TUCSON, AZ. — The Williams baseball team received its best pitching performance of its trip West and continued its hot hitting ways Friday as the Ephs jumped out to a 6-0 lead en route to an 18-5 win over NESCAC West rival Middlebury in the opener of a three-game series at the Kino Sports Complex.
Williams improved to 4-3 overall, 1-0 in the West. Middlebury fell to 2-6, 0-1. The two teams meet again Saturday, this time for a doubleheader beginning at 10 a.m. local time.
Friday Williams jumped out to a 6-0 lead after one frame and a 10-1 advantage after two. The Ephs banged out 23 hits in the victory, led by first-year Nathan Michalski, who was 2 for 5 with five RBI in the victory. Five other Ephs had three hits in the win; Kelso Stevens, Tommy Stephens and Jack Cloud were 3 for 5. Marco Hernandez was 3 for 6 and Phil McGovern 3 for 7.
In the Ephs' first, Matt Kastner led off with a double and Luke Pierce followed with a single. McGovern singled home kastner for a 1-0 lead. After an out, Hernandez singled to score Pierce. Cloud followed with a single that scored McGovern. Stephens singled to load the bases and Michalski delivered a three-run double that made it 6-0.
After Middlebury countered with a Joe MacDonald singled off Eph starter Dan Smith in its half of the inning, the Ephs roared back with four more in the second. With one out, McGovern laced one of the Ephs' seven doubles in the game. Jack Roberts singled him home and stole second. Hernandez followed with an RBI-double. With two outs, Stephens roped a ball to right that was misplayed allowing him to score and chase hernandez home in the process.
Smith was the benfactor of all the Eph offense, going five innings for the win although allowing nine hits and four walks. He did strikeout four and was charged with four runs, all earned. First-year Luke Rodino took over from there and earned his first collegiate save, tossing the final four frames and giving up just three hits and two walks while striking out three. He was charged with one run.