Courtesy of Williams College Sports Information
PITTSFIELD, MA — Pittsfield native Chad Brown went 4-for-5 on Sunday as the Williams College baseball team defeated archrival Amherst College, 9-4, at historic Wahconah Park to claim the NESCAC West Division crown.
The game was played at Wahconah Park as part of a celebration of 149 years of baseball between the two institutions. The National College Baseball Hall of Fame, based in Lubbock, Texas, was represented and
presented the Mayor of Pittsfield, James Ruberto, a plaque declaring Pittsfield as the birthplace of college baseball.
Amherst and Williams played the first ever collegiate baseball game in the United States in Pittsfield on July 1, 1859.
On Sunday, the Ephs scored five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to break open a close game and never looked back. Junior southpaw Dan Benz (6-2) threw eight sharp innings, including seven straight shutout frames after allowing a two-run home run in the first, to collect the victory.
The Ephs will next play in the NESCAC Championship beginning Friday in Hartford and Middletown, Connecticut. Williams, which improved to 24-10 with the win, will be the top seed from the NESCAC West and will face Tufts University, the second seed from the NESCAC East. Amherst fell to 22-10-1 but also qualified for the tournament and will take on third-ranked Trinity College (34-0) Friday.
Amherst took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first when junior Brendan Powers (Walpole, MA) drew a two-out walk from Benz and senior co-captain Neal Allar (Floyds Knobs, IN) followed by launching a 3-1 pitch over the fence in left field for a two-run home run.
The Ephs managed to tie the game with single runs in the first and third innings. Brown's RBI-single scored Robin Allemand in the third. Zach Stone triggered the big fourth inning with a line drive single to right off Amherst starter Chris Edgar (Massapequa, NY). Following a sacrifice bunt by Barrett Allison, Eph senior James DiCosmo punched a single to left and promptly stole second.
A wild pitch allowed Stone to score the go-ahead run. A walk to Taylor Mikell and a hit batsman (Max Pinto) helped the Ephs load the bases, and Allemand plated DiCosmo (3-for-4 with three runs scored) with a sacrifice fly to right. Sophomore Al Mathews then roped a double to straightaway center field for a 6-2 lead. Brown followed
with a single up the middle that scored Mathews and chased Edgar from the game.
Benz made the lead hold up, allowing only three hits over eight innings while walking two and striking out nine. After a lead-off walk to junior Mike Neff (New York, NY) in the sixth inning, Benz retired the final nine batters he faced.
Stone relieved Benz in the ninth with Williams up 9-2 and gave up a double to Allar before walking three straight batters with two outs, including a bases-loaded walk to first-year Scott Shaffer (Boulder, CO) that made it 9-3. First-year Jose Espinosa (North Ridge, CT) followed with an RBI-single to center that made it 9-4, but Stone induced Brian Merrigan (Holbrook, MA) to ground into a force play at second to end the game.