AUBURN, N.Y. – Amherst College's 2018 season, which included their fourth New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) championship, came to an end on Friday afternoon with a 2-1 setback to Saint Joseph's (LI) in the NCAA New York Regionals at Falcon Park.
The Mammoths end their season with a mark of 24-14, but lost a pair of one-run games at the Regionals, where they made their first appearance since 2015.
Each team scored a run in their half of the first inning, and the Golden Eagles (27-17) took a 2-1 lead in the top of the second. From there it was zeroes across the board for both sides, as Amherst played in a pitching duel for the second straight day.
Starter Andrew Ferrero '19 allowed just two runs, one of them unearned, over six and two-thirds innings. He struck out six and walked just one while giving up five hits.
Junior Joseph Murphy was outstanding on the bump for Saint Joseph's. He went the distance, throwing 136 pitches and striking out eight batters. The lone run for Amherst was unearned, as Max Steinhorn '18 led off the game reaching via an error.
Steinhorn eventually scored on a sharp single through the left side by Ariel Kenney '18, tying the game after Saint Joseph's had taken the lead behind a leadoff triple by Anthony Raucci and a sacrifice fly by Paul Britt in the first.
A series of bizarre events led to the eventual winning run for the Golden Eagles. A one-out double to left field by Michael Ferrufino got things started in the top of the second. He then advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored when the throw to get him sailed into left field. The error, however, ended up going against the third baseman when obstruction was called as Ferrufino made the turn for home.
The Mammoths stranded two runners on base in the third when Kenney got under a ball and flied out to deep center field, and they went in order in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings
Ferrero struck out the side in the sixth to keep the game a one-run affair, and Zach Horwitz '20 got the final two outs of the seventh, leaving the bases loaded in relief.
Stephen Burke '21 pitched the final inning and a third of scoreless ball, but the Mammoths could not find their way around Murphy.
The best chance in the late stages of the game came with two outs in the eighth. Pinch hitter Rob Casey '20 singled to left field and Harry Roberson '18 singled to right field, ending his career as the all-time Amherst hits leader (198) and having reached base safely in 22 straight games.
Murphy got out of the jam when he induced a grounder up the middle from Kenney that went for a harmless fielder's choice.
Saint Joseph's stays alive in the Regional, and will play Saturday morning against the loser of the game between Swarthmore and SUNY Cortland.