Jeffs Knocked Out of NESCAC Tournament

Courtesy of Wesleyan University

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The Amherst College baseball team fell into a 9-0 hole against Williams College and couldn't overcome the deficit, as the Lord Jeffs suffered a 9-3 loss to their archrivals in a NESCAC Championship elimination game on Saturday.

Williams (17-20) advances to play Bowdoin in another elimination game hosted by Trinity College at 2:30 p.m., while Amherst (23-10), which fell to Bowdoin 3-2 in 11 innings in its tournament opener Friday, will hope for an at-large bid to the NCAA Championship.

Mike Samela '12 recorded two of Amherst's three hits, including a solo home run that came with one out in the top of the ninth inning. Taiki Kasuga '14 was 1-for-3 with an RBI, but the rest of the Lord Jeffs were kept at bay by Tyler Murphy, who struck out eight and walked six in the complete-game effort for the Ephs.

Williams scored three runs against starting pitcher John Cook '15 in the bottom of the first inning and chased the Amherst first-year with two more runs in the second, as the Ephs held a 5-0 lead after two frames. 

The Ephs kept rolling with two runs in each of the fourth and fifth innings against Fred Shepard '14, giving them a 9-0 lead heading into the sixth. Amherst finally got on the board when John Wagner '12 walked, stole second and came around to score on a Kasuga single that broke up Murphy's no-hitter.

The Jeffs brought the score to 9-2 in the seventh when Samela doubled to left and scored on a failed pickoff attempt. Samela would also account for the game's final run, which came on a solo shot when he turned on a high inside fastball and crushed it over the left-field fence. 

Saturday's result snapped Amherst's streak of seven consecutive wins against Williams, as the Lord Jeffs had swept the 2011 and 2012 regular-season series. The winner of this afternoon's Williams-Bowdoin game will face East division top seed Trinity College, which defeated Bowdoin 14-3 earlier today and needs one more win for its fourth NESCAC crown.