AMHERST, Mass. – The Amherst baseball team notched seven hits in an eight run third inning to earn a decisive 13-1 victory over Hamilton College at Memorial Field. With the win, the Jeffs improved to 8-4 on the season, while Hamilton falls to 3-13 on the year.
Hoping to get the Jeffs off to a fast start, Alex Hero '14 (New York, N.Y.) led off the home half of the first with a single up the middle. Stealing second, Hero advanced to third on a Hamilton error before scoring on a Taiki Kasuga '14 (New York, N.Y.) base-hit to left.
Reaching on another error in the bottom of the second, an alert Nolan Stewart '13 (New Canaan, Conn.) beat out the throw at third before coming home on a passed ball to make it 2-0.
With Amherst starter John Cook '15 (Winnetka, Ill.) settling into a groove after retiring six straight, John Wulf '12 looked to get Hamilton going, drawing a one-out walk. Cook answered by getting Sam Fuentes '13 to fly out to right, but Samuel Choate '12 kept the inning alive by legging out an infield single to short. Gabe Klein '13 then drew another walk to load the bases, before Thomas Merriman '15 singled to left to bring in the Continentals' first run.
Responding in the bottom half of the frame, Kevin Heller '12 (Brooklyn, N.Y.) got things started with a double into the right field gap. Advancing to third on a Mike Samela '12 (Westport, Conn.) single, Heller later crossed the plate on a Bob Cook '14 (Winnetka, Ill.) triple to center, extending the Amherst lead to 3-1.
After Bob Cook scored on an error, Stewart doubled in the Jeffs' fourth run before moving to third on a Quinn Saunders-Kolberg '14 (Charlottesville, Va.) single. With Hero coming home on a Hero sacrifice fly, Kasuga made it 6-1 with an RBI double before Hamilton starter Ryan Crawford '15 walked Heller to load the bases.
Samela plated another run with a two-out RBI single before Bob Cook reached on an error, allowing Kasuga to cross home. Hitting Brendon Hardin '15 (Riverside, Conn.) with the bases still loaded to force in the eighth run of the inning, Crawford finally ended the Amherst threat, getting Stewart to foul out to third.
Tacking on three more runs in the bottom of the fourth on a Kasuga sacrifice fly and a Bob Cook two-run single that made it 13-1, the Jeffs gave John Cook all the run support he would need, with the lefthander allowing just one run on three hits in five innings of work. Dylan Driscoll '14 (Mount Airy, Md.), Jack Falvey '15 (Bethesda, Md.) and Andrew Hum '15 (Darien, Conn.) combined for four shutout innings in relief, surrendering just two hits, while striking out six.
Crawford, who lasted just three and a third innings, giving up 11 runs on 10 hits, took the loss, falling to 1-3 on the year, while junior Stephen Wright allowed two runs on four hits in three and two thirds innings of relief.
Samela and Hero extended their hit streaks to 19 and 13 games, respectively, combining to go 5-for-6 with two RBI and a pair of run scored. Kasuga and Bob Cook each finished 2-for-4 with three RBI, while Heller had two hits and three runs scored.
Choate went 2-for-4 to pace the Hamilton lineup, while Merriman, Wulf and Tyler Reinhold '15 accounted for the rest of the Continentals' five hits.
Amherst and Hamilton will wrap up their three game set with a doubleheader on Saturday, Mar. 31.