AMHERST, Mass. – Chase Henley '19 registered a deep sacrifice fly to right center in the bottom of the eighth to plate the game-winning run, as the Amherst College baseball team edged Nichols College, 4-3 Wednesday afternoon at Memorial Field in a non-conference tilt.
With the win, Amherst improves to 14-11 on the year, while Nichols falls to 18-15 overall. Amherst returns to action on Friday, April 28 when they travel to Little III and NESCAC West rival Wesleyan for a 4 p.m. conference battle.
In a strong start at the dish, both the Mammoths and Bison plated two runs in the first to deadlock the score at 2-2.
Nichols posted two singles, a fielder's choice and a ground ball out to place runners on the corners and set up the scoring play. Entering the batter's box with two outs, Tim Ford came up with the clutch hit, powering a double to right field to plate Nick Roy and Cam Cook.
Responding immediately, Ariel Kenney '18 logged the first RBI for Amherst after the Mammoths loaded the bases behind two singles and a walk. Making contact with two outs, Kenney sent a ball to short and beat out the throw to earn a single and score Harry Roberson '18. Next at the dish, Ryan Hardin '18 followed Kenney's lead, sending a dribbler to the shortstop to plate Yanni Thannopolous '17.
Capitalizing on a Bison error, Amherst took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the third, as Kenney reached safely on a bobble by the third baseman and Anthony Spina '17 crossed home.
Roberson made an athletic play at shortstop to get the Mammoth's first out in the sixth, adjusting to a ball hit to his left, making an impressive stab and flipping a quick throw to second to send Kyle Bouchard to the dugout. Undeterred, Nichols logged the tying run two hitters later, with Matt Hardy ripping a line drive to right to score Roy.
Capturing what stood as the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth, Henley launched a ball to right center field that allowed Nick Nardone '19 to tag up from third and lift Amherst to the 4-3 victory.
Tasked with the start, Davis Brown '19 tossed 5.0 innings for the Mammoths, allowing four hits, three earned runs and striking out one before Chris Baldi '17 entered the game to pitch 1.0 innings in relief. Mike Castiglie '17 (1-1) earned the win on the mound, giving up just one hit in 2.0 innings, while George Long '17 (1 save) clinched the save, giving up one hit in a scoreless ninth inning.
Tyler Crane threw 3.0 to start the game for the Bison, allowing five hits and two earned runs before Jack Dicenso and Andrew Charbonneau entered the matchup to toss 4.0 innings. Chris Dipilato (0-1) took the loss for Nichols, giving up one hit and one run in 1.0 innings.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Amherst owned a slight 9-7 edge in hits in the contest, while both sides stranded eight runners on base.
- Ford notched a double for the Bison, while Max Steinhorn '18 and Spina combined to record three doubles for the home team.
- The Mammoth staff allowed seven hits and three earned runs and combined for three strikeouts and one walk, while Nichols gave up nine hits and two earned runs while striking out three and walking one.