AMHERST, Mass. – Amherst College picked up two important wins on Saturday afternoon, defeating Hamilton College in both ends of a double-header to win their New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) West Division baseball series at Loop Road.
The Mammoths won the opening game 6-2 and then won 9-3 in the nightcap to win the series after dropping the opener on Friday afternoon. Amherst is now 14-8 and more importantly, 5-4 in the NESCAC West, while Hamilton falls to 4-5 in division play (12-11 overall).
Amherst has a road game at Westfield State on Tuesday and a home game against Wheaton on Wednesday before playing their final Division series of the season next weekend at home against Middlebury.
Game 1: Amherst 6, Hamilton 2
Amherst came from a 2-0 deficit and took the lead with a three-run homer to right center field by Severino Simeone '20 that went more than 400 feet, according to Hamilton Sports Information Director Jim Taylor.
It was the fourth home run of the year for Simeone, who drove in four of Amherst's runs and has doubled his HR total from a year ago.
The Mammoths were held to just five hits in the game and were kept off balance by Hamilton starter Kenny Gray until the fifth inning, when Kevin Schroeder '21 hit a two-out double and Kyler Kopacz '21 drove him in with a single to left field to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Simeone's smash put Amherst ahead 4-2 in the sixth and the Mammoths added two more insurance runs in the seventh and final inning with an RBI single by Stephen Burke '21 and a bases-loaded walk issued to Simeone.
Hamilton got both of their runs in the third, one on a sacrifice fly by James Nish, and the second on a wild pitch.
Starter Davis Brown '19 kept Amherst close by allowing just two runs over three and two-thirds innings.
Gray took the loss (1-2) after allowing four runs on four hits and two walks while striking out three.
Game 2: Amherst 9, Hamilton 3
Joe Palmo '21 drove in three runs, Simeone went 3-3 with two runs scored and Kai Terada-Herzer '21 had three hits as the Mammoths secured an important series win in their quest to reach the postseason with one of the top two spots out of the West division.
Palmo singled with the bases loaded to score two runs in the top of the third as Amherst took a 2-1 lead and never looked back. The Mammoths scored four times that inning, with Burke driving in a run on a fielder's choice, then stealing second and eventually scoring on a throwing error on a failed pickoff attempt.
Andrew Nagel '21 won for the fourth time this year (4-1), going six and a third innings and giving up just three runs (two earned). Nagel struck out five and only issued one free pass.
Horwitz, Carson Glazier '20 and Burke all combined to toss two and two-thirds shutout innings to complete the victory.
Henley singled in Palmo in the fifth and Palmo brought home Qin with an RBI groundout the next inning as Amherst increased their lead to 6-2.
After Rich Marooney brought back a run for the Continentals with an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth, the Mammoths tacked on two more insurance runs in the seventh (Nardone double & Kopacz sacrifice fly), and one more in the ninth when Murphy singled to right center to score Simeone for the second time.
Hamilton starter Carl Maxwell (0-1) took the loss despite not giving up a hit. Maxwell lasted two innings and allowed two runs, both earned, on four walks while striking out one.
Marooney went 2-3 with two runs driven in for the Continentals, who will play at SUNY Cortland on Tuesday and then host RIT on Wednesday.