WINTER HAVEN, FL - The Amherst College baseball team carried a 5-2 lead into the seventh inning of a rain-shortened game with Grinnell College, but the Lord Jeffs (6-4) surrendered seven more runs en route to a 9-5 loss. The game was scheduled for nine innings, but the teams were pulled off the field after the first two Amherst batters of the top of the eighth inning walked.
Grinnell scored once in the first inning and again in the third, but the Jeffs responded with a run of their own in the fourth before tying things up at 2-2 in the fifth. First-year Nolan Stewart (New Canaan, CT) belted a solo homer in the top of the fourth before sophomore Thomas Wheeler (Minnetonka, MN) drove in Scott Shaffer '11 (Boulder, CT) in the fifth. Shaffer had reached on a two-out double.
Sophomore Mike Samela (Westport, CT) led off the sixth inning with a single and the Jeffs took advantage of two Grinnell errors by scoring three unearned runs to make it a 5-2 game. Grinnell would respond in kind, however, scoring seven unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh to seal the win.
Sophomore southpaw Dylan Joyce (South Orange, NJ) pitched six strong innings for Amherst but did not factor into the decision. He allowed only one earned run on five hits, striking out one and walking one. Joyce was well on his way to earning his first collegiate victory, but the bullpen could not pick up the save.
The Jeffs will return to action Wednesday, Mar. 24, when they host Westfield State College at 3:30 p.m.