Jeffs Defeat #23 WNE, Win Fourth Straight

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – First-year Brendon Hardin had another four-hit performance and sophomore Fred Shepard shined in his first start of the season to lead the Amherst College baseball team past Western New England University on Tuesday, 11-6. 

Amherst improves to 4-1 with its fourth consecutive win, while the Golden Bears—who finished the 2011 season at 42-11 and advanced to the College World Series—drop to 4-4. Western New England is ranked 23rd in the most recent Top 25 Poll. 

The Lord Jeffs scored the game's first six runs in the top of the fourth inning and never looked back. Hardin led the rally by capping off a nine-pitch at-bat with a 2-RBI double, and senior captain Kevin Heller followed with a two-run double of his own to stake Amherst a comfortable 6-0 lead. 

Amherst added two runs in the fifth and three in the seventh, as the Jeffs held a commanding 11-3 advantage after eight. The Golden Bears would get three back in the bottom of the ninth but could not complete the comeback. 

Shepard allowed two runs—one earned—on only two hits in the first six innings, striking out eight batters in an outstanding season debut. Robert Cahill '14 allowed one run in the seventh, Quinn Saunders-Kolberg '14 pitched a scoreless eighth, and Charles Nutter '15 surrendered three runs in the ninth. 

Hardin finished 4-for-5 with three RBIs and three runs scored, marking his second consecutive four-hit game and his fourth multi-hit performance of the season. Heller was 3-for-4 with three doubles and a walk, while Mike Samela '12 and Tyler Jacobs '15 each went 2-for-4 and combined for three stolen bases, three runs scored and three RBIs. 

The Jeffs will return to action Thursday to face undefeated Ramapo College (10-0), which earned a 7-4 win over nationally-ranked St. Thomas (Minn.) today.