AMHERST, Mass. – John Lefeber tripled home the tiebreaking runs in the eighth inning as Bowdoin earned a 9-8 victory over Amherst on Friday in its opener at the New England Small College Athletic Conference baseball championship.

Lefeber’s two-out hit broke a 7-7 tie. He went 4 for 6 with four RBI, helping the Polar Bears (23-13) get to the winners’ bracket of the double-elimination tournament. Bowdoin faces Tufts at 10:30 a.m. today.

The Polar Bears opened a 6-3 lead against Amherst (24-9) with a four-run fifth inning. Lefeber capped the rally with a two-run single.

Matt Ruane added three RBI and Dan Findley was 3 for 5. Mark Edwards got the final four outs to earn his eighth save. 

E. CONN. STATE 6, USM 5: Andrew Dewing drove in three runs and the top-seeded Warriors (31-10) eliminated the Huskies (22-19) from the Little East Conference tournament at Mansfield, Conn.

Dewing’s second RBI single gave the Warriors a 2-1 lead in the third inning, and he drew a bases-loaded walk during a four-run fourth that made it 6-1.

USM got an RBI single from Troy Thibodeau in the fourth, then cut the deficit to 6-5 in the fifth. Mike Eaton doubled and scored on a triple by Nick Grady. After a walk to Josh Mackey, Tucker White drilled a two-run double.

Relievers Evan Chamberlain and sophomore Andrew Merritt shut out the Huskies over the final four innings.

Eaton finished 2 for 2 with three walks and an RBI. USM reliever Dustin Stanton allowed two hits in 5 2/3 scoreless innings.