AMHERST, Mass. - Bob Cook '13 turned in another quality start, but the Amherst baseball team dropped the opener of a pivotal three-game set with Wesleyan, 2-1.
Tied 1-1 in the bottom of the ninth, the Cardinals' Andrew Yin '15 extended his hit streak to 27 games, laying down a bunt single to third base. Swiping second, Yin came around to score the walk-off run on sophomore Donnie Cimino's base-knock to center.
Scoreless through four, the Jeffs pushed across the game's first tally in the top half of the fifth inning when Nolan Stewart '13 homered to left with one out. Alex Hero '14 followed up with a single before stealing second. Brendon Hardin '13 kept things rolling with a base-hit, but Hero got thrown out at the plate to keep the Cardinals within one.
Looking to jumpstart a rally in the seventh, Cimino doubled and advanced to third on a fielding error. Sam Goodwin-Boyd '15 brought the sophomore home with an RBI ground out before Jonathan Dennett '15 singled to right. Battling back, Cook got Steve Moran '13 to pop up to second base before Conner Gunn '16 threw out Dennett trying to steal.
Retiring six of the next seven batters he faced to set up Wesleyan's dramatics in the ninth, starter Nick Cooney '15 posted his second complete game of the season. Allowing one run on six hits, he struck out six, while issuing four walks. Scattering six hits in 8.0 innings, Cook was responsible for both runs (one earned), giving up Yin's lead-off bunt before giving way to reliever Eric Kotin '14 in the final frame. Fanning six with no walks, the senior dropped to 3-2 on the season.
Stewart finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and run scored for the Jeffs, while Hardin, Hero, Cook and Taiki Kasuga '14 accounted for the rest of Amherst's six hits. Cimino paced the Cardinal offense, finishing 3-for-4 with an RBI and run scored, while Yin, Goodwin-Boyd, Dennett and Moran each had a base-knock.
Amherst hosts Wesleyan in a doubleheader on Saturday, Apr. 27 with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. With this afternoon's loss, the Jeffs must now take both games of tomorrow's twinbill to hold onto the top slot and keep Wesleyan from capturing the Little Three title.