Jeffs Win NESCAC West Division Crown with Doubleheader Sweep at Hamilton

May 8, 2005 

CLINTON, NY - Paced by red-hot senior co-captain Josh Santry (Allendale, NJ), who homered four times on the day, the Amherst College baseball team won its second NESCAC West Division title in the last three years and locked up the host seed for next weekend's (May 13-15) NESCAC Postseason Championship Tournament with a doubleheader sweep at Hamilton College on Sunday. Game scores were 5-3 and 15-10, as the Jeffs wrap up their regular season at 20-6-1 overall and 9-2-1 in league play. 

The flame-throwing Santry homered three times in the opener, beginning with a two-run shot in the opening frame, a solo blast to send the game into extra innings in the seventh and a two-run tomahawk to seal the victory in the 11th, driving in all five Amherst runs. Junior Andrew Green (Lexington, MA) added a pair of singles and stole a base, while classmate Zach Schonberger (Rye, NY) and sophomore Tom Scott (Randolph, NJ) each doubled. 

Amherst junior Rob Anderson (Winnetka, IL) drew the start, pitched well and left the game with the score tied in the seventh. Fellow junior Joe Vladeck (Washington, DC) then pitched five innings of scoreless one-hit relief to up his record to 5-1 and drop his ERA to 1.31. 

The nightcap turned out to be an all-out aluminum-bat era slugfest as the two teams combined for 25 runs on 27 hits. Five different Amherst players homered, including sophomore Jared Banner (Brooklyn, NY), who left the yard twice after missing all of Saturday's twinbill against visiting Wesleyan with a stomach ailment. Schonberger, Scott, Santry and junior Dave Levinson (Philadelphia, PA) each homered as well. Scott also doubled, finished 4-for-5, drove in four runs and scored three more. Santry and Schonberger are now tied for the team lead with six home runs, followed by Banner and senior co-captain Dave Powers (Andover, MA) with five each. The Jeffs sent three pitchers to the hill. Senior Mike Erkkinen (Yarmouth, ME) drew the start and ran his record to 2-0 before giving way to classmates Kyle Lavery (Westbury, NY) and Ed Imperatore (Tenafly, NJ). 

Cellar-dwelling Hamilton finishes its season at 7-24 overall and 0-12 in NESCAC West Division play. 

The NESCAC Postseason Championship Tournament will kick off on Friday, May 13, and will take place at two different sites - Amherst College Memorial Field and Western New England College. Along with the Jeffs, Wesleyan (11-22-1/7-4-1 NESCAC West), Trinity College (28-5/10-2 NESCAC East) and Tufts University (23-9/10-2 NESCAC East) have also qualified. The winner will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. 

Amherst won the NESCAC West Division title and hosted the tournament in 2003, advancing through the winners' bracket to the championship game, where they dropped a doubleheader to Trinity. Last season, Amherst won the conference championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1999.