Rookies Power Jeffs in Middlebury Sweep

AMHERST, Mass. – First-year outfielders Mike Odenwaelder and Jonathan Ramirez went a combined 9-for-10 with eight RBI on the day as the Amherst College baseball team took both ends of a NESCAC West doubleheader from Middlebury College at Memorial Field on Saturday, prevailing 4-3 in a tight seven-inning opener before racing to an 11-1 nine-inning triumph in the nightcap as the Lord Jeffs completed the three-game weekend sweep of their Green Mountain rivals.

Fred Shepard '14 delivered a solid effort (4.2 IP, 7 K, 1 BB, 0 ER) for Amherst (12-5, 3-0 NESCAC West) in Game One before John Cook '15 earned the win with 1.2 innings of scoreless relief. With the game tied 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth, Conner Gunn '16 drove in Taiki Kasuga '14 with the eventual winning run before Cam Windham '14 finished off the triumph with a two-out save.

Kasuga went 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored in the opener while Odenwaelder was also 2-for-3, driving in a run. Alex Kelly had the lone multi-hit effort for Middlebury (3-10, 1-5 NESCAC West), going 2-for-4, while Logan Mobley '15 suffered the loss, surrendering three earned runs over six.

Odenwaelder started the Jeff scoring with an RBI double in the second before Kasuga came home on a wild pitch in the third and Alex Hero '14 plated Odenwaelder in the fourth when he beat out a two-out drag bunt to make it 3-0. Middlebury scored a trio of unearned runs in the fifth with Thomas Driscoll '13 and Michael Morris '13 delivering RBI singles after a pair of Amherst errors extended the inning. But the hosts responded in the bottom half, with Kasuga ripping a leadoff triple down the right field line before Gunn's single to left put the Jeffs ahead to stay.

Things got easier for Amherst in the nightcap, as Dylan Driscoll '14 kept the Panter bats quiet, improving to 4-0 on the year as he went seven strong, yielding a single run on six hits while striking out three and walking none. Adam Medoff '13 and Charles Nutter '15 finished the win for Amherst with scoreless innings, while Cooper Byrne '15 (4.1 IP, 6 ER) took the loss for Middlebury.

First-years at the bottom of the order fueled the Amherst onslaught as Ramirez was a brilliant 4-for-4 out of the nine-hole with five RBI on two doubles, two singles and a walk. Andrew Vandini '16 was 3-for-5 in the eight-spot, scoring three runs and driving in another, while Odenwaelder continued his big day, going 2-for-2 with a walk while scoring three runs and driving in a pair from the seventh position in the order.

Kelly had another 2-for-4 contest for the Panthers while Max Araya '16 was also 2-for-4 and Kyle Finck '14 drove in the lone Middlebury run with an RBI groundout in the seventh.

Ramirez started the scoring for the Jeffs with a two-run single in the second, before his double drove in another in the fourth. Amherst turned it into a blowout in the fifth, scoring five as first baseman Bob Cook '13 delivered an RBI single, Odenwaelder ripped a two-run double, and Vandini (single) and Brendon Hardin '15 (sac fly) also drove in runs.

After the Panthers got on the board in the seventh, Amherst tacked on an unearned run in the bottom half before Ramirez stroked his second double in the eighth to chase in the final two Jeff runs.

Amherst hits the road for a non-conference tilt at Castleton State on Wednesday, April 10 at 4 p.m.