Amherst Wins Series Against Williams

Hero.jpg Contact: Mike O'Brien

AMHERST, Mass. – After falling in the first game of a doubleheader, 7-3, the Amherst College baseball team responded with a 5-2 win in game two of the twinbill over NESACAC and Little Three rival Williams College at Memorial Field Saturday.

The Jeffs' loss in game one snapped a three-year regular-season series sweep over their archrival but with the game two win, they improved to 14-4 on the year and 4-1 in the NESCAC West while taking the series. Williams is now 7-7 overall with a 4-2 conference mark.

GAME 1: WILLIAMS 7, AMHERST 3 (7 innings)
In the first game of the twinbill, the Ephs used a four-run first inning en route to the 7-3 win. With a runner on first and one out, Phil McGovern '15 singled through the right side for the first hit of the game. A couple batters later, Marco Hernandez '14 singled and drove in Luke Pierce '15. With runners on second and third, Nathan Michalski '17 homered to deep right center field as Williams went ahead, 4-0.

In the bottom of the third, Amherst cut the deficit to three with a RBI single through the right side to bring in Taiki Kasuga '14. However, Williams added three more runs in the fourth, fifth and seventh to hold a decisive 7-1 lead. In the top of the seventh, Pierce homered to right field to increase the lead to six.

Amherst put together a rally in the bottom of the seventh. Andrew Vandini '16 reached on an error and Kasuga singled up the middle to start things off. Mike Odenwaelder '16 later drove in Vandini with a RBI single up the middle and Yani Thanopoulos '17 singled to left field to bring in Kasuga. However, the deficit was too large to overcome as the Jeffs fell in game one.

The Jeffs were led offensively by Odenwaelder who went 3-for-4 with a RBI. Tyler Jacobs '15 finished a perfect 2-for-2 while three others recorded a hit to give Amherst eight total.

McGovern led the Ephs with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate and Hernandez and Thomas Stephens '14 recorded two hits each. Hernandez was 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored while Stephens finished 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBI. Thomas Murphy '15 pitched a complete game, allowing three runs (one earned) on eight hits.

The second game of the doubleheader featured a great pitching duel between starters John Cook '15 of Amherst and Steve Marino '14 of Williams for four and a half innings until the Jeffs rallied in the bottom of the fifth. Leading 1-0, Conner Gunn '16 led off with a walk and Alex Hero '14 followed up with a single to left field. Two batters later, Eric West '14 singled to left field to bring in Gunn. On the next at-bat, Thanopoulos doubled to right for another Amherst run as Hero crossed home plate.

The following inning, Gunn pulled one deep to right field for a solo home run, lifting the Jeffs lead to four runs. In the top of the seventh, Williams retaliated when Stephens hit a one out homer over the right center fence to put the Ephs on the board.

Williams put some more pressure on the Jeffs in the top of the eighth. After a hit-by-pitch, Pierce singled to put runners on first and second. A sacrifice bunt advanced the runners to second and third when Jack Roberts '17 stepped to the plate. The first-year hit a grounder to shortstop to bring in a run and cut the deficit to two, 4-2.

Amherst added another run in the bottom of the eighth off a RBI single from Hero as Odenwaelder retired the side and struck out two batters in the top of the ninth to earn the save in the 5-2 win.
Gunn led all batters with three hits in the second game with a 3-for-4 performance, adding a RBI and a run scored. Thanopoulos and Hero added two hits each while four other Jeffs recorded a hit. Amherst totaled 10 for the game.

Cook pitched a gem on the mound. The junior started and tossed seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits, striking out eight and walking just one batter to grab the win. Eric Kotin '14 relieved him in the eighth and did not allow a hit before Odenwaelder entered in the ninth.

Jack Cloud '17 led the Ephs with two hits. He finished 2-for-4 from the plate while three others recorded a hit. Marino started on the mound and allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits with five strikeouts in 4.1 innings. Luke Rodino '17 pitched in relief, throwing 3.2 innings while allowing two runs on five hits.

Amherst returns to the field Wednesday, Apr. 9 for a 4 p.m. contest against MIT at Memorial Field.