Amherst Kicks Off Weekend Series with 11-1 Win Over Hamilton

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College baseball team took advantage of eight Hamilton College errors and got a great outing from senior Chris Edgar (Massapequa, NY), as the Lord Jeffs earned an 11-1 victory to move to 10-5-1 overall and 3-1 in the NESCAC West. Amherst will host the Continentals (4-8, 0-1 NESCAC West) in doubleheader action on Sunday, with the first game set to begin at noon.

After first-year Brian Merrigan (Holbrook, MA) was hit by a pitch and stole second base with one out in the bottom of the first inning, junior Brendan Powers (Walpole, MA) put Amherst on the board by lacing a double to right field for his 12th RBI of the season. Powers tagged up and advanced to third when senior co-captain Neal Allar (Floyds Knobs, IN) flied out to deep right center, and he came around to score on a wild pitch during the ensuing at-bat to give the Jeffs a 2-0 lead.

Hamilton came back to put runners at the corners with two outs in the top of the second, but Edgar got out of his first jam by inducing a groundout to second base for the final out. Junior Angus Schaller (Leucadia, CA) provided the lone run of the inning when he led off the bottom half of the frame with a deep shot to left field for his fifth home run of the season and his third in the last two games, as Amherst bumped its advantage to 3-0.

Senior quad-captain Dan Hood matched Schaller's solo shot by leading off the top of the fourth with an opposite-field homer to give the Continentals their first and only run.

With senior Evan Bruno (Williamsburg, VA) on second base and junior Mike Neff (New York, NY) on first in the bottom of the fourth inning, the Jeffs put on a double steal that Hamilton had trouble defending. Bruno scored on the play and Neff advanced to third before he was driven in by a single through the left side from first-year Jose Espinosa (Ridgefield, CT).

Bruno provided Amherst's sixth run of the game in the bottom of the fifth when he sent a hard grounder up the middle with runners on second and third with one out. Hamilton second baseman Gideon Clark made a great diving stop to rob Bruno of a base hit, but it was enough to bring first-year Scott Shaffer (Boulder, CO) in from third. Neff capped off the scoring in the inning by roping a single to left field that brought Schaller around from second base, as Edgar returned to the hill in the sixth with a comfortable 7-1 lead.

The Jeffs' four-run sixth inning was highlighted by a Shaffer RBI-double and a Bruno sacrifice fly, with the 11-1 lead allowing Amherst to tap into its bullpen. Edgar (2-2) allowed just five hits in his six innings, with first-year Jim Cetkovski (Toronto, ON) taking over for three innings of no-hit relief.

Senior Bryden Considine (0-3) allowed four earned runs on five hits and one walk through four innings, while first-years Dan Kroening and Donovan Flint pitched the seventh and eighth innings, respectively, without surrendering a hit. Hood was the only Continental with multiple hits, as he went 2-for-4 on the day.

Shaffer, Schaller and Neff each had two hits for Amherst, with Bruno and Schaller each driving in two runs. Bruno also had a pair of stolen bases, with the Jeffs combining for eight steals in the game. Amherst increased its winning streak against Hamilton to 10 games, as the Jeffs have scored at least 10 runs in each of the last five meetings with the Continentals.