Contact: Mike O'Brien
AMHERST, Mass. – The 28th-ranked Amherst College baseball team swept its nonconference doubleheader against UMass Boston on Saturday by scores of 7-3 and 13-5 to set a program record with 28 wins, surpassing the mark set last season when the Jeffs finished 27-13.
The Jeffs have won six straight to close out the regular-season and are now 28-7 overall. Following the sweep, the Beacons dropped to 17-22 on the year. Amherst earned the No. 2 seed from the NESCAC West in the conference championship with a 9-3 record and will face Tufts on Friday, May 9 at 3 p.m. Tufts is the top-seed from the NESCAC East and will host the tournament.
GAME 1: AMHERST 7, UMASS BOSTON 3
Amherst scored six runs in the first two innings including a five-run second en route to the win. Quinn Saunders-Kolberg '14 started on the mound and tossed six innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on five hits without walking a batter and striking out four. Robert Cahill '14 relieved Saunders-Kolberg in the seventh for the save opportunity and was perfect in three innings of work adding four strikeouts as well.
Seven Jeffs recorded a hit while Alex Hero '14 led the team with two (2-for-3). Hero also scored twice while Yanni Thanopoulos '17 led all players with three RBI. Andrew Vandini '16 added two RBI and was 1-for-3 from the plate with a run scored.
The Beacons managed five hits in game one with five different players getting involved. Daniel Mantoni '17 was 1-for-4 with two RBI and Jose Pena '14 went 1-for-3 with a RBI. Steve Roche '15 started but lasted just 1.2 innings, surrendering six runs (two earned) on six hits. Josh Cummiskey '15 and Tom Cole '14 pitched in relief and totaled 6.1 innings, three hits, and just one unearned run.
Leading 1-0 entering the second, Tyler Jacobs '15 led off with a double down the left field line. Vandini singled on the next at-bat to score Jacobs and crossed home two batters later following a sacrifice fly and a Beacons throwing error. Dave Cunningham '16 advanced to third following the error and scored on an infield groundout. After Hero was hit by a pitch and Odenwaelder singled, Thanopoulos drove them both in with a double to right field as Amherst went ahead, 6-0.
UMass Boston scored in the top of the third and added two more the following inning. In the top of the fourth, Kyle Szatrowski '15 was hit by a pitch to get on first. Following a bunt by Bryan Failla '15, runners stood on first and second before a fielder's choice advanced them both. On the next at-bat, Mantoni brought them home with a double to right center to cut the deficit to three.
Saunders-Kolberg and Cahill kept the Beacons scoreless the rest of the way as Amherst tacked on another run in the eighth en route to the victory.
GAME 2: AMHERST 13, UMASS BOSTON 5
Behind a five-run second inning and a six-run fourth, Amherst cruised to its program record 28th win as they scored 13 runs on 18 hits. Four Jeffs recorded two or more hits as Jacobs, Odenwaelder and Thanopoulos led the team with three each. Odenwaelder fell a triple shy of hitting for the cycle, going 3-for-4 with three RBI and three runs scored. Jacobs went 3-for-5 from the plate with two runs scored and Thanopoulos was a perfect 3-for-3 with two RBI and one run. Cunningham hit his first career home run with a grand slam in the bottom of the fourth. Keenan Szulik '16 went seven innings to earn the win and is now 6-0 on the year. He allowed four earned runs on nine hits and struck out six.
Mantonio led the Beacons with a 3-for-3 performance at the plate while Jason Cholish '16 (2-for-3) and Alex Webb '17 (2-for-3) both added two hits with Cholish bringing in two runs. UMass Boston totaled 11 hits in the game.
Amherst jumped on the board early with a solo home run from Odenwaelder in the bottom of the first and strung together a five-run second to take a commanding six run lead after two once again. Jacobs led off the second with a double to right center. Vandini then walked and Cunningham singled to left to load the bases. Spina stepped to the plate with zero outs and cleared the bases with a double to the right center fence. After back-to-back outs, Odenwaelder hit a RBI double to right and Thanopoulos singled up the middle to drive in another Jeff run.
In the top of the fourth, UMass Boston scored its first run of the game with a home run from Chris Adams '15. However, the Jeffs responded with six runs in the bottom half of the frame. Odenwaelder drove in another run with a RBI single and scored on a single by Thanopoulous. The Jeffs loaded the bases shortly after as Cunningham stepped to the plate. The sophomore sent one deep over the right field fence for the grand slam.
UMass Boston scored three times in the seventh and again in the ninth but the deficit was too large to overcome as Amherst added a score in the seventh for the 13-5 victory.