Jeffs Eliminated from NCAA Regionals, Fall to Keystone, 7-2

Jeffs Eliminated from NCAA Regionals, Fall to Keystone, 7-2


AUBURN, N.Y. – Despite out-hitting its opponent, the Amherst College baseball team fell to Keystone College Friday morning in an elimination game in the 2015 NCAA Division III New York Regional by a score of 7-2 at Falcon Park.

The Jeffs impressive season, which marked a third-straight postseason tournament appearance, comes to an end with a 27-15 overall record and a 9-3 NESCAC West mark. The Giants (33-13) have won two straight after dropping its opening day game to RPI, and will play the winner of Oberlin/Old Westbury tonight at 7:45 p.m.  

The Purple & White edged SUNY Oswego in its first game of the double-elimination tournament, 7-5 in 11 innings, but lost to top-ranked SUNY Cortland  yesterday (7-5) before today's elimination loss to Keystone. Despite the five-run deficit, Amherst outhit the Giants 11-8, but left eight runners on base.

Leading the team offensively were Mike Odenwaelder '16, Conner Gunn '16 and Yanni Thanopoulos '17 with two hits each. Odenwaelder also hit for a double, while seniors Brendon Hardin and Tyler Jacobs drove in Amherst's two runs. Five others registered a single, and four different pitchers took to the mound. John Cook '15 started and was credited with the loss to finish the season with a 5-2 record.

As a team, the Giants totaled eight hits, and were led by Julian Lanfranco (2-for-4) and Nate Ross (2-for-4). Dylan Corl went 1-for-3 with two RBI, a run scored and a walk, and Gaston Rojas hit a solo-home run. James Dunning pitched a complete game and struck out nine batters. He allowed two runs on 11 hits and improved to 8-1 on the year.

After two scoreless innings, Keystone registered six runs throughout the third, fourth and fifth innings to take a decisive 6-0 lead. In the top of the third, Lanfranco doubled down the left field line to lead off the inning. After stealing third, he later scored on a wild pitch to give the Giants a 1-0 lead.

The following inning, Bzozowski reached first after getting hit by a pitch, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and reached third following a single by Ross. The following batter, Joe Angelucci laid down a bunt to bring home Bzozowski. After another wild pitch put runners on second and third, Corl singled up the middle to bring in two more runs. Two batters later, Corl got caught in a jam while trying to steal, and Lanfranco seized his scoring opportunity to cap off a four-run inning.

With two outs in the top of the fifth, and bases empty, Louis Reyes reached first on a fielding error by the Jeffs and was brought home on the next at-bat following a double to left center by Bzozowski.

After a scoreless sixth inning, Keystone tacked on another run with a solo home run from Rojas over the left field fence to increase the margin to seven. Amherst, however, cut the deficit to five in the bottom half of the inning as Andrew Vandini '16 hit a lead-off infield single. Gunn singled on the next at-bat, but was thrown out after a fielder's choice by Sam Ellinwood '18. With runners on first and third, Jacobs hit a RBI single to right field to bring home Vandini. Two batters later, Hardin allowed Ellinwood to score with a RBI single to left field as the Jeffs trailed 7-2 through seven.

Despite two more hits in the bottom of the eighth, Amherst was unable to score any more runs as Dunning retired the side in the ninth.

Amherst graduates six seniors who conclude their collegiate careers with an overall record of 107-49 (.686) since 2012. During their four-year tenure with the program, the Jeffs reached three-straight NCAA Division III Championships for the first time-ever, set a program record in wins a year ago with 30 and won a NESCAC title in 2013. Amherst won at least 20 games in each of the last four seasons.