Contact: Mike O'Brien
NEWARK, N.Y. – The 26th-ranked Amherst College baseball team recorded a late inning rally on Saturday but fell short to eighth-ranked SUNY Cortland, 3-2, at Colburn Park in NCAA DIII Baseball Regional action.
The Jeffs (30-10) and Red Dragons (34-8) are familiar foes in postseason play. Last season, Amherst upset the No. 3 ranked team by a score of 6-3, but SUNY Cortland avenged its loss two days later by knocking the Jeffs out of the tournament (3-1). The Purple & White continue its quest to reach the regional finals as they wait the winner of Farmingdale State and Kean. Tomorrow's game is scheduled for 1 p.m., while the Red Dragons, who remain unbeaten in the double-elimination format, play the winner of the 1 p.m. matchup shortly after.
Offensively, Amherst was led by Brendon Hardin '15 and Conner Gunn '16. Hardin was 2-for-3 from the plate with a walk and a run scored, while Gunn finished 2-for-4. Alex Hero '14 and Mike Odenwaelder '16 both went 1-for-4 with a RBI while Tyler Jacobs '15 and Andrew Vandini '16 added a hit each.
Dylan Driscoll '14 started on the mound for the Jeffs and tossed 6.1 innings, surrendering just three runs on seven hits. Seniors Eric Kotin, Fred Shepard and Robert Cahill tossed 1.2 innings of relief, allowing just two hits total.
Mark Palumbo '14 threw seven innings for the Red Dragons and allowed just two runs on eight hits with four strikeouts while Steven Kimmelman '14 picked up the save with two hitless innings.
In the bottom of the third, Vinny Bomasuto '15 led off with a single through the left side. Following a wild pitch and a sacrifice bunt, the junior stood on third with one out. Two batters later, he crossed home on an infield single by Mark DeMilio '15.
Three innings later, the Red Dragons added two more runs, which proved to be crucial. With two outs and no one on, SUNY Cortland rallied with a walk and a single followed by a pinch hit triple by Chris Jackson '14 to clear the bases.
In the top of the seventh, Amherst retaliated when Hardin singled to left with two outs. After stealing second and advancing to third following a Taiki Kasuga '14 walk, Hero doubled to right center for the Jeffs first score. On the next at-bat, Odenwaelder hit an infield RBI single to cut the deficit to one.
The Amherst bats were stalled, however, when Kimmelman entered in the eighth, as SUNY Cortland held on for the 3-2 win.