Jeffs Sweep Colby, Walk Off in Game Two

Contact: Mike O'BrienGunn3.jpg

PHOTO GALLERY

AMHERST, Mass. – Conner Gunn '16 recorded a walk-off single in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader as the 28th-ranked Amherst College baseball team swept Colby College by scores of 6-3 and 4-3 on Senior Day at Memorial Field.

With four runs in the third inning of game one, Amherst cruised to the 6-3 victory while Gunn brought home two runs in the bottom of the ninth of game two for the 4-3 win as the Jeffs improved to 26-7 overall on the year, dropping Colby to 16-15.

The Jeffs return to the field tomorrow, Sunday, May 4 to host UMass Boston beginning at 12 p.m.

GAME 1: AMHERST 6, COLBY 3 (7 inn.)
In the first game of Saturday's doubleheader, starting pitchers Dylan Driscoll '14 of Amherst and Soren Hanson '16 from Colby both went six innings as Driscoll picked up the win to improve to 7-1 overall this season. The senior allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits with four strikeouts and did not walk a batter as Eric Kotin '14 entered in the top of the sixth to keep the visitors scoreless for the save. Hanson pitched a complete game, surrendering six hits and six runs (two earned) and four strikeouts.

Offensively, the Jeffs were led by Yanni Thanopoulos '17 who went 2-for-2 with two RBI, a walk and run scored. Taiki Kasuga '14, Alex Hero '14, Mike Odenwaelder '16 and Tyler Jacobs '15 all recorded a hit. Tim Corey '15 went 2-for-3 to lead the Mules while four others hit safely to give Colby six hits total. Tommy Forese '16 pinch hit and went 1-for-1 with a two-RBI home run.

The Mules scored the first run of the game in the top of the second on a single to left field by Corey that brought in Alec Finigan '14 who reached on a hit-by-pitch. However, the visitors lead was short-lived as Amherst put together a four-run third inning. With two outs and bases empty, Kasuga singled to center field and scored on a double by Hero. After the Mules intentionally walked Odenwaelder, Gunn reached on an error and Thanopoulos drove them home with a single to left field as Amherst took a 4-1 lead.

The home team tacked on two more runs the following two innings. In the bottom of the fourth, Odenwaelder reached on an error with bases loaded as Spina scored. Thanopolous led off the fifth with a single to center and later crossed home on a RBI single from Tyler Jacobs '15.
 
In the top of the sixth, Jason Buco '15 reached on a Jeff error and crossed home two batters later when Forese homered to left. However, Colby would not score again as Amherst held on for the 6-3 win.

GAME 2: AMHERST 4, COLBY 3
Despite being outhit 7-5 in game two, the Jeffs rallied in the bottom of the ninth to earn the walk off win. Leading the team at the plate was Hero, who went 2-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored while Gunn recorded the game-winning two RBI single to finish 1-for-4. First-year pitcher Jackson Volle was terrific in his first career start, fanning seven batters in six innings while allowing just two runs  (one earned) on five hits. Riley Streit '16 entered in the seventh and allowed one earned run on two hits in three innings to grab the win.

Tyler Starks '16 lead Colby with two hits (2-for-4) while Finigan recorded two RBI despite going 0-for-4. Greg Ladd '15 started and tossed five innings, allowing two earned runs on three hits without walking a batter. Dakota Rabbitt '14 and James Connelly '16 pitched three innings of hitless and scoreless action but Corey was credited with the loss when he entered in the ninth.

Both teams came out scoring to start the second game. In the top of the first, Kevin Galvin '14 walked and advanced all the way to third following a Jeff throwing error and a wild pitch. Two batters later, with runners on first and third, Galvin scored following an infield groundout by Finigan.

In the bottom half of the inning, Amherst evened the score when Hero hit one over the right center fence for his second home run of the year.

The Mules added a run in the third when Buco hit a home run over the left center fence. Colby held a 2-1 lead until the bottom of the fifth when Jacobs singled to left and stole second to get in scoring position. Andrew Vandini '16 then singled to right to drive in the tying run.

Colby rallied in the top of the seventh to go ahead for the third time in the game. Colin Cummings '14 singled up the middle and Gavlin then doubled to center to put runners on second and third with one out. After intentionally walking Buco to load the bases, Finigan hit an infield groundball to bring in the run.

Trailing 3-2 entering the bottom of the ninth, Hero led off with a single to left field. Odenwaelder walked on the next at-bat but Hero was thrown out on a fielder's choice the following play. With one out, a wild pitch advanced Odenwaelder and Thanopoulos to second and third as Gunn brought them home with a hard hit groundball past the pitcher and into the outfield en route to the 4-3 come-from-behind win.