Middlebury Edges Bowdoin On Smith’s Walk-Off Single

Hayden Smith delivered a walk-off single on Saturday as the Panthers beat Bowdoin 11-10.
Hayden Smith delivered a walk-off single on Saturday as the Panthers beat Bowdoin 11-10.

Middlebury's Hayden Smith delivered a walk-off single with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, as the Panthers (8-13) collected an 11-10 win Saturday over Bowdoin. The teams conclude their three-game series on Sunday at noon with a doubleheader.

The Polar Bears (11-14) opened the scoring in the top of the first inning, as Eric Mah touched home plate on a fielder's choice by Jack Wilhoite for a 1-0 lead. Bowdoin added a second run one batter later when Connor Lee doubled off the bag at third, bringing home Joe Gentile.

The visitors added to their advantage in the second inning, plating two more runs. Gentile drove in the first with a fielder's choice to the right side of the infield, while Mah scored from third on a wild pitch for a 4-0 lead.

Middlebury plated its initial run of the game in the bottom of the third, as Alan Guild drove in Justin Han with a single through the right side.

In the fourth, the Panthers tied the game with three more runs. Jake Dianno singled to right field, scoring Brooks Carroll to make it a 4-2 contest. Sam Graf lofted a deep sacrifice fly to center later in the inning, while the hosts tied the game at 4-4 when Hamilton Evans scored on a Polar Bear throwing error.

After Bowdoin reclaimed the lead at 5-4 in the fifth when Gentile walked with the bases loaded, the hosts scored three times in the bottom half of the frame. Carroll singled home Guild and Grant Elgarten scored when a Polar Bear outfielder bobbled the ball. The Panthers made it 7-5 later in the frame on an infield hit by Evans, scoring Carroll.          

Middlebury took a four-run lead in the sixth on an RBI double by Smith and a sacrifice fly to left field by Elgarten for a 9-5 edge.

Bowdoin got a run back in the seventh and two more in the eighth, closing the gap to a one at 9-8, but the hosts countered with a run in the bottom half of the inning for a 10-8 advantage.

The Polar Bears tied the game in the ninth, scoring twice in their final at bat. Owen Gideon-Murphy opened the inning with a double and later scored on a base hit to left field by Mah, while Brendan O'Neill dropped a single into shallow center field, scoring Mah to make the score 10-10.

The hosts loaded the bases with one out in the last of the ninth and came away with the victory on a sharp single to left field by Smith.

Smith finished the game going 3-6 with two RBI, while Carroll went 3-5 with a pair of runs scored. Han and Guild added to the offense with two hits each. Conor Himstead (1-0) earned the win in relief, while Justin Legowski (3.2 innings) and Colin Waters (3.0) also saw time out of the bullpen.

Six different Polar Bears finished the game with two hits, while Lee drove in three runs and Mah scored three times. Wilhoite (0-1) suffered the loss, while starter Colby Lewis and reliever Brandon Lopez each three four innings.