Jeffs Win Home Opener Over Springfield, 9-4

Contact: Mike O'BrienGunn3.jpg

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 AMHERST, Mass. – Conner Gunn '16 went 3-for-4 with two RBI, a double and a home run to lead the Amherst College baseball team to its fifth straight win with a 9-4 victory over Springfield College in its 2014 home opener at Memorial Field.

Amherst tallied 14 hits to improve to 12-3 on the season, while handing the Pride (5-7) their third straight loss.

Offensively, four Jeffs recorded two or more hits. Eric West '14 went 2-for-4 with a home run, three RBI and one run scored. Anthony Spina '17 was 2-for-3 from the plate with two stolen bases and one run while Andrew Vandini '16 finished 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Taiki Kasuga '14 recorded a double and Alex Hero '14 and Dave Cunningham '16 both hit safely with a single.

Brett Poulin '15 led the Pride and went 2-for-4 with a home run, three RBI and a run scored. Five other members of the Springfield squad recorded a hit as they totaled seven for the game.

Gunn homered over the right field fence with two outs in the bottom of the first to start the scoring. On the next at-bat, Alex Hero '14 was hit by a pitch and Mike Odenwaelder '16 then singled to left before West hit another home run to left field to give Amherst a 4-0 lead after one.

The Pride retaliated in the top of the second. Billy Paskowski '16 started things with a single to left field. The next batter, first baseman Poulin, hit a deep home run to center field to cut the deficit to two.

After a scoreless third, the Jeffs tacked on two more in the bottom of the fourth. Cunningham singled up the middle on the first at-bat. He advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Tyler Jacobs '15. Spina then reached on an error to advance Cunningham and later stole first to put runners on second and third. In the next at-bat, Vandini drove in both runners to extend the Amherst lead, 6-2.

Both teams exchanged runs in the fifth inning to keep the four-run margin heading into the sixth. With two Pride runners on, Poulin singled through the left side to drive in one run but a pinpoint throw from Spina in left field caught the second runner out at home plate.

Amherst added two more runs in the bottom half of the inning. Vandini was hit by a pitch to reach base and crossed home on the next at-bat when Kasuga connected on a double to center field. Kasuga later scored in the inning when Gunn brought him in with another double as the Jeffs took a 9-4 lead.

Quinn Saunders-Kolberg '14 started and earned the win for Amherst, striking out nine batters in five innings.  He allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits and is now 2-0 on the year. Four other Jeffs pitched one inning of relief with Keenan Szulik '16, John Cook '15 and Mike Odenwaelder '16 tossing a perfect seven, eight and nine, respectively.

Alex Williams '14 made the start on the mound for Springfield and received the loss in 5.1 innings pitched. He was relieved by Dan Green '16.

Amherst is set to return to action Friday, Apr. 4 when they head to Little Three rival Williams. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.