Ephs fall to Vassar in tough come from behind defeat

Doug Schaffer '19
Doug Schaffer '19

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – The Williams College Ephs (4-13, 2-4) took on the Vassar College Brewers (10-7, 6-2) today at Bobby Coombs Field.  

Williams had a definitive lead at 6-2 moving into the ninth inning.  Unfortunately, a strong rallying effort by Vassar resulted in a four-run deficit moving into the bottom of the ninth.  A valiant attempt to regain the lead was mounted but only managed to cut the lead to three.  The game's final score was 10-7 Vassar College 

The game started quietly for both the Ephs and the Brewers. In the third inning, the game really began to open up.  Vassar's first batter, senior Eric Strickland, doubled to right field.  He reached third base two plays later on a wild pitch.  The next two batters gave out two pop up outs to the second basemen. 

However, a failed pickoff attempt from the pitcher to the third baseman, gave the Brewers the first run of the game.  A third pop up to the second baseman ended their inning. 

The Ephs began their at bat with a ground out to the third baseman.  First year Erik Mini advanced to first on a walk.  Sophomore Mike Stamas' second at bat was a single to center field which allowed Mini to advance to second.  Junior Doug Schaffer's bunt, as the fourth hitter of the Ephs inning, got him a single and loaded the bases.  Senior Jack Roberts subsequent single to right field, batted in the Ephs' first run of the game and evened the score at 1-1.  The Ephs created their first lead of the game on the next batter with senior Adam Dulsky's sacrifice fly out to center field. Kellen Hatheway's double on the following at bat made the score 3-1.  A fly out to center field on the following play ended the third inning.

At the top of the fifth, junior right-handed pitcher Will O'Brien stepped in for the Ephs.  Vassar's first at bat resulted in a single.  A strong effort from O'Brien gave Vassar two of its outs on the next two batters with a ground out to the pitcher and a strike out.  The Brewers' catcher Jake Doyle's single to center field on the next play, batted in another run to make the score 3-2 Williams.  Vassar received its final out of their at bat two plays later on a fielder's choice. 

The sixth inning brought junior Tom Benz to the mound and he retired the Brewers' order. 

The Ephs found some success in the bottom of the seventh after a quiet couple innings.  Schaffer began the action by getting on base via being hit by a pitch.  Roberts kept things moving with a deep single to right field which allowed Schaffer to advance to third.  Dulsky's sacrifice fly out on the next play brought in Williams first run since the third inning.  Roberts advanced to third not long after on a stolen base and a wild pitch.  Unfortunately, two consecutive strike outs on subsequent batters ended the inning with a new score of 4-2.

The top of the eighth brought yet another Williams pitcher into the game.  First year Phillip Barnett came in to replace his teammate Benz. Barnett set the Brewers down 1, 2, 3.

The Ephs turned out another strong showing in the eighth.  Panstares got the ball rolling with a double to left center.  Junior David Kwan followed suit with a single to left field, which batted in the first Williams run of the inning and eventually allowed him to advance to second on a throwing error.  A strike out and a ground out in the next two plays put the pressure on for the Ephs.  However, Schaffers' triple to center field on his next at bat brought in another run to made the score 6-2. 

Left handed junior Jack Bohen came in as the Ephs penultimate pitcher of the game.  Two walks to start the inning put Vassar runners on first and second.  A foul out to the catcher gave the Brewers their first out of the inning.  Posting a strong effort towards the end of the game, a Vassar single down the left field line batted in their third run of the game and put runners on first and second again.  A deep single to right field loaded the bases on the next at bat.  The following batter was walked to cut the deficit to two and resulted in a final pitching switch to first year George Carrol.  Another single to right field batted in another run to make the score 6-5 and keep the bases loaded.  Two consecutive walks brought in another two runs and put Vassar back into the lead at 7-6.  A fielding error on the following play brought another run in and kept two runners on base.  A single to the center fielder, and a sacrifice fly out to left field extended the Brewers' lead to four at 10-6.  The top of the ninth ended with a reach on a fielder's choice to hand Vassar its final out. 

The Ephs final inning at bat began with a fly out to center field.  Hatheway's single to left field on the following at bat kept William's hopes alive.  He advanced to second on a wild pitch and was pushed to third by Regensburg's single to center field.  Panstares' single on the following play batted in Hatheway to cut the deficit to three,  but put Regensbur out at second.  Unfortunately, the rallying effort was cut short with a fly out to center field to end the game.

Eph head coach Bill Barrale commented on the today's performance: "We played a solid eight innings today, but we have to be able to finish.  It was tough to walk so many late in the game."

The Ephs game today was not a part of conference play and they are now 4-13 on the year.  The team's next chance to play will not come until this weekend.  The Ephs will travel to Maine this weekend to take on Bates in a double header on both Saturday and Sunday in non-NESCAC tilts.