AUBURNDALE, Fla. – The Amherst College baseball team absorbed an 8-4 setback to Grinnell College on Saturday in its penultimate day of competition at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational.
Third baseman Nolan Stewart '13 went 2-for-4 and Nic Meyer '16 ripped a key two-run pinch hit triple for the Lord Jeffs (5-4), who entered the ninth inning locked in a 4-4 tie. But the Pioneers (2-6) scored four runs in their final at-bat and a promising Amherst rally was cut short in the bottom of the ninth when Taiki Kasuga '14 lined out to end the game with the bases loaded.
Junior lefty Fred Shepard started for Amherst and kept the Jeffs within striking distance over 6.2 innings of work. Amherst plated its first run in the second on first-year outfielder Mike Odenwaelder's RBI single, but it was the only tally the Jeffs could manage over the opening six frames.
After Eric Kotin '14 relieved Shepard to finish the top of the seventh, Amherst's bats broke through with three runs in the bottom half, highlighted by Meyer's big three-bagger. But after Kotin pitched a scoreless eighth, the junior ran into trouble in the ninth, surrendering the go-ahead tally before Cam Windham '14 came on and yielded three more Grinnell runs.
The Jeffs will look to snap a two-game skid when they conclude their trip to the Sunshine State on Sunday with a doubleheader against Western Connecticut State. First pitch from Lake Myrtle Field is scheduled for 11:30 a.m.
Meanwhile, Amherst was unable to complete Friday's second game with No. 13 Ramapo, which was suspended in the bottom of the fourth inning with the Jeffs leading 5-3. The teams will look to make up the affair with a restarted nine-inning tilt later in the spring.