Jeffs Close Regular Season with Loss to ECSU

AMHERST, Mass. – The Amherst College baseball team closed its regular season with a 7-2 setback to Eastern Connecticut State University on Wednesday, marking the Lord Jeffs' only home loss of the year. 

Ranked 15th in the latest D3baseball.com/NCBWA poll, the Warriors (28-9) bumped their win streak to six games by piling on 15 hits and receiving a solid pitching performance from senior Tom Darby (W, 5-0). ECSU will wrap up its regular season this Friday by traveling to Southern Maine for a doubleheader. 

The Lord Jeffs (23-8) had their unbeaten streak snapped at four, while their home win streak in regular season play came to a halt at 15. Bob Cook '13 went 3-for-4 and had an RBI for the hosts, with John Wagner '12 accounting for two of Amherst's 11 hits. 

Danny O'Connell, Steve Cammuso and Mike Vaccarelli each went 3-for-5 for the visitors, while T.J. Larivee added two hits and scored two runs with a pair of RBIs. The Warriors played solid defense in support of Darby, who allowed only one run on eight hits with four strikeouts in 7.1 innings. 

Eastern Connecticut loaded the bases in the second but would not get on the board until pushing three runs across in the third, as they strung together five singles in a span of six batters. Dylan Driscoll '14 retired the Warriors in order in the fourth, but they got back to work when Larivee ignited a one-out rally with a double that led to two more runs and a 5-0 ECSU lead. 

After Larivee's second RBI of the day made it a 6-0 game in the top of the sixth, the Jeffs came up inches short of their first run when Cammuso reached over the fence in left field to rob Kevin Heller '12 of a homer. Heller hit the ball hard enough to clear the fence for what would have broken Amherst's career home run record, but Cammuso braced himself on the fence with his right hand and made the impressive catch with his left. 

Cammuso then led off the seventh inning with a single up the middle and came around to score the Warriors' seventh run on a groundout. Amherst chased Darby from the game in the eighth after three consecutive singles were followed by a walk, with Cook putting the Jeffs on the board by lacing a base hit back up the middle to score Ryan D'Souza '14. 

With the bases still loaded in the eighth, Pat Barnett got ECSU out of the jam by picking up a strikeout before Mike Samela '12 was thrown out at home while trying to score on a passed ball. The Jeffs made it a 7-2 game in the ninth when Brendon Hardin '15 came home on a single to center by Alex Hero '14, but they would close the game with runners stranded on second and third after Barnett recorded another strikeout. 

Driscoll (L, 4-1) picked up his first loss of the season by surrendering five runs on 12 hits—11 singles—in the first 4.1 innings. Amherst's bullpen gave up only three hits the rest of the way, with Adam Medoff '13 pitching a perfect eighth inning and Dylan Joyce '12 retiring the side in order in the ninth. 

The Lord Jeffs will return to action Friday, May 11, when they head to Trinity College to face Bowdoin on the opening day of the NESCAC Championship.

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