The second-seeded Middlebury men's squash team finished in third place overall with a narrow 5-4 win over fourth-seeded Bates (9-8) Sunday while hosting the 2019 NESCAC Tournament in the Bostwick Family Squash Center. With the victory, the Panthers improve to 12-5 and return to action on Saturday when they entertain No. 19 MIT beginning at 4:00 p.m.
The Panthers tallied wins in the first two matches to finish. Alex Merrill started things with a three-game victory over Dylan Muldoon at the bottom of the ladder (11-9, 11-3, 11-7), while Teddy Best made the score 2-0 with a 12-10, 11-6, 11-2 win against Coley Cannon in the sixth position.
The Bobcats knotted the score at 2-2 with a three-game victory at No. 8, followed by a five-game triumph in the eighth spot.
Middlebury responded by earning the next two matches for a 4-2 advantage. Nick Bermingham eased past Garon Rothenberg in the middle of the lineup (11-1, 11-8, 11-4), while John Epley edged Benni McComish in three games at No. 7 (11-9, 11-8, 11-6).
After Bates moved to within 4-3 following a three-game win at No. 2, Jack Kagan clinched the match for the Panthers with an 11-7, 11-7, 13-11 victory over Jesper Phillips in the fourth slot.
Bates was victorious atop the ladder in three games for the final 5-4 score.