Jeffs Reach 20-Win Mark with Sweep of Fitchburg State

Courtesy of Fitchburg State

FITCHBURG, MA – The Amherst College baseball team defeated Fitchburg State College twice Sunday afternoon to move to 20-11, avenging the 12-3 loss the Jeffs suffered to the Falcons early in the season. After taking the opener, 9-4, Amherst overcame a 4-0 deficit to win the nightcap, 7-5.

In the opener, Amherst used a solid pitching performance from senior Teddy Blank (Waban, MA) to pick up its 19th victory of the season as the Jeffs limited Fitchburg State to just five hits in the contest. Blank went the distance, notching 10 strikeouts with four runs allowed throughout seven innings of work. Senior Marshall Miller took the loss for Fitchburg State, yielding six runs and nine hits through four innings pitched.

After each team scored a single run in the first inning, Amherst rallied off five straight runs to post a commanding 6-1 advantage. Junior Bryce Einhorn (Scarsdale, NY) sparked the Jeffs with a two-run homer in the second, while classmate Scott Shaffer (Boulder, CO) collected an RBI-single in the third. Einhorn's home run was the first of his career.

Fitchburg State inched closer with three runs in the fifth frame as junior Ricky Graham laced a run-scoring single, but Amherst tallied three more runs over the final two innings to secure its victory. The Jeffs plated a pair of runs in the sixth off sophomore John Wagner's (Evanston, IL) RBI-single, while adding one run in the seventh after Nolan Stewart (New Cannan, CT) led off with a double.

Graham led the Falcons' offense, hitting 2-for-3 with a double, run scored and one RBI, while classmate John Phelan added a pair of hits. Sophomore Will Godwin (Swarthorne, PA) led the Jeffs' attack with a  3-for-4 day, while Einhorn finished 2-for-3 with three runs scored and three RBIs.

In the nightcap, Fitchburg State came out of the gates gunning with a quick 4-0 lead, but Amherst rallied late and used a four-run fifth inning to complete the non-conference sweep.

Fitchburg State got on the board early in the first inning as sophomore Michal Mercier blasted a two-run triple to right center field. The Falcons continued their momentum over the next two frames as Phelan and Graham combined for three RBIs to give Fitchburg State a comfortable five-run lead. Phelan belted a two-run double in the second frame, while Graham capped the scoring with a towering home run in the third.

Over the next four innings, Amherst began to rally back, posting seven straight runs for its 20th victory of the season. Sophomore Mike Samela (Westport, CT) sparked the Jeffs' comeback with an RBI-triple and home run off the bench, while Shaffer added a single and a run-scoring double. Samela now has seven homers on the year, the third highest single-season total in program history.

Fitchburg State belted 12 hits in the contest, led by the hot swing of Phelan. Phelan finished the contest 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, while Graham went 2-for-3 with a home run, two runs scored and one RBI. Senior Matt Morrison added a pair of hits to the Falcons' offense, while sophomore Eric O'Reilly posted two singles.

On the hill, junior Steve Donah suffered the loss for the Falcons, surrendering six runs and nine hits in 4.1 innings of work. Amherst junior Pat Harris (Rochester, NY) earned the victory in relief, tossing 2.1 innings of shutout work, while senior John D'Angelo (Woodbridge, CT) collected his second save of the season.

Fitchburg State closes out its 2010 campaign with an overall record of 15-19, while Amherst (20-11) is still looking to make up its game against Eastern Connecticut State University.