WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- Williams came back from an early 5-1 deficit to defeat Union, 8-7, in a tightly contest non-conference baseball game today at Williams' Bobby Coombs Field. With the win, Williams moves to 14-20 overall, while Union falls to 21-9.
Union took an early 3-0 lead without the benefit of a hit. They got on the board first with a pair of first-inning runs off of Williams starter Arnie Capute. Three walks in the inning allowed the Dutchmen to score. They got their first run on an RBI groundout by David Perretti. The second came home with runners on first and third. The runner on first, Jamie Faber, attempted a steal of second, and Tyler Heck stole home on the throw down, scoring before Faber was tagged out to end the inning. In the second, against Williams reliever Jacob Slater, Union added another run on an Anders Goetz RBI groundout, which extended Union's lead to 3-0.
Williams answered with their first run in the bottom of the second, cutting Union's led to 3-1. With one out, KC Murphy singled on a grounder through the left side. He advanced to second on a failed pickoff, on which Union starter Andrew Beaule threw the ball away from Faber at first. Left fielder Patrick Blizzard followed by grounding a ball to first off of the endcap of his bat. The ball had so much spin on it that Faber was unable to come up with the ball. Blizzard, who would have beaten out the play regardless, was credited with a hit. Now with runners on first and third, the Ephs got their first run when Marco Hernandez lined a ball sharply into left center field to score Murphy from third.
Union extended its lead to 5-1 in the third with an RBI groundout by Faber and an Eric Egan RBI single, but Williams got a pair back in the bottom of the third to cut the lead to 5-3. With two outs and Darren Hartwell on second, Phil McGovern hit a double down the left field line to score Hartwell for the Ephs' second run. Murphy followed with a frozen rope to right center field. Union center fielder Chris Carbone made a diving attempt on the ball, but it flew by him, and Murphy trotted into third with an RBI triple.
In the fourth, Union again extended its lead, this time to 6-3. Williams, however, batted around in the fifth and took a 7-6 lead. The Ephs had been seeing the ball well off of Beaule, as Hernandez and Thomas Stephens had made very hard outs in the fourth. Matt Kastner lined a sharp single to left to start the inning, and Hartwell followed with a hard-hit single to right center. Kastner went to third on the play, and Hartwell jogged into second on the throw to third. Taylor Mondshein worked a walk to load the bases with no outs. McGovern came through with a clutch bases-clearing double to right center, tying the game at six and chasing Beaule from the game. Against reliever Dan Friedman, Murphy was retired on a towering fly to center, but Blizzard walked to give the Ephs runners on first and second. Both runners advanced a base on a Friedman wild pitch. Hernandez then grounded to short to score Murphy and give Williams a one-run lead.
Sophomore reliever Eddie Kelly came on for the Ephs in the fifth, and he would quiet the Union offense by tossing scoreless fifth and sixth innings. Sandwiched in the middle, the top of the Williams order extended the Ephs' lead in the bottom of the fifth. Darren Hartwell led off the inning with a double that kicked up the chalk on the third base line. Union lefty Phil Kemp came in for Friedman, but Mondshein singled on a line drive to right and scored Hartwell to extend Williams' lead to 8-6.
Senior submariner Lucas Casso came on for Kelly in the seventh and also threw a pair of scoreless innings. With the score still at 8-6 heading into the ninth, Williams closer Jimmy Ray came in from the bullpen. Union pinch hitter Joe Bradlee led off the inning by taking a high fastball to right center for a single. On the play, the right fielder, Stephens, made an nice defensive effort to cut the ball off in the gap in order to hold Bradlee at first. Tyler Heck followed with a single through the right side to give the Dutchmen runners on first and second with no outs. Three-hole hitter Peretti failed to get a bunt down, and Ray got him to strike out looking. Faber followed by grounding a ball sharply to the left side. Third baseman Kelso Stevens, who had been hugging the line with the tying run on first, dove to his left and stabbed the ball, but Faber beat out a close play at first to load the bases with one out. In the next at bat, Egan lined a ball directly at the first baseman, Murphy, but the ball bounced out of Murphy's glove. Bradlee came home to score, and Heck advanced to third, but Murphy recovered in plenty of time to force out Faber at second for the second out. Freshman catcher Michael Fitzsimmons came up with the tying run at third, while Ray looked to avoid his first blown save. Ray fell behind 2-0, but got a fastball over for strike one. He got Fitzsimmons to foul off a fastball to even the count at 2-2, then got the catcher to hit a chopper to Kastner at short. The shortstop coolly threw to first to retire Fitzsimmons and give the Ephs the win.
Kelly (1-0) got the win for Williams, going 2.0 scoreless innings in relief. Beaule (0-1) took the loss, surrendering seven runs (six earned) in 4+ innings of work. Ray picked up his fourth save of the year.
Offensively, McGovern had four RBI, and Hartwell added a pair of hits. For Union, Tyler Heck went 2-3 with two walks.
After the game, Williams head coach Bill Barrale praised seniors Casso and Ray for their relief performances, saying, "I was proud of Lucas Casso and Jimmy Ray. Lucas did a great job with two good innings there to keep [the lead] intact. Jimmy had a lot of pressure pitches in that last inning, but he didn't give in, didn't walk anybody." On his team's performance as a whole, Barrale added, "I was proud because the way the season's going, and how bad it started, this [game] could've really gotten bad, because [Union] is a good team. I'm proud of the way the guys responded to come back and win it."
Union will return to action with a game at Utica on Thursday, May 2 at 4:00 PM. Williams next plays a non-conference doubleheader at Suffolk on Saturday, May 4 at noon.