AMHERST, MA - Amherst College (14-5, 6-0 NESCAC West) remained undefeated in NESCAC play for the 2012 season with a three-game sweep of the Williams College Ephs (5-13, 1-5 NESCAC West). Amherst won all three extremely close games by a combined four runs. Friday's final was 6-4 at Williams. Amherst won the first (7 inning game) of Saturday's double-header by a score of 5-4, and lastly, the second game of the Saturday's double-header favored Amherst as well 2-1, both at Amherst College. "We played three great games this weekend but came up just short in all of them." reviewed Ephs head coach Bill Barrale.
Freshman Tom Murphy started the first game of the double header and threw a complete game allowing 5 [5 earned] runs on 8 hits adding 4 strikeouts and 4 walks. Murphy's great pitching was matched by Amherst's junior Bob Cook who threw 4 innings allowing 4 runs [3 earned], on 7 hits, adding 3 strikeouts and 3 walks. He was relieved by senior lefty Dylan Joyce who threw 3 great innings allowing no hits, no runs, adding 2 strikeouts and no walks earning the win. Murphy was charged with the loss.
Sophomore Alex Hero singled up the middle in the bottom of the second to put up the first run of the day bringing in junior Nolan Stewart who reached with a lead off single to left field. Stewart highlighted the Lord Jeffs' offense all day going a combined 4 for 7 with 3 RBI. Freshman Tyler Jacobs reached on a hit-by-pitch, and sophomore Taiki Kasuga singled him home to make the game 2-0.
Williams fired back with a three-run 4th inning started off by junior Darren Hartwell's infield single. Hartwell's first-rate speed helped him advance to second on a wild pitch. Sophomore Matt Kastner then drew a walk allowing a perfectly executed bunt by senior Cameron Susk to load the bags. Junior Taylor Mondshein's hot bat continued as he singled to right center bringing in 2 runs. Mondshein led the Ephs' offense today going a combined 3 for 6 with 2 RBI and a double. Freshman Phil McGovern contributed another RBI when he knocked a single to left bringing home Susk.
The Ephs went to work again in the top of the 5th adding another run when senior Ben Oliva led off the inning with a bunt. Oliva then took second on an errant throw to first. Senior Stephen Maier smacked a double down the left field line bringing in Oliva.
Then, the Lord Jeffs retaliated in the bottom of the 6th when senior Kevin Heller drove in two runs to become the all-time RBI leader for Amherst with 120. Senior catcher Mike Samela drove Heller home to add another making the score 5-4 which would give the Lord Jeffs the first win of two on the day.
Freshman lefty John Cook allowed an impressive 1 run [earned] on 6 hits adding two strikeouts and no walks in 8 innings for the Lord Jeffs.
Sophomore Steve Marino started the second game going 3 1/3 innings to be relieved by senior Matt Berdoff who went for 3 2/3. They combined for seven innings of shutout baseball and allowed only three hits, but they walked six batters.
In the bottom of the eighth, Ephs senior reliever Dan Grossman came in relief for Berdoff got a quick groundout and strikeout. Then, senior Thomas Wheeler just beat out an infield grounder to the pitcher. Senior John Wagner pinch ran for Wheeler and stole second. Wagner advanced to third on overthrow, paving the way for Stewart to drive him home for the first run of the game. Junior Jimmy Ray came in relief to toss a strikeout to end the inning.
However, the Ephs would not give up. Mondshein roped a leadoff double to center in the bottom of the ninth instigating a pitching change. Junior Adam Medoff came in to finish and outstanding performance by John Cook. Phil McGovern advanced Mondshein to third with a fly out down the right field line. Ben Oliva then executed a sacrifice fly to bring home Mondshein to send the game into extra innings.
Medoff worked through the top of the tenth creating a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. The Lord Jeffs' Kasuga hit a single to lead off the bottom of the tenth. Heller then bunted him to second safely making it to first himself. A passed ball allowed each of them to advance into scoring position forcing the Ephs to load the bases intentionally walking Samela. Nolan Stewart's single then drove home the walk-off run to give the Lord Jeffs a three-game sweep of the Ephs. Ray was given the loss going 1 2/3 innings allowing one run [earned], adding three strikeouts and one walk.
Amherst (14-5, 6-0 NESCAC West) stays home to host Castleton State on Thursday, April 12th. Williams (5-13, 1-5 NESCAC West) goes to local Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) on Monday at 4PM.