Amherst, Mass. – The Amherst College baseball team opened up NESCAC play by grabbing two victories in high scoring dramatic fashion against the Hamilton Continentals Saturday afternoon at Memorial Field.
The Saturday doubleheader wins bring Amherst to 9-5 on the season and 2-0 in conference play, while Hamilton drops to 6-9 on the year and to 0-2 against the NESCAC. Amherst returns to action on Wednesday, April 4 when they travel to Mitchell for a 4 p.m. non-conference clash.
GAME 1: Amherst 5, Hamilton 4 (9 Innings)
Davis Brown '19 pitched six and one third innings for Amherst, allowing five hits, striking out nine, and walking one batter. Entering in relief, Andrew Ferrero '19 finished the final two and two thirds innings to earn the win, improving to 2-1 this season.
The Mammoths started out hot early in the contest, scoring four runs in the first three innings, highlighted by a Nick Nardone '19 solo homerun to make it 3-0 and an RBI triple by Severino Simeone '20 to jump out to a 4-0 lead.
Hamilton answered in the top of the sixth, with a two RBI triple by Jason Nish followed by a two RBI homerun by Matt Zaffino tying the game at four heading into the last inning.
Still tied at 4-4 at the end of seven, the game moved into extra innings to determine a victor. After a quiet eighth and top half of the ninth, Amherst broke through to earn the win. Ariel Kenney '18 led off with a double, and Kai Terada-Herzer '21 came in to pinch run for him before Nardone pushed Terada-Herzer to third with a single to put runners on the corners with no outs.
Joseph Palmo '21 played hero for the Mammoths, driving a walk off single to right field to deliver the 5-4 Amherst victory.
GAME 2: Amherst 10, Hamilton 9
It was a group effort on the mound for the Mammoths in game two, with Ryan Sholtis '21 (1-0) ultimately picking up the win for Amherst.
Hamilton struck first, scoring one run in the top of the first before the Mammoths responded with four runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a 4-1 lead. The Continentals countered in the second with four runs of their own, before Amherst tacked on another RBI to even the game at five all after two innings.
In the fourth, Nardone hit his second home run of the day, a two RBI shot to push the score 7-5.
Hamilton brought the score to 7-6 in the fifth on an RBI single by Carig Sandford, before Simeone extended the Amherst lead to 8-6 with homer to left field. A sacrifice bunt by Terada-Herzer scored another run, as the Mammoths owned a three-run edge after five innings.
In the top of the sixth with runners on second and third, the Mammoths elected to intentionally walk Zaffino to load the bases with two outs. Pinch-hitting, Graham Mcosker came through for the visitors, cranking a bases clearing double to tie the game at 9-9.
Recording the game-winning run in the bottom of the sixth, Kenny posted a leadoff single before advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt by Nardone. In the next at bat, Hamilton pitcher Nish fielded a grounder hit by Palmo and tried to make the play at third, but committed a throwing error that allowed Kenney to score what stood as the difference maker.
Amherst and Sholtis shut the door in the seventh, sealing the sweep for the Mammoths.