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The Hamilton College Continentals opened their season with a 2-1 NESCAC crossover win over the Bowdoin College Polar Bears at Pat Thomas Stadium in Leesburg, Fla., on Monday morning.

Box score

Game two of the scheduled doubleheader was canceled because of severe weather conditions throughout much of Florida. The Continentals opened the season with a victory for the seventh time in 10 years.

Hamilton scored in the fourth and fifth innings and held off the Polar Bears (6-2 overall), who put two runners on base in the bottom of the seventh. Shortstop Andrew Haser ’17 threw out the tying run at the plate to end the game.

Ryan Crawford ’15 earned his first career save, pitching three innings of one-run relief. After Bowdoin scored an unearned run in the bottom of the fifth to pull within a run, Crawford retired six straight Polar Bears. A single by Aaron Rosen ’15 and a walk to Joshua Ellis ’17 gave Bowdoin runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the seventh before pinch-hitter Cole DeRoberto ’15 hit a slow roller over the mound that Haser fielded. He faked a throw to first and cut down Rosen easily at home for the final out.

Hamilton took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth when Steve LaRochelle ’14 singled home Ryan Wolfsberg ’17. Wolfsberg reached on a one-out error, moved to second on a failed pickoff attempt and advanced to third on a bunt single by Kenny Collins ’17.

The Continentals added to their lead an inning later. Joe Jensen ’15 – just two days removed from finishing as the national runner-up in the 400-meter dash at the 2014 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships in Nebraska – led off with a double and scored on the first collegiate hit by Brett Mele ’17.

Andrew Jaffoni ’15 picked up his first career win, holding the Polar Bears scoreless in the fourth. Jaffoni entered in relief of starter JJay Lane ’15, who threw three scoreless innings of one-hit ball. Lane retired the last eight batters he faced, including all five after a 40-minute lightning delay.

Michael Staes ’16 took the loss for Bowdoin. He struck out five and walked two in six innings. The Polar Bears had averaged 7.5 runs per game in their first seven contests.

The Continentals travel to Auburndale, Fla., on Tuesday, March 18, for a doubleheader against Framingham State scheduled to start at 9:15 a.m.

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