TUCSON, AZ -- With their backs to the proverbial wall, the Williams College baseball team came up with two big wins Saturday, sweeping NESCAC West rival Middlebury, 5-2 and 11-2 behind strong pitching performances from junior Steve Marino and first year Dan Smith.
The sweep allowed Williams to finish it spring trip at 8-8 and move a game ahead of the Panthers in the division standings at 2-1. The Ephs are off until Wednesday, when they host MCLA in their home opener at 4 p.m.
The opener was deadlocked at 2-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth. Marco Hernandez led off with a single and was sacrificed to second by Phil McGovern. K.C.Murphy was intentionally walked before David Webster struck out for the second out. Patrick Blizzard followed with a drive into the left-center field gap for a two-run double and a 4-2 Williams lead. Kirby Neuner then scored Blizzard with an RBI-single.
Senior captain Jimmy Ray got the win, going the final 1 1/3 innings and allowing no runs while giving up one hit and one walk and striking out two. Marino went the first 5 2/3,allowing five hits and three walks while fanning four. He gave up two runs, only one earned.
Blizzard was 2 for 3 with two RBI for the Ephs. Darren Hartwell was 2 for 3.
The nightcap wasn't nearly as dramatic as Williams struck for five runs in the first inning and one in the second to build a 6-0 lead. The first three Williams batters of the game reached on errors, and Taylor Mondshein scored on a fourth error. McGovern laced an RBI-single for a 2-0 lead and Murphy followed with a two-run double. Blizzard scored Murphy with an RBI-single.
The Ephs pounded out 14 hits in the victory, led by McGovern,whohit 3 for 5 with two RBI and a triple. Mondshein was 2 for 4, while Murphy and Blizzard were each 2 for 5.
That was more than enough for Smith, who hurled seven strong frames, giving up just six hits and one walk while striking out eight. Eddie Kelley and Jacob Slater finished up with a scoreless inning of relief each.