Cook Flirts with No-No as Jeffs Pound Middlebury, 11-0

AMHERST, Mass. – Bob Cook '13 took a no-hitter into the ninth inning and the Amherst College baseball team pounded out 14 hits en route to an 11-0 win over Middlebury College in the opener of the teams' NESCAC West weekend series on Friday at Memorial Field.

Brendon Hardin '15, Mike Odenwaedler '16 and Danny Pillitteri '13 each went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs for Amherst (10-5, 1-0 NESCAC West), providing more than enough support for Cook. The senior dominated the Panther lineup, striking out nine while walking one in 8.1 shutout innings as he saw his no-hit bid broken up by Middlebury first-year Steven Bodine's pinch-hit grounder up the middle with one out in the ninth.

Eric Kotin '14 relieved Cook after the single, completing the one-hitter as he retired the final two Panthers to drop Middlebury to 1-3 in the division (3-8 overall) heading into Saturday's doubleheader.

Sophomore Eric Truss suffered the loss for the Panthers, lasting four innings and surrendering six runs (five earned) on eight hits. The righty was effective through the opening two frames, but Amherst left fielder Alex Hero '14 started the onslaught in the third, pulling a two-run home run over the wall in right field. 

The Jeffs added four more in the fourth as Odenwaelder plated Nolan Stewart '13 with an RBI single before Hero drove in another with a groundout and Hardin ripped a two-run base knock to cap the frame. 

Middlebury senior Andy Dittrich came on to relieve Truss in the fifth, pitching two scoreless frames but running into trouble in the seventh as the Jeffs turned the contest  into a blowout with five more tallies. Hardin singled then stole second and took third on a wild pitch before scoring on an RBI single by Taiki Kasuga '14. After Conner Gunn '16 walked and Stewart legged out an infield hit to load the bases, Dave Cunningham '16 drove in a run with a fielder's choice, Odenwaelder ripped a run-scoring double and Pillitteri plated two more with a single to cap Amherst's scoring for the day.

Hero finished with three RBI and a run scored for Amherst while Stewart was the fourth Jeff with a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 and scoring a run. Kasuga (1-4, R) and Cunningham (0-4, 2 R) chipped in the final two RBI for Amherst, which has now outscored opponents 26-0 in three games at Memorial Field this year.

The Jeffs and Panthers will complete their weekend series with a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 12 p.m.