Jeffs Split Inter-Division Doubleheader with No. 16 Trinity

AMHERST, MA – After dropping a seven-inning nail-biter to 16th-ranked Trinity College, 3-2, the Amherst College baseball team rebounded by piling on 17 hits in an 11-3 win to close out Saturday afternoon's doubleheader at Memorial Field. The Lord Jeffs move to 15-10 (5-4 NESCAC West), while the Bantams are now 15-8 (6-5 NESCAC East). 

Derek Anderson '10 led Trinity to victory in the opener by allowing two earned runs on only five hits, bumping his record to 3-1 on the season. Anderson struck out two and walked four. The Bantams had eight hits in the game—all singles—and were led by a 2-for-3 performance from Steven Howard '13. 

The Bantams scored two runs in the top of the third, with Howard getting things going by leading off with a single. After moving over to second on a sacrifice bunt, Howard scored when James Wood '10 singled up the middle to make it a 1-0 game. After a wild pitch, Stephen Rogers '13 followed suit by picking up an RBI on a single through the middle of the infield. 

The Jeffs answered with two runs on an unusual play in the home half of the third. With the bases loaded and one out, Kevin Heller '12 (Brooklyn, NY) sent a high chopper in between Trinity's third baseman and shortstop. The ball bounced in Amherst's favor and made its way into shallow left center, allowing Bryce Einhorn '11 (Scarsdale, NY) and Brian Merrigan '11 (Holbrook, MA) to score. Heller's 22nd and 23rd RBIs of the season tied things up at 2-2. 

Neither team broke the tie until the Bantams manufactured a textbook run in the sixth. After Alex LiDonni '12 led off with a single to left center and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, pinch runner David Casanova '12 was pushed to third on a groundout and scored what proved to be the winning run when Matt Sullivan '10 sent an RBI-single through the left side. The Jeffs would put a runner on third base in the sixth, but they couldn't find the tying run. 

Max McKenna '11 (Lexington, MA) allowed two earned runs on five hits in the first 4.1 innings for Amherst. Senior lefthander John D'Angelo (Woodbridge, CT) took the loss (0-1) despite surrendering only one hit in one inning of relief, while Hayden Metz '12 (Ridgefield, CT) pitched the final 1.2 innings for the Jeffs. No Amherst player had multiple hits.

The second game was a much different story, with Amherst scoring six runs on six hits in the first inning to give starting pitcher Ryan Healy '11 (Westport, CT) more than enough run support. The Jeffs added one run in each of the second, fourth and fifth innings, scoring their final two runs in the seventh. Trinity scored twice in the fourth and once in the ninth. 

Highlighting the explosive first inning for Amherst was a three-run homer by Nolan Stewart '13 (New Canaan, CT), who moved into a tie for the team lead with his fifth round-tripper of the season. Bob Cook '13 (Winnetka, IL) went 4-for-5 with two RBIs and three runs scored in the second game, while Merrigan was 3-for-5 and scored a run. 

Mike Samela '12 (Westport, CT), Thomas Wheeler '12 (Minnetonka, MN) and Alex Coburn '11 (Brookline, MA) had two hits apiece and combined for four RBIs in the nightcap. The Jeffs stole five bases in the win, three of which belonged to Samela. 

Healy's only trouble came in the fourth when a leadoff walk to Stephen Rogers '13 was followed by a double from Alex Almeida '13. After Rogers scored on a wild pitch, Brad Runowicz '13 made it a 7-2 game with a sacrifice fly to center. Trinity's third run came when Joe Papa '13 hit his first homer of the season off Amherst relief pitcher Pat Harris '11 (Rochester, NY), who earned his third save for pitching three solid innings of relief. 

Healy struck out seven and allowed only three hits in six innings, improving to 5-3 with another strong performance. He had a pair of 1-2-3 innings on the day, punching out the side in the second. Harris struck out two and surrendered a pair of hits in the final three innings. 

Trinity used four pitchers in the second game, with Edward Donovan '12 taking the loss (2-3) after allowing six runs in one inning of work. 

The Lord Jeffs will host Eastern Connecticut State University tomorrow at noon, while the Bantams will host Brandeis University in a doubleheader beginning tomorrow at 1 p.m. Amherst will also be keeping an eye on Sunday's game between Williams and Wesleyan, as the Jeffs have a chance to qualify for the postseason only if the Ephs pull out a win on the Cardinals' home field.