AMHERST, Mass. – The Mammoths staved on an attempt to even the score in the eighth by the Ephs and produced solid play on both sides of the ball as the Amherst College baseball team downed archrival Williams, 5-2 Friday afternoon at Memorial Field.
With the win, Amherst moves to 8-9 overall and to 2-2 in NESCAC West play, while Williams falls to 10-5 on the season (4-3 NESCAC West). The two sides return to action tomorrow, Saturday, April 15 when they face off in a doubleheader in Williamstown, Mass. beginning at 1 p.m.
First on the scoreboard, Amherst claimed a 2-0 lead in the third after two scoreless innings. Legging out a single after a great pick by Eph third baseman Doug Schaffer, Max Steinhorn '18 stole second before tagging up on a landing on third on fly ball to right. Yanni Thanopoulos '17 posted the first RBI for the Mammoths, sending a shot down the left field line that one-hopped the fence to secure a ground rule double and plate Steinhorn. The next batter at the dish, Anthony Spina '17 sent Thanopoulos home with a single to right center to set the score at 2-0.
Williams and Amherst saw strong defensive play in the fourth and fifth, with first baseman Nathan Michalski making a great stab on a low throw to steal a base runner away from the Mammoths and Nick Nardone '19 notching an over the shoulder catch in foul territory to send Jack Cloud back to the dugout.
Extending their lead to 5-0 in the bottom of the fifth, Thanopoulos capitalized on an error and a single by Steinhorn and Harry Roberson '18 and drilled a deep sacrifice line drive to left to plate Steinhorn. Roberson scored two batters later after an error by the catcher, before Nardone ripped a ball to right center to tally what stood as Amherst's final RBI of the contest.
Responding in the eighth, the Ephs plated two runs to decrease their deficit to 5-2. Making solid contact in the leadoff spot, Cloud singled up the middle and advanced to second after Kellen Hatheway launched a single to left center. Taking to the dish, Jack Roberts sent both runners home, powering a double over the head of the left fielder to register Williams' lone RBIs of the game.
Schaffer nearly continued the Eph hit-streak as the next batter up to the plate, but Spina made a clutch sliding catch in shallow right field to post the first out of the inning and halt Williams' momentum, before Amherst retired the side behind a line out to short and a strike out and held the visitors scoreless in the ninth to capture the 5-2 victory.
Roberson, Thanopoulos and Severino Tocci '20 led the Mammoths with two hits apiece, while Thanopoulos notched a team-high two RBI and Steinhorn recorded a game-high two runs.
Tasked with the start, Drew Fischer '18 tossed an effective 3.2 innings for the Mammoths, allowing just two hits and no runs while striking out three. Entering in relief and pitching the final 5.1 innings, Sam Schneider '18 (1-0) was credited with the winning effort, giving up two earned runs, five hits and whiffing two.
Sean Hager (2-1) took the loss for Williams, allowing four earned runs and five hits in 4.1 innings on the mound before Kyle Dean entered to toss the final 3.2 innings in relief.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Amherst owned a 9-7 advantage in hits in the outing, while both sides stranded eight runners on base.
- Thanopoulos and Tocci each logged a double to account for the Mammoths extra hits on the day, while Roberts notched a double for the Ephs.