AMHERST — Some holes are simply too deep to dig your way out of.
Case of point, take Friday's match-up on the diamond between rivals Williams and Amherst. The Lord Jeffs scored five runs in the first and five in the second to take a 10-0 lead and never looked back, winning the opener of a three-game series, 16-6, in a game played at Amherst's Memorial Field because the Ephs' Bobby Coombs Field was unplayable.
The Jeffs won their sixth consecutive game as they improved to 13-3 overall and 3-0 in the NESCAC West. The Ephs dropped to 6-6 on the year and 3-1 in league play.
The Ephs were led offensively by Luke Pierce and Tommy Stephens with two hits each. Pierce went 2-for-5 with three RBI and Stephens finished 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored. Williams totaled nine hits as a team.
Amherst's Taiki Kasuga had three hits to lead all batters. He went 3-for-6 from the plate with two doubles, three runs scored and a stolen base. Mike Odenwaelder drove in four runs on two hits with a double and two runs scored while four other Jeffs recorded two RBI. Conner Gunn went 2-for-3 with two RBI, a double and four runs scored.
Amherst wasted no time scoring on Friday. With one out in the top of the first, Kasuga hit a liner right off the pitcher's foot to reach first base. On the next at-bat, Gunn doubled to center field as Kasuga rounded the bases to put the Jeffs up, 1-0. Two batters later, Odenwaelder singled through the left side to drive home Gunn. A pair of Eph errors resulted in three more Amherst scores as they took a commanding 5-0 lead after the first inning.
Dylan Driscoll retired the side in the bottom half of the inning as the Jeffs put together another strong outing in the top of the second. Andrew Vandini led off with a single through the ride side to start the rally. Shortly after with the bases loaded, Odenwaelder reached on a fielder's choice and drove in another Amherst run. In a wild inning that featured another Williams' error, Yani Thanopoulos hit a RBI infield single and Tyler Jacobs drove in two runs with a single to center field as Amherst pulled ahead, 10-0.
After a Williams' run in the bottom of the third — Stephens scored on a passed ball — and a scoreless fourth, Amherst tacked on two more runs in the top of the fifth frame. Kasuga doubled and later stole third. Two batters later with runners on second and third, Odenwaelder drove in two more runs with a double to left field as the Jeffs went ahead by 11.
Williams put together a solid bottom half of the inning. Jack Cloud led off with a single to left center. A hit-by-pitch and a walk put the bases loaded with two outs as Pierce stepped to the plate. The junior hit a deep line drive to the right center wall, clearing the bases for a three RBI triple.
Amherst was held scoreless in the top of the sixth as the Ephs added two more runs to cut the deficit to six. However, the Jeffs retaliated in the seventh with four more runs en route to the decisive 16-6 victory.
Driscoll started for Amherst and picked up his fourth win of the year. He struck out seven and is now a perfect 4-0 on the season. Erik Kotin and Odenwaelder each tossed a scoreless inning of relief.
Five different Ephs pitched for Williams. Dan Smith started and went just 1.2 innings. Arnie Capute finished the game on the mound with three innings of scoreless relief with just one hit.
The NESCAC rivals return to action tomorrow for a doubleheader at Memorial Field beginning at 1 p.m.