Amherst Rolls Past Castleton State, 9-2

Contact: Mike O'BrienOdenwaelder3.jpg

AMHERST, Mass. – Quinn Saunders-Kolberg '14 allowed one run in seven innings as the Amherst College baseball team cruised to a 9-2 win in non-conference action Thursday against Castleton State at Memorial Field.

Castleton State (15-8) had a rough outing in the field, racking up nine errors on the day en route to eight unearned runs. The Jeffs recorded 10 hits as a team and improved to 18-5 overall with the win.

The Amherst offense was led by Mike Odenwaelder '16 who went 3-for-5 with a RBI and two runs scored while Alex Hero '14 and Anthony Spina '17 each finished 2-for-4. Hero recorded two RBI and Spina added another. Saunders-Kolberg pitched a gem on the mound to improve to 3-0 on the year. The senior tossed seven innings, allowing just one run on four hits and striking out five. Eric Kotin '14 relieved him in the eighth and allowed one run on one hit before Robert Cahill '14 retired all three batters he faced in the ninth.

Five different Spartans hit safely for the visitors. Ryan Crowley '16 and Nate Swahn '15 both went 1-for-4 with a RBI to lead the team. Castleton State allowed nine runs, but only one was earned. Samuel Spencer '16 started and picked up the loss, falling to 2-2 on the year. He went six innings, surrendering six runs (one earned) on four hits. Robert Gould '17 and Michael LaBeau '17 tossed the seventh and eighth, respectively, and allowed three unearned runs on five hits.

The Jeffs got on the board early and often on Thursday. In the bottom of the first, Andrew Vandini '16 walked to lead off and eventually reached third when Taiki Kasuga '14 singled and advanced on a throwing error.  With runners on second and third, Conner Gunn '16 drove him in with a sacrifice fly to left field. Hero then singled to center field to bring in Kasuga as the Jeffs went up 2-0 after one.

Amherst added another run in the second inning following a trio of Castleton State errors before tacking on two more in the following inning. Odenwaelder got things started in the third with a one out single up the middle. After a pair of Spartan blunders, Odenwaelder scored the Jeffs' fourth run and a double to right field from Spina sent home Dave Cunningham '16 to give the home team a 5-0 advantage.  

After three innings of hitless action, the Spartans notched a pair of back-to-back singles in the fourth to score for their first time in the game. With two outs, Matt McNamee '14 walked to reach base and later scored following a single by Ryan Crowley '14 and a single by Nate Swahn '15 on the next at-bat to cut the deficit to four. However, Amherst answered in the bottom half of the inning to regain the five-run lead as Hero grounded out to first but drove in Kasuga on the play.

Amherst and Castleton State exchanged runs again in the bottom of the seventh and top of the eighth before the home squad added two more in the bottom of the inning en route to the commanding 9-2 win.

The Jeffs return to action tomorrow, Apr. 18 for a doubleheader against Middlebury starting at 2 p.m.