TUCSON, AZ — Four scoreless innings from the bullpen helped the Williams College baseball team open its season with a 6-5 win over Calvin (MI.) Monday as the Ephs began their spring trip. The University of Wisconsin-Superior proved tougher, however, sending the Ephs to their first loss in the second game, 9-3.
Williams (1-1) faces Calvin again Tuesday at 10 AM MST and then sqaures off against Wisconsin-LaCrosse at 2 p.m.
In the season opener against Calvin, the Ephs fell behind quickly when Calvin scored three times in the first. But the Ephs answered with a four-run third innings to take a one-run lead. Tommy Stephens ignited the rally with a lead-off double. He advanced to third on a balk and scored on Taylor Mondshein's sacrifice fly. Darren Hartwell singled and Matt Kastner drew a walk. Luke Pierce followed with a double that scored Hartwell. Marco Hernandez gave Williams the lead with a two-run single.
Calvin tied the score with a single run in the bottom of the frame, but the Ephs regained the lead by pushing two runs across in the top of the fifth. Kastner led off and was hit by a pitch but was caught attempting to steal second. Pierce walked, stole second and went to third on a Hernandez flyout. Patrick Blizzard drew a walk and stole second. Both runners scored when K.C. Murphy's grounder was thrown away.
Junior southpaw Steve Marino went the first five on the mound for the Ephs, earning his first win of the season. He allowed eight hits and five runs, three earned, while walking two and striking out five. Calvin nicked him for a run in the fifth to make it a 6-5 Williams lead.
The Williams bullpen took over after that. Kelso Stevens tossed two shutout innings, allowing two hits and two walks while fanning one. Lucas Casso hurled the eighth and allowed one hit but no runs, and senior Jimmy Ray closed out the victory by striking out the side in the ninth to earn his first save of the year.
The Ephs had eight hits in the win, with the only batter with multiple being Pierce with two.
In the nightcap, the Ephs jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first when Mondshein and Hartwell laced singles to start the inning. Kastner sacrificed them to second and third, Pierce walked to load the bases and Hernandez delivered a two-run single.
But Superior charged back, scoring twice in the second off Eph starter Thomas Murphy to tie the game and then three in the third to take the lead for good at 5-2. Superior added single runs in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth to pull away.
Murphy took the loss, going five and allowing eight hits, six runs, five earned and walking no one while striking out three. Tommy Stephens, Jacob Slater and Charlie Baxter all tossed a frame for the Ephs and each allowed a single run.
Williams had 10 hits, with Hernandez and Murphy each going 3 for 4.