FORT MYERS, FL – Amherst College first-years Mike Sutton (Montreal, QC) and Jeff Keenan (West Hartford, CT) pitched well to pick up wins in their respective collegiate debuts and lead the Lord Jeffs to a pair of victories over Plymouth State University. Amherst earned a convincing 17-3 win in the front end of a doubleheader before taking an 8-3 win in the nightcap.
Less than 24 hours after erupting for 23 runs in a win over Nichols College, Amherst put on yet another hitting display by putting 17 runs on the board in only six innings of work in game one with Plymouth State. The Lord Jeffs' rookie class continued to shine at the plate, as first-years Jose Espinosa (Ridgefield, CT), Scott Shaffer (Boulder, CO) and Alex Coburn (Brookline, MA) combined to go 7-for-13 with 5 RBIs and three runs scored.
Highlights of the first game included senior co-captain Neal Allar (Floyds Knobs, IN) once again displaying his opposite-field power by belting a homer over the right field fence before classmate Nick Boehm (Shaker Heights, OH) crushed a towering solo shot during the fifth inning in what would be his lone at-bat of the day.
Sutton pitched six of the seven innings and allowed three earned runs on eight hits, allowing only one walk compared to eight strikeouts. Junior Mike Landman (Brooklyn, NY) closed things out in the seventh, surrendering one hit and picking up one strikeout. The Jeffs poured on seven runs in the third inning and carried a 10-1 lead into the fourth, once again providing valuable run support to their young pitching staff.
The day's second game remained scoreless until Amherst put a pair of runs on the board in the top of the third inning, with first-year Brian Merrigan (Holbrook, MA) and Coburn leading things off with a single and double, respectively. Keenan then retired the side in order on six pitches, including a strikeout on a great curveball to end the inning.
The Jeffs kept rolling in the top of the fourth with junior Angus Schaller (Leucadia, CA) hitting an RBI-double off the left field fence, which was followed by three consecutive singles from senior Josh Card (North Adams, MA), Merrigan and Coburn. Keenan returned to the mound with a 5-0 lead after a long rest.
Plymouth State came back with two runs in the bottom of the fourth and had runners at the corners with two outs, but Keenan reached down to punch out the next batter on a high heater to prevent further damage. Plymouth then led off the fifth with a walk, but Keenan got the next hitter to line out to Allar, who then stepped on first base for a huge double play. Keenan finished off the inning with a fastball on the outside corner that was watched for a backwards-K.
Landman was once again called on to finish things off, and he struck out the side to seal the deal for the Jeffs. Keenan allowed just four hits and two runs—one of which was earned—while striking out five and walking two.
Merrigan went 3-for-3 in the nightcap, adding a pair of RBIs and two runs scored, while Coburn went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and one run scored. Schaller was a combined 5-for-7 on the day with four runs and four RBIs.
Amherst (3-1) returns to action Tuesday for a doubleheader with Saint Mary's beginning at 1 p.m.
GAME 1 BOX SCORE
GAME 2 BOX SCORE