Amherst Suffers Pair of Three-Run Losses to Williams

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College baseball team suffered a pair of losses to archrival Williams College Saturday afternoon at Memorial Field. After being held to four hits in a 5-2 setback, the Lord Jeffs' 18 hits in the nightcap weren't enough to take down the Ephs, who earned a 12-9 win to sweep the doubleheader. 

Amherst drops to 11-9 (4-4 NESCAC West), while Williams improves to 11-8-1 (4-1 NESCAC West). The rivals will wrap up their season series Sunday in Williamstown, Mass., with the first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.

Paul Burgdorf '10 picked up his first win of the season (1-2) by pitching a gem in the series opener, striking out eight batters and allowing only two earned runs in 6.0 innings. Burgdorf surrendered only three hits before being relieved by Dan Grossman '12, who earned his first save of the season by allowing only one hit in the seventh inning. 

Dylan Joyce '12 (South Orange, NJ) took the loss to drop to 0-2 after pitching all seven innings for Amherst. The sophomore lefty struck out seven and walked only one in a solid effort, giving up only three earned runs on seven hits. The Jeffs committed four errors in the game. 

Six Williams players had a hit in the first game and five had an RBI, with James Allison '11 leading the way by going 2-for-4 and scoring two runs. Scott Shaffer '11 (Boulder, CO) went 2-for-2 with a walk as the only Lord Jeff who seemed to have Burgdorf figured out. 

The Ephs scored four times in the top of the third and once in the fourth, with Amherst scoring its two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Highlighting the four-run third for Williams was an RBI-triple by Stephen Maier '12 that put the Ephs on the board.

Allison, who started a two-out rally in the fourth by tripling to right, scored the visitors' fifth run when he was driven in by an Al Mathews '10 double.

Burgdorf cruised through the middle innings, striking out the side in the fourth and punching out another two Lord Jeffs in the fifth. Shaffer began a two-out rally in the sixth with a double to center field, and he and Kevin Heller '12 (Brooklyn, NY) would come around to score when first-year Bob Cook (Winnetka, IL) laced a two-RBI single to right field to make it a 5-2 game. Burgdorf got out of the inning with his eighth and final strikeout of the afternoon. 

Amherst threatened in the bottom of the seventh by putting two runners on base with nobody out, but Grossman would earn the save by picking up a strikeout and inducing a 4-6-3 double play to end the game.

The second game was a much different story, as the teams combined for 21 runs on 34 hits. Mike Samela '12 (Westport, CT) and Heller each hit a three-run homer for Amherst, but the Ephs scored early and often to fend off the Lord Jeff onslaught.

Williams took a 4-0 lead in the top of the second, scoring on an RBI-single, an RBI-groundout, a wild pitch and a fielding error. The Jeffs got one back in the third on an RBI-single from Nolan Stewart '13 (New Canaan, CT), but the Ephs countered when Maier brought in two runs with a double to left center in the fourth, making it a 6-1 game. 

Samela provided Amherst with a spark when his team-leading fifth homer of the season just barely made it over the fence in right center, chasing Williams starting pitcher Harry Marino '12 from the game and bringing in Grossman after 3.2 innings. 

With Williams leading 9-6 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Brian Merrigan '11 (Holbrook, MA) and Samela singled to put two runners on base for Heller, who tied the game with one swing of the bat when he hit a no-doubter over the fence in right center, marking his third long ball of the season. 

The Ephs remained poised, however, and took the lead right back in the top of the eighth on a run-scoring single by Pat Barren '11 and a sacrifice fly from Taylor Mondshein '13. Relief pitcher Jimmy Ray '13 sat the Lord Jeffs down in order in the bottom of the eighth, the Ephs added a 12th run in the top of the ninth, and Ray closed things out by pitching a scoreless final frame that gave him his first save of the year. 

Max McKenna '11 (Lexington, MA) allowed eight runs in the first 4.2 innings, but it was Pat Harris '11 (Rochester, NY) who took the loss (0-1) for Amherst by allowing the eventual game-winning run in the seventh. Harris allowed only two hits and struck out two Ephs in 2.2 innings of relief. John D'Angelo '10 (Woodbridge, CT) and Hayden Metz '12 (Ridgefield, CT) accounted for Amherst's final 1.2 innings. 

After earning the save in the first game, Grossman earned the win in the nightcap to improve to 2-1. Marino did not factor into the decision, allowing 10 hits and four runs in the first 3.2 innings.  
Merrigan, Samela and Stewart each had three hits for Amherst, while Heller, Cook and Dan Pillitteri '13 (Ramsey, NJ) had two apiece. 

Shortstop Cameron Susk '12 went 3-for-5 for Williams in the nightcap, with Maier, Allison, Mathews, Chad Brown '10 and KC Murphy '13 recording two hits each.