North Adams, Mass. - The Williams College Ephs (6-13) traveled twenty minutes east to play local Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) (10-12) on a rainy Monday evening in the Berkshires.
Freshman pitcher Dylan Griswold got the nod for the Ephs and went five innings allowing one run [earned] on four hits contributing an impressive six strikeouts, adding four walks. Griswold earned the first win of his career.
Williams put the first runs on the board in the top of the third inning when junior Taylor Mondshein displayed his hot bat again with a single to right spurring two-out magic for the Ephs. Mondshein went 3 for 4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Sophomore Matt Kastner followed suit with a hit to left. Both advanced into scoring position after a passed ball. Senior Cameron Susk doubled to left-center field bringing them home to give the Ephs a 2-0 lead. Sophomore Marco Hernandez was then a victim of a hit-by-pitch bringing up junior Andrew Bishop who singled in Susk to make it 3-0.
The Trailblazers returned the favor adding a run of their own in the bottom half of the third inning when freshman Chase Preite drew a walk and then advanced to second base on a passed ball. Freshman Rory Slattery knocked Preite home with a two-out double to left field cutting MCLA's deficit to 3-1. Slattery finished 2 for 4 with a run scored and one RBI.
In the bottom of the sixth, junior Lucas Casso relieved Griswold and managed three straight groundouts for the Ephs.
MCLA sophomore Cody Weaver was charged with the loss after throwing six innings, allowing three runs [three earned] on four hits. Weaver added five strikeouts and one walk. Yet, in the top of the seventh, the Ephs added another run when freshman Phil McGovern led off by drawing a walk off of new pitcher Joe Vaverka. Junior Darren Hartwell executed a bunt for a single when he not only advanced McGovern, but also beat out the throw to first. Mondshein then smacked home McGovern with a single to put up the Ephs 4-1.
Freshman Eddie Kelly relieved Casso entering the game in the bottom of the seventh when he, like Casso, also earned a three up, three down inning adding two strikeouts.
Vaverka was relieved by freshman Alon Willing in the top of the eighth. Willing went two innings for the Trailblazers allowing one run [earned] adding two strikeouts.
In the bottom of the eighth, sophomore Charlie Baxter relieved Kelly. Slattery led the inning off with a walk and then Weaver made it to first on a hit-by-pitch. Freshman Chris Koch then executed a sacrifice bunt and Slattery scored on an error, making the score 4-2. However, Baxter got the next three batters out including two strikeouts closing the door on a possible rally. "All of our pitchers threw great today. I threw a lot of guys and they all came through against a good MCLA team." Head coach Bill Barrale added after the game.
Williams would add one more insurance run in the top of the ninth when Susk pulled off a sacrifice fly to left bringing home Mondshein who got on-base earlier in the inning with a single up the middle.
Freshman Kelso Stevens got the save in the bottom of the ninth to give the Ephs a much-needed victory. "We've got a lot season left." Barrale reflected. "There is a lot baseball left." The Ephs have eighteen games left to be exact.
Williams (6-13) will host Westfield State (9-12) on Wednesday, April 11, at 4 PM on Bobby Coombs Field. MCLA (10-12) travels to Southern Vermont (4-22) on Wednesday evening.