HARTFORD, Conn. -- Top-ssed Trinity rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth Friday to stave off an upset bid by Williams in the opening game on the 2012 NESCAC Baseball Tournament.
The 6-5 Bantam win dropped Williams to 16-20 overall. The Ephs will face Amherst, which dropped a 3-2 decision in 11 innings to Bowdoin, in a elimination-game Saturday at 10:30 a.m. That game will be played at Wesleyan University. Trinity improved to 30-9 and will face Bowdoin Saturday morning at 10:30.
Friday, Williams snapped a 3-3 tie in the top of the sixth when Cameron Susk drew a lead-off walk, Stephem Maier singled and Matt Kastner beat out a bunt single to load the bases with no outs. After a strike out, senior Ben Oliva ripped a two-run single to center field that scored Susk and Maier for a 5-3 lead.
Williams received a valiant start from senior Harry Marino, who went seven-plus innings and left in the bottom of the eighth after giving up a lead-off walk to Joe Papa and a single to Steve Rogers that put runners on the corners. Senior Matt Berdoff relieved walked Marc Crowley to load the bases. After inducing Luke Auger to fly out to short right field, Berdoff walked Bryan Wolfe to force in a run that made it 5-4. But Berdoff righted the ship by getting David Casnova on a pop to second, and on a 3-2 pitch inducing an inning-ending fly out to left by Trinity lead-off hitter Alex Almeida.
It was still 5-4 heading into the ninth. Trinity's Adam Moosmann led off with a single and moved to second on a groundout handled by Berdoff. Mike Reuger then delivered a RBI-double to center that tied the game. Rogers was intentionally walked and Jimmy Ray relieved Berdoff. Moosmann and Rogers pulled off a double steal, so Crowley was intetionally walked to load the bases, still with one out.
Jim Ramsey then hit a sinking liner to right that that was tracked down by Williams freshman Luke Pierce but was deep enough to score Rueger and give Trinity the triumph.
Trinity had opened the scoring with a run in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI single by Rogers, and Williams answered with a leadoff double by Kastner and a sacrifice fly by Oliva to tie it after two frames.
Papa doubled and scored to highlight a two-run third inning for Trinity, but the Ephs got both runs right back on singles by Maier and Kastner, a wild pitch, a ground out, and an RBI double by Oliva before a double play grounder stopped the bleeding.
Goldberg allowed six hits and two runs with two walks and four strikeouts in relief of rookie starter Sean Meekins while Marino yielded six hits and four runs with five walks and four K's over seven innings but earned a no-decision for the Ephs.
Rogers joined Papa as a multiple hitter for Trinity, finishing 2-for-4 with two RBI and two steals, while Kastner was 4-for-4 with two runs and a double, Oliva was 2-for-3 with a double and four RBI, and Maier finished 2-for-5 with a pair of runs scored for the Ephs.