AMHERST, Mass. – Dylan Driscoll '14 surrendered only five hits in eight innings of work and Thomas Wheeler '12 went 2-for-4 with a game-changing double during the Amherst College baseball team's 9-1 win over Westfield State University.
Wheeler delivered a two-RBI double down the left field line to break a scoreless tie in the fourth inning, and the Lord Jeffs added four runs in the frame to give Driscoll all the run support he would need. Amherst improved to 11-5 on the season, while the Owls dropped to 9-10.
Driscoll struck out four and walked two while cruising through the first eight innings of the game, dropping his earned run average to 1.64 and improving his record to 2-0. His only slip-up came in the top of the fifth, when Jeremy Tanguay ripped a two-out line drive over the fence in left field for Westfield's lone run.
Amherst's Alex Hero '14 extended his hitting streak to 17 games by going 2-for-4, while Matt Kelly and Josh Blair had two hits apiece for the Owls.
Tommy Carroll took the loss on the hill after giving up six runs in the first four innings. Four of the runs he allowed were unearned, as he surrendered only five hits and walked two with three strikeouts. The Owls committed four errors on the day, while Amherst had two defensive miscues of its own.
Westfield had runners on second and third with only one out in the top of the second inning, but an unusual double play got Driscoll out of the jam. Blair and Dan Rokitowski strung together singles and advanced on a sacrifice bunt, but Blair was caught in a rundown on a ground ball and eventually got tagged out. Rokitowski was also tagged out on the play after stepping away from third base, as there was confusion as to which runner was initially called out.
The Jeffs then scored six runs with two outs in the fourth inning, beginning with Wheeler sneaking a hard grounder inside the third base bag for a two-run double that scored Taiki Kasuga '14 and Kevin Heller '12. Amherst then took advantage of a Westfield error and added a pair of runs on a double by Brendon Hardin '15, also scoring twice on a pair of wild pitches to carry a 6-0 lead into the fifth.
After Tanguay belted his first homer of the season in the top of the fifth, Amherst got a run back in the seventh when Heller brought home Tyler Jacobs '15 on a sacrifice fly to center. Nolan Stewart '13 added an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth before the Jeffs scored their ninth run on another Westfield error. Adam Medoff '13 wrapped up the win by pitching the ninth inning for the Jeffs, recording a pair of groundouts and a strikeout to retire the final three batters of the game.
Heller was 1-for-2 with a walk, with his sacrifice fly leaving him only one RBI shy of tying the program's career mark of 119.
Amherst will begin a pivotal NESCAC West series against Williams College this Friday in Williamstown. The Lord Jeffs and Ephs will then play two in Amherst on Saturday.