WILLIAMSTOWN, MA—The Amherst College Mammoths (9-9, 3-2) completed their sweep of the Williams College Ephs (10-6, 4-4) with 4-3 and 8-5 wins in a doubleheader.
In the first game, Williams took the first lead of the game in the second inning, when an Adam Regensburg grounder squeaked by the Mammoth third baseman to score Jackson Parese. Amherst answered in the fourth with textbook baseball, leading off with two singles, advancing both runners with a sac bunt, and scoring the runner at third on a fielder's choice grounder to third base.
Nick Nardone took the lead for Amherst in the sixth with a two-run homer to left field, and a Max Steinhorn single to center bought some insurance by bringing home Ariel Kenney in the seventh.
Down 4-1 in the final half-inning, Jack Cloud stepped to the plate with one on and two outs and smacked a single through the right side. Kellen Hatheway loaded the bases with a walk, and Jack Roberts brought two runs home with a single past the diving Amherst first baseman. Mammoth pitcher Jackson Volle was able to notch a strikeout of Doug Schaffer to end the game, however, leaving Williams ninety feet away from tying the game.
Volle, who raised his season record to 4-0 with the win, dueled with Eph first-year John Lamont, who evened his mark to 1-1. Both hurlers pitched complete games, with Volle allowing six hits and three walks and Lamont surrendering seven hits, and two walks. Both men struck out five batters.
Jack Roberts and Jackson Parese both registered two hits on the game, and Roberts registered the Ephs' only two RBIs with his double in the seventh. Max Steinhorn went 2-4 on the game, while Nick Nardone added hit clutch home run with its two RBIs for the Mammoths.
The stat line reflected the closeness of the game, with Amherst edging Williams in hits by the same margin they did in runs. Williams Coach Baralle acknowledge that the first game's outcome was largely a factor of unlucky hit placement: "We hit the ball all over the yard, but we hit it right to people. We had several hard outs in that one."
The tight loss appeared to weigh on the Ephs at the start of the nightcap. Williams Coach Bill Baralle said after the game that "we came out flat and gave it to them. We didn't start playing until the fourth inning." The Ephs committed three errors in the first two innings while surrendering six runs in the same span.
After the game's first batter flew out to right field, Harry Roberson and Yanni Thanopoulos each singled, and a fielding error by Jack Roberts at second base loaded the bases. Nick Nardone scored the runners on second and third with a shot over the third baseman's head, followed by RBI singles by Chase Henley, Ariel Kenney, and Ryan Hardin. By the time Eph starter Luke Rodino was able to strike out Max Steinhorn, the Mammoths had put up five runs in the first.
Williams responded quite effectively, however; Jack Cloud led off with a single, Kellen Hatheway smacked a stand-up double to put two runners in scoring position, and Jack Roberts knocked his second two-RBI double of the day, putting the Ephs on the board. Roberts scored himself on a sacrifice fly by Jackson Parese, leaving Williams donw just two.
After two consecutive defensive errors to open the inning, Anthony Spina singled through the left side to bring home Harry Roberson and extend the Mammoth lead to three. After this inning, however, Amherst slowed down considerably on the offensive side, not scoring again until the sixth inning.
Coach Baralle had high praise for his starter, who pitched eight innings on the day and was saddled with five unearned runs. "I thought Luke Rodino was incredible, pitching through all that adversity. What a great performance from him—it's really a testament to what kind of young man he is."
Williams clawed their way back with runs in both the fourth and fifth innings. First, Nate Michalski singled to centerfield to score Jackson Parese from second base, and in the fifth inning, Jack Cloud absolutely crushed a pitch over the fence straightaway centerfield for his first home run of the season.
Amherst answered when Max Steinhorn scored from second on a Yanni Thanopoulos single, and the Mammoths once again came up with a clutch homerun late in the game. Ariel Kenney smashed a solo shot to left-center to give his team a three-run lead going into the ninth.
Williams reliever will O'Brien retired the side, but three fly balls later the game was over with Amherst over Williams 8-5.
Rodino (2-1) was charged with the loss, while Amherst starter Zach Horwitz was credited with the win. Wilson Taylor, who relieved Horwitz in the fifth inning, allowed only one hit in his five innings of work, striking out six and walking two.
Jack Cloud led the Ephs in hits and runs scored, not to mention his homerun, while Jack Roberts repeated as the Ephs' top RBI hitter on the game, with two. Yanni Thanopoulos led the Mammoths with a 3-5 performance and an RBI, while Ariel Kenny and Nick Nardone each registered two RBIs.
These were the first two in an eight-game home stand for the Ephs, who will host Skidmore on Tuesday and Union on Wednesday of this week. Amherst returns to action on Monday against Salve Regina.