AUBURNDALE, Fla. –The Amherst baseball team improved to 6-2 on the season after sweeping a doubleheader with Allegheny College at the RussMatt Invitational. Scoring a 7-2 victory in game one, the Lord Jeffs made it two in a row with an 8-1 triumph during the second half of the twinbill. Amherst returns to action on Sat. Mar. 24 against Grinnell.
Scoreless through four and a half, the Jeffs erupted for seven runs in the bottom of the fifth to seize control of game one. With runners on first and second with nobody out, Eric West '15 (Winnetka, Ill.) reached on a fielder's choice, while Tyler Jacobs '15 (Westport, Conn.) came around on Allegheny's second error of the frame to plate Amherst's first run.
Alex Hero '14 (New York, N.Y.) promptly doubled to center, scoring John Wagner '12 (Evanston, Ill.), before Taiki Kasuga '14 (New York, N.Y.) ripped an RBI single to bring home West. Keeping the Jeff offense rolling, Kevin Heller '12 (Brooklyn, N.Y.) then doubled to left center to extend the lead to 4-0, before Nolan Stewart '13 (New Canaan, Conn.) later singled through the left side with one out to plate Kasuga.
Brendon Hardin '15 (Riverside, Conn.) notched the Purple & White's fifth hit of the frame with an RBI single that brought in Heller before Jacobs finished what he started, dumping an RBI single to right to cap off the seven run fifth.
Hoping to mount a comeback, the Gators finally got to starter Bob Cook '13 (Winnetka, Ill.) in the top of the seventh, pushing a pair of runs across on a Jon Boyd '14 groundout and a Eric Weyant '15 single, but the deficit proved too big to overcome, with Amherst holding onto a 7-2 win.
Cook went the distance for the Jeffs, allowing two runs on six hits, while striking out 10 to improve to 2-0 on the year. Putting together a second strong start, he induced nine groundouts to just one fly-out, without issuing a walk.
Allegheny's Mike Pezzone '14 evened his record at 1-1, giving up seven runs on nine hits in just four and a third, while Phil Morrissette '13 pitched an inning and two thirds, allowing one hit in relief.
Kasuga finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and run scored, while Hero went 1-for-2 with an RBI. Stewart, Hardin, Jacobs and Heller each recorded a hit in the win, while driving in a run.
Wasting no time getting on the board in game two, Amherst pushed across its first run in the top of the second when Hardin scored on a balk, before tacking on another score in the fourth on a Kasuga fielder's choice that brought in Jacobs.
The Gators got one back in the fifth on a Mike Kastelic '13 sacrifice fly to center, but the Jeffs answered with a four run sixth to take a 6-1 lead. West got things started with a one-out, infield single to short, before a Hero base-knock up the middle put two aboard. The duo then advanced to second and third on a passed ball before a Kasuga pop-out followed by an intentional walk to Heller loaded the bases.
Mike Samela '12 (Westport, Conn.) kept the inning alive, reaching on an error at short that allowed Hero and West to score, before Stewart and Hardin came up with big two-out singles to up the Amherst cushion to five.
Looking for more, the Jeffs added two more runs the following inning, making it 7-1 on a Hero RBI single to center, before Thomas Wheeler '12 (Minnetonka, Minn.) lofted a ball to right that allowed West to touch home, capping off the scoring.
Hero went 3-for-4 with an RBI and run scored, while Stewart went 3-for-5 with an RBI. Pezzone, Boyd Frank Triozzi '13 and Jeff Dassner '13 each finished 1-for-3 for Allegheny in the loss.
John Cook '15 (Winnetka, Ill.) pitched six solid innings to move to 2-0, surrendering just one run on five hits, while Robert Cahill '14 (Wellesley, Mass.) retired the Gators in order in the seventh to seal the victory.
Dylan Malone '15 fell to 0-2 on the year, allowing two runs on six hits in three and a third, while Paul Vojtek '15 and Samuel Hyun '14 combined to toss the final three and two thirds innings, giving up six runs on seven hits.
BOX SCORE (Game 1)
BOX SCORE (Game 2)