Jeffs Drop Extra-Inning Heartbreaker to UMass Dartmouth, 7-6

April 5, 2001

AMHERST, MA - In a marathon baseball game on Thursday, Amherst College dropped its home-opener, 7-6, to non-league foe UMass Dartmouth to fall to 6-5 on the season. The visiting Corsairs scored three runs in the top of the 10th inning to seal the win, with senior shortstop Guy Furtado (Dartmouth, MA) striking the major blow with a two-run single, driving in classmate Eric Taylor (New Bedford, MA) and freshman third baseman Ryan Sullivan (Chicopee, MA). 

Amherst used similar heroics in the bottom of the ninth to send the game into extra innings. Senior shortstop Jordan Krall (Encino, CA) drove in pinch runner Paul Whiting (Mission Viejo, CA) with an RBI single to knot the score at 4-4, putting runners on first and second with nobody out. Poised to end the game right there, Amherst sophomore designated hitter Joe Katuska (Southboro, MA) advanced the runners to second and third with a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt, forcing UMass Dartmouth reliever Brian Ronayne (Bridgewater, MA) to intentionally walk center fielder John Schneider (Grand Rapids, MI) to load the bases. With nowhere to put the runners and the game on the line, Ronayne then struck out junior catcher J.R. Drabick (Lebanon, NH) and sophomore right fielder Devin Haran (Basking Ridge, NJ) to end the threat and set the stage for the Corsairs' tenth inning rally. 

Despite UMass Dartmouth's three-run flurry in the 10th, the Jeffs refused to go away. After junior second baseman John Brody (Baltimore, MD) fouled out and senior left fielder Dave Siegle (Falmouth, ME) flied to right to start the inning, sophomore first baseman Josh Sadlier (East Blue Hill, ME) walked and senior third baseman Ryan Whitmarsh (Dalton, MA) reached on an infield throwing error to bring the tying run to the plate. Again, Krall came through in the clutch, although unintentionally, reaching first base on a swinging strike-three that skirted away from UMass Dartmouth catcher Jon Merrill (Rehoboth, MA) to load the bases. Consecutive walks by Katuska and Schneider cut the Jeffs' deficit to 7-6, leaving Corsair senior closer Steve Lauzon (Albion, RI) on the mound to face Drabick with the tying and winning runs at second and third. In a plate appearance that lasted nearly 10 minutes and featured eight foul balls, Drabick finally popped up to Sullivan at third base to end the inning and the ballgame, as UMass Dartmouth (11-6) narrowly escaped with its 11th win of the season. 

UMass Dartmouth starter Jason Devincent (Natick, MA) pitched the Corsairs into the ninth inning, allowing three earned runs on 12 hits. Ronayne then picked up the win after 1.2 innings of relief to improve to 2-2 on the season, while Lauzon notched his first save of the season for his brief stint in the 10th. 

Meanwhile, Amherst junior right-hander Dave Krauser (Short Hills, NJ) fell to 1-3 after allowing two runs-including the game-winner-in the 10th inning. Drabick finished three-for-six with an RBI double to lead the Jeffs offensively, while Krall, Brody and sophomore right fielder Jarret Solomon (Simsbury, CT) each had two hits. 

Amherst returns to action for a three-game series this Saturday and Sunday against NESCAC rival Hamilton College. All three games will be played at Siena College in Loudonville, New York, with the first pitch set for noon on both days.

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