Ephs Win Third Straight Against Eastern Nazarene, 9-4

Charlie Baxter '14
Charlie Baxter '14

WILLIAMSTOWN, M.A. -- The Ephs (13-17) were back in action Thursday afternoon at home against Eastern Nazarene (6-31) for a third straight non-conference win this week with a final score of 9-4.

The Ephs got on the board in the bottom of the second.  Senior Cameron Susk drew a walk to lead off the inning.  The next batter, sophomore Tommy Stephens, worked the count once again for another walk.  Junior Jimmy Ray batted a ball to third, and Stephens scored on the groundout, giving the Ephs a 1-0 lead after 2 innings.

Freshman Luke Pierce got the bats going again in the third when he slugged a stand-up triple to the right field warning track.  Junior Darren Hartwell then drew a walk and stole second on the first and third situation.  Senior Ben Oliva brought them with a double down the left field line.  Oliva advanced to third on an errant cut-off throw from the outfield.  Susk popped a RBI sacrifice fly to right to bring home Oliva, making the score 4-0.

Freshman Dylan Griswold started on the mound for Williams and went 4 2/3 innings for the Ephs allowing 6 hits, 4 runs (3 earned), and he added 2 walks and 2 strikeouts to his performance.  Junior Lucas Casso relieved him and went 2 1/3 innings allowing 1 hit and contributing a strikeout to a great outing.  Casso earned the win.  Sophomore Charlie Baxter threw in the eighth, allowing no hits, no runs, a strikeout, and a walk.  Freshman Eddie Kelly closed allowing 1 hit, 0 runs, and added a strikeout and walk of his own.  "Our pitchers threw great today and it was good to get another win under our belts before the weekend," coached Barrale explained after the game.

In the top of the fourth, sophomore Max Pugh reached on an infield error, stole second, and made it to third on a wild pitch.  Senior Danny Rodriguez swatted an RBI single to right center field to bring home Pugh.  Freshman Pat Yee hit a warning track RBI sacrifice fly to left field scoring Rodriguez and made it a 4-2 game.

In the top of the fifth, the Lions tied the ball game when Pugh lined a 2-run homer over the left field wall, bringing home sophomore Anthony Berroa, who was on base after a leadoff single.  Pugh led the Lions offensively going 3 for 5, with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored.

Sophomore Brandon Wells started the game for Eastern Nazarene going 5 1/3 innings allowing 8 runs (6 earned), on 4 hits, and he added 2 strikeouts and 7 walks.  He was charged with the loss.  Sophomore Matt Jayne relieved for 2 2/3 innings, allowing 1 run (1 earned) on 2 hits.

In the bottom of the sixth, Tommy Stephens led off with a walk followed by junior Chance Rueger who also drew a walk.  Jimmy Ray perfectly executed a bunt for a single, loading the bases with no outs.  Junior Andrew Bishop slugged a deep ball to center field to bring home Stephens to give the Ephs a 5-4 lead.  The next batter Pierce hit a bases-clearing stand up triple.  Hartwell reached on an infield error and Pierce scored making it an 8-4 game.

The Ephs scored again in the bottom of the eighth when Luke Pierce hit his third stand up triple on the day, with a shot down the right field line.  Pierce led the Ephs in batting on the day going 3 for 4 with 2 RBI and 3 runs scored.  Hartwell brought Pierce home with a well-struck shot to center field, making it a 9-4 game.

"It was good to get out here again and get another win," coach Barrale said after the Ephs third straight.  Williams (13-17, NESCAC West 4-5) is riding great momentum going into a big weekend within conference play, as they host a three-game series against the Continentals of Hamilton College (6-23, NESCAC West 2-7).  Games are 1PM and 4PM on Saturday, April 28 with a third on Sunday at 1PM.  Eastern Nazarene (6-31) plays at home against Gordon tomorrow at 3:30PM.