HARTFORD, Conn. – One of the most entertaining, tightly contested and dramatic games of the season ended with Max Steinhorn's RBI single delivering a 3-2 victory for Amherst College over Bates College in 12 innings on Day 1 of the 2018 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).
In a game that saw superb outings from both starting pitchers, Bates took a 2-1 lead in the top of the 12th inning, only to have Amherst surge back with an unbelievable series of events to win the game at Dibennedeto Stadium.
Sam Ellinwood '18, who had three hits in the game, led off the twelfth inning with a single to right field. Pinch hitter Topher Brown '20 laid down a sacrifice bunt, but Bobcats reliever Jake Shapiro slipped as he was fielding the ball and threw it down the right field line, sending Ellinwood to third and Brown safely into second with nobody out.
Ellinwood tied the game on a wild pitch, and after Kai Terada-Herzer '21 took a walk and Severino Simeone '20 was walked intentionally, Steinhorn singled through the right side and kept running past first as his teammates mobbed him in celebration of the 3-2 victory.
Though neither figured in the decision, the early stages of the game belonged to Amherst starter Sam Schneider '18 and Bobcats hurler Nolan Collins.
Schneider struck out ten batters and allowed just one earned run on five hits over seven and two-thirds innings. Collins threw seven-innings of four-hit ball, allowing just one run himself, though he did walk four batters while striking out five.
Equally as effective for Amherst (22-12) was reliever Zach Horwitz '20, who threw four innings of relief, with just one hit and two strikeouts.
Horwitz, however, was on the hook after the top of the 12th, as he allowed Will Sylvia to single with two outs. Sylvia would advance to second on a passed ball and Bates loaded the bases with two walks before Sylvia crossed the plate on a hit-batsmen by Amherst reliever Mike Dow '19.
The Bobcats (14-18) scratched out the first run of the game in the fourth thanks to a two-out double by Connor DiVin and an RBI single by Jon Lindgren.
In the bottom of the sixth, Amherst levelled the score with two outs as well. Joe Palmo '21 drove a single to left field to score Harry Roberson '18 who led off the inning with a walk.
Stephen Burke '21 earned the win for Amherst (2-0), as he threw the final one-third of an inning to close out the bottom of the 12th.
Shapiro fell to 1-1 on the year, allowing one earned run on three hits over three and a third innings.
Amherst will play in the Winner's game at 1:30 pm tomorrow against Tufts as the top seed in each division came out victorious today.
Bates and Wesleyan will play in an elimination game at 10:00 am.