Contact: Mike O'Brien
MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – John Cook '15 pitched a gem on the mound, allowing one run (earned) on four hits in eight innings but the 24th-ranked Amherst College baseball team dropped a NESCAC West thriller to Little Three rival Wesleyan, 2-1, in a pitcher's duel at the Dresser Diamond.
The Cardinals claimed the three-game series following the win to earn the NESCAC West title and improved to 23-6 overall and 10-1 in the conference while Amherst sits at 22-7 on the year and 8-3 in league play. The two teams will return to the field tomorrow, Sunday, Apr. 27, to close out the series in a seven inning game at Wesleyan beginning at 1 p.m.
Amherst recorded six team hits and was led by Alex Hero '14 and Tyler Jacobs '15 with two apiece. Hero went 2-for-4 with a run scored and Jacobs went 2-for-4 with a RBI. Sophomores Andrew Vandini and Conner Gunn both added a hit while Gunn also walked twice. Cook struck out six batters and allowed only two walks.
Sam Goodwin-Boyd '15 recorded three of Wesleyan's five team hits. He went 3-for-4 with a RBI and two runs scored, including the game-winning score in the bottom of the ninth. Andrew Yin '15 and Jonathan Dennett '15 each went 1-for-3 while Dennett drove in the walk-off RBI. Jeff Blout '14 went eight innings and allowed one run (earned) on five hits with two strikeouts. Jimmy Hill '14 relieved him in the ninth and did not allow a run.
The visitors scored the first run of the game in the top of the second. Hero reached on an infield single and later stole second to get in scoring position. He advanced to third on an infield groundout and was brought home with a two-out RBI single from Jacobs to right field.
Wesleyan evened the score in the seventh when Goodwin-Boyd led-off with a solo home run to left field. It marked his second home run of the series.
Eric Kotin '14 relieved Cook in the bottom of the ninth. Leading off the frame was Goodwin-Boyd, once again, as he doubled down the right field line. He advanced to third the next at-bat following an infield groundout to Kotin but crossed home on a perfectly placed squeeze bunt by Dennett for the walk-off win.