WESTFIELD, MA -- In non-conference baseball action on Tuesday afternoon, Williams lost a close game to Westfield State, 7-5. Williams took an early 1-0 lead, but Westfield responded to gain a 5-1 lead after three innings. Williams tied the game with a four-run fourth, but Westfield scored single runs in the fourth and sixth and held on to win. With the win, the Owls moved to 10-10, while Williams fell to 9-12.
Williams started the scoring with a run in the first. After making two quick outs to begin the inning, three consecutive singles gave the Ephs the lead. Shortstop Matt Kastner, who returned from injury for the game, and catcher Phil McGovern each singled to left, putting runners on first and second. Five-hole hitter KC Murphy then singled in Kastner for his 22nd RBI of the season.
Westfield State responded quickly, scoring twice in the first and three times in the third to take a 5-1 lead. The Owls' first inning runs came on a bases-loaded hit by pitch and a wild pitch by Williams starter Arnie Capute. Their third inning runs came on a two-RBI triple by Pat McWilliams and a sacrifice fly by Matt Ferrelli.
The Ephs, however, responded immediately, tying the game, 5-5, with a four-run fourth inning. All of the Williams runs came with two outs. After McGovern singled to lead off the inning, the Ephs made two quick outs, bringing up seven-hole hitter Kelso Stevens. Stevens singled to center, giving the Ephs runners on first and second. Thomas Stephens then drove in McGovern with a single to cut Westfield's lead to 5-2. Pinch hitter Marco Hernandez followed with a single to left, scoring Stevens, and Darren Hartwell drove in Stephens with another RBI single. The Ephs fourth run of the inning came when David Webster reached on a throwing error charged to Westfield State's shortstop. Hernandez scored on the play.
The Owls came back with single runs in the fourth and sixth to take the lead for good. In the fourth, Jeremy Tanguay scored on a wild pitch to put Westfield State up, 6-5. In the sixth, the Owls added an insurance run on a bases-loaded walk. The Ephs threatened to score late in the game, putting men in scoring position in both the eighth and ninth, but they could not complete the comeback.
Westfield State starter Mike Sullivan (3-0) was credited with the win, after going 7.0 innings and giving up five runs (four earned) on 10 hits. Capute (2-2) took the loss for Williams. The Owls' Justin Thomson was credited with a save, his first of the season.
McWilliams and Dan Rokitowski each had three hits for the Owls, and McWilliams and Ferrelli each drove in two runs. For Williams, McGovern went 3-5 with a double, also scoring a run. Stephens got on base three times (1-2, 2 BB), in addition to driving in a run.
Williams head coach Bill Barrale, in his comments on the game, said, "We played a much cleaner game [than last weekends']. No errors. We didn't give them anything. They earned all their runs. We put the ball in play hard. We stranded a lot of guys today, but we played a good, clean game."
Both team play another non-conference midweek game before turning to conference action on the weekend. Williams hosts Gordon tomorrow, April 10, at 4:00 PM. Westfield State hosts Keene State on Thursday, April 11.