the ninth.
The Terriers return to North Atlantic Conference play this weekend with a four-game series at Colby-Sawyer Saturday and Sunday. Saturday's doubleheader begins at 1 p.m., while Sunday's twin bill is scheduled for a noon start.