Amherst baseball remained ranked No. 5 in New England after posting a 4-1 week to push the Jeffs' record to 15-4 overall, 14-3 against Division III competition. The team kicked off the week with a 12-9 win at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, formerly North Adams State. Sophomore Hugh Quattlebaum (Andover, MA) went 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles, his fifth home run of the season and four RBI, along with scoring four himself. Junior DH Greg Berchelmann (St. Louis, MO) also batted .800 for the game as he and classmate Michael St. Clair (East Longmeadow, MA) pounded in two more homers for the Jeffs. After trailing by as much as 6-3 early in the game, Amherst claimed its final lead with a three-run sixth inning as the Jeffs took 18 hits off Mohawk pitchers. Junior Graham Callaghan (Burlington, CT) claimed his first win of the season while senior Jon Cross (Chevy Chase, MD) earned the save by allowing only two hits and shutting out Mass College in the final four innings.
The following rainy day, Amherst claimed a 7-6 win at UMass-Dartmouth. Righthander Mike Sweeney (Keene, NH) pushed his record to 5-1 as the junior allowed only two runs in six innings of work, and Amherst took a 7-2 lead in the top of the seventh with a two-run double by senior Geoff Spies (Princeton, NJ). A three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh cut the Lord Jeff lead one, but Andy Ditchfield (Lebanon, NH) struck out two before the game was called because of rain.
Amherst returned home to split weekend doubleheader with Suffolk. St. Clair registered a two-run homer toward an 8-0 lead after four innings. Cross earned the win after striking out five in 6.2 innings of work as Callaghan picked up his second save of the season. In game two, however, the Rams jumped out to a 5-0 lead with one out in the first toward an 8-4 victory. Two runs on two hits by Berchelmann led Amherst, while Callaghan returned to the mound to strike out six in five innings.
On Monday Amherst hosted American International College in a slug-fest that totaled 33 hits and 29 runs. St. Clair, who has hit safely in 17 of his 19 games, including the last eight straight, tied the score at 2-2 with his seventh homer of the year and fourth in six games. The rightfielder went 5-for-6 with four runs and four RBI. Three runs in the second gave Amherst the lead for good, and the Jeffs led by as much as 12-6 after a six-run fourth. Quattlebaum posted four runs on two walks and two hits, and junior Spencer Christensen (Southboro, MA) went 3-for 6 from centerfield.
The team prepares for games against the top two teams in New England in the next five days. Amherst hosts second-ranked Eastern Connecticut State University (18-5) on Wednesday after being knocked out of the NCAA Regional by the Warriors, 16-12, last year. Including the 12-5 win during the regular season, the Jeffs pounded seven home runs off Warrior pitching, including a pair by senior leftfielder Josh Carroll (Winchester, MA). Berchelmann, Quattlebaum and senior co-captain Mike Sullivan (Andover, MA) also registered homers against the Warriors among 28 long-balls last season.
Amherst will then travel to top-ranked Brandeis for a Sunday game. The Jeffs defeated the Judges twice last year, once during the regular season to claim a No. 1 ranking in the region, and once during the NCAAs to upset the top-seed.
Hitting: 28 or more at bats Pitching Statistics AB H HR RBI BA IP H K ERA Michael St. Clair '99 68 33 7 23 .485 Whit Griffinger '00 32 13 2 9 .406 Greg Berchelmann '99 65 25 2 13 .385 Hugh Quattlebaum '00 72 27 5 16 .375 Mike Sullivan '98 68 23 2 13 .338 Josh Carroll '98 61 20 1 11 .328 Mike Grant '99 47 15 0 9 .319 Dan Blednick '98 44 14 0 14 .318 Jordan Krall '01 53 16 0 13 .302 Geoff Spies '98 30 9 0 8 .300 Mike Sweeney '99 36.0 35 33 2.75 Jon Cross '98 27.0 26 22 3.33 George Gumpert '99 2.1 3 2 3.86 Kevin Downes '01 5 4 0 2 .800 15.1 17 13 5.28 Mike Spirito '98 5.0 4 4 5.40 Andy Ditchfield '99 26.2 31 25 5.74 Graham Callaghan '99 22.1 40 19 6.04 Dave Siegle '01 8.1 13 11 12.46 Team Totals 610 215 19 138 .352 143.1 169 129 4.90 Opponent Totals 597 169 13 83 .283 139.0 215 73 8.94 Current Record: 15-4, 14-3 v. Division III Last Week: at Mass College, W 12-9 at UMass-Dartmouth, W 7-6 Suffolk (2), W 9-6, L 4-8 AIC, W 18-11 This Week: Wed Apr 15 Eastern Connecticut, 3:30pm Sun Apr 19 at Brandeis, 1:00pm