AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College baseball team completed a three-game series sweep of Hamilton College by defeating the visiting Continentals twice Saturday afternoon at Memorial Field. After scoring four runs in the sixth inning of an 8-4 win, the Lord Jeffs cruised to a 14-3 victory in the nightcap. Amherst improves to 10-7 overall and 4-2 in NESCAC West play, while Hamilton drops to 5-12 (0-3).
Amherst narrowly out-hit Hamilton in the first game, 9-8, but took advantage of three Continental errors to score seven unearned runs. The visitors took a 2-1 lead in the third inning and tied the game at 4-4 in the fifth, but Amherst's four-run sixth inning proved to be the difference maker.
Kevin Heller '12 (Brooklyn, NY) broke the scoreless tie in the first game with a lead-off home run in the bottom of the second inning, but Hamilton came right back to take a 2-1 lead on a sacrifice fly by Joe Buicko '11 and an RBI-single from first-year Sam Fuentes.
Thomas Wheeler '12 (Minnetonka, MN) scored the tying run on a throwing error in the third, and Max Einhorn '11 (Scarsdale, NY) later drove in the go-ahead run with a single in the fourth. First-year shortstop Dan Pillitteri (Ramsey, NJ) followed with an RBI-single of his own to give Amherst a 4-2 lead.
Dan Peters '13 and Pat Gennaco '11 kicked off the top of the fifth with a single and a walk, respectively, chasing Amherst starting pitcher Dylan Joyce '12 (South Orange, NJ) from the game. It became a 4-4 game when both Hamilton players came around to score on RBI-singles by Buicko and Fuentes, who combined to go 4-for-6 with four RBIs in the first game.
The Jeffs put the game out of reach in the sixth and would not need to bat in the seventh, as sophomore catcher Mike Samela (Westport, CT) provided a two-run double that bounced off the fence in center field to give Amherst an 8-4 lead. Samela went 2-for-4 in the game as the only Lord Jeff with multiple hits.
Joyce struck out three and allowed four earned runs on six hits in four-plus innings. Sophomore Hayden Metz (Ridgefield, CT) improved to 5-0 by pitching the final three innings for Amherst, striking out three and allowing only two hits without surrendering a run.
Max Foster '10 took the loss to drop to 1-2 despite allowing only one earned run in 5.2 innings. Foster struck out three, walked two and surrendered seven runs on seven hits before being relieved by Michael Caruso '12.
The second game did not require a late-inning rally, as Amherst led 10-0 after four innings and 14-3 after six, with neither team crossing the plate in the final three frames. The Lord Jeffs had 17 hits and took advantage of five Hamilton errors in the nightcap.
Highlighting the second game for the Continentals was Grady Vigneau '10, whose two-run homer in the fifth inning marked his second long ball of the series. Kevin Prindle '13 accounted for the third RBI, which came on a groundout in the sixth inning. Prindle and Wes Mayberry '11 each had two hits in the game.
Samela went 1-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs in the second game, while first-year Nolan Stewart (New Canaan, CT) hit a three-RBI double in the fifth inning during a 3-for-4 performance. Bob Cook '13 (Winnetka, IL) added his first collegiate homer in the sixth to cap off Amherst's scoring on the day. Pillitteri was 3-for-5 with a pair of RBIs.
Ryan Healy '11 (Westport, CT) earned the win by pitching the first six innings, surrendering three earned runs on five hits and four walks. Jeff Keenan '11 (West Hartford, CT), John D'Angelo '10 (Woodbridge, CT) and Pat Harris '11 (Rochester, NY) each pitched an inning of shutout relief for Amherst.
The Lord Jeffs will return to action Tuesday, Apr. 6, when they head to Keene State College for a 3:30 p.m. non-conference game.
GAME 1 BOX SCORE
GAME 2 BOX SCORE