May 10, 2003
AMHERST & SPRINGFIELD, MA - Amherst College senior co-captain John Schneider (Grand Rapids, MI) drilled a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning on Saturday, giving the host Jeffs (21-10) a dramatic 3-2 win over Trinity College (21-9) and their first-ever trip to the NESCAC Tournament championship game. Amherst will again face Trinity, which rebounded with a 14-4 win over Williams College (27-10) in a losers bracket elimination game, Sunday at 10 a.m., with the conference title and an automatic berth in the Division III NCAA Tournament at stake. Williams blanked Tufts 6-0 earlier on Saturday at American International College, ending the Jumbos' season at 21-10.
Schneider's solo shot helped offset a two-run homer by Trinity catcher Andrew Fries (Dublin, OH), which gave the Bantams a 2-1 cushion in the top of the seventh inning. Both runs were unearned off Amherst starter Duncan Webb (Lynn, MA), who surrendered just four hits and fanned three Bantams en route to his second complete game win of the season. Amherst knotted the score at 2-2 with a clutch two-out RBI double by Dave Levinson (Philadelphia, PA), which scored second baseman Brandon Cody (Boston, MA) all the way from first base. Cody plated Amherst's other run with a sac fly in the third inning.
Webb improved to 5-3, while Trinity closer Craig Tredenick (Cornwall, Prince Edward Island) dropped to 1-2 with the loss. Trinity starter Joe Westcott (Holyoke, MA) pitched 6.1 strong innings before giving way to reliever Kyle Cox (Hinsdale, IL) in the seventh.
Schneider and Fries paced their respective offenses with two hits each.
In Williams' win over Tufts, sophomore starter Chris Bodnar (Carlisle, MA) went the distance, scattering five hits and seven strikeouts, upping his record to 4-2. The Ephs scored two runs in each of the first, second and fourth innings, paced by RBI singles by Austin Lehn (Maplewood, NJ), Jabe Bergeron (Chesterfield, NH) and Robert Coppola (Orange, CT), as well as a run-scoring double by Timothy Burbridge (East Greenwich, RI). Burbridge, Bergeron and Matthew Dahlman (Short Hills, NJ) finished with two hits each.
Adam Kacamburas (North Reading, MA) singled twice for Tufts. The Jumbos used four pitchers, with starter Dave Martin (Arlington, MA) falling to 6-2 with the loss.
Williams then saw its season come to an end against Trinity, which overcame five errors with 12 hits, combining for 13 of their 14 runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Four players registered multiple hit games for the Bantams. Robert Dolliver (Norwich, CT) led the way with three singles, three RBI's and three runs scored. Starter Chris Rodday (Concord, MA) pitched into the sixth inning and upped his record to a perfect 4-0.
Bergeron hit his 12th and 13th home runs of the season for Williams. The Ephs used four pitchers. Starter Benjamin Hamm (Java Center, NY) pitched six complete innings and dropped to 5-4 with the loss.
Sunday's championship game was originally scheduled for 11 a.m. but moved to 10 a.m. due to the threat of inclement weather. Coming through the losers bracket in a double elimination format, Trinity will have to win twice on Sunday to steal the title from Amherst.
Amherst vs. Trinity Box Score / Play-by-Play
Williams vs. Tufts Box Score / Play-by-Play
Trinity vs. Williams Box Score / Play-by-Play
Schneider Homers Jeffs Into NESCAC Title Game; Trinity Advances in Losers Bracket, Williams and Tufts Eliminated
May 10, 2003