WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Williams swept Hamilton in a NESCAC West doubleheader this afternoon at Williams' Bobby Coombs Field. The Ephs won 2-1 in game one and 6-3 in game two. With the results, Williams moves to 10-14 (6-5 NESCAC West), while Hamilton falls to 9-14 (2-9 NESCAC West).
In game one, the Ephs sent junior righty Thomas Murphy to the hill. The Continentals countered with junior righty JJay Lane.
Williams struck first with a run in the bottom of the third. With one out, junior left fielder Luke Pierce crushed a ball that one-hopped the fence in right. He sped into third easily with a triple. The next batter, Thomas Stephens, blooped a ball that nearly dropped into right, but Hamilton right fielder Kenneth Collins made a nice catch for the second out. Eph freshman Jack Cloud, however, came through to drive Pierce in. Cloud, appearing at third base for the first time this season, grounded a ball through the left side that scored Pierce easily to give Williams a 1-0 lead.
Apart from Lane's third, both he and Murphy cruised through the first five innings. Murphy stranded runners in scoring position in both the third and fifth and struck out six in his first five.
In the sixth, however, Murphy got into a jam. He walked speedy Hamilton leadoff man Joe Jensen, who was sacrificed to second. Kenneth Collins's second bunt single of the day gave the Continentals runners on first and third. Collins then stole second to put two men in scoring position. Murphy struck out cleanup hitter Jackson Kushner for the second out, but walked Brett Mele to load the bases. Despite the trouble, Murphy preserved Williams' 1-0 lead by getting Andrew Haser to line out to left.
In the seventh, Murphy again found himself in a jam, and this time Hamilton pushed the tying run across. Robert Morris led off the inning with a weak liner for an infield single. Brian Ferrell attempted to sacrifice Morris to second but instead popped the ball up to third baseman Kelso Stevens, who had entered the game that inning. Wolfsberg then grounded a single that went just past the outstretched glove of second baseman Jack Roberts. A stolen base and intentional walk later, the bases were loaded with one out. Christopher Collins struck out swinging, but his brother Kenneth beat out an infield single to tie the game, 1-1.
Lane came back out for the bottom half of the seventh, and Williams had a successful rally of its own. With one out, a pair of singles by Roberts and David Rosas put two men on for the Ephs. Senior captain Matt Kastner was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Lane struck out Pierce for the second out, so the Ephs' chances rested on three-hitter Stephens. The senior delivered with a sharp ground ball into the shortstop hole. Haser fielded it, but Kastner beat his off-balance throw to the second-base bag, and Roberts came home to score the game-winning run.
Murphy (4-2) threw a seven-inning complete game to get the win for Williams. He struck out eight, walked three, and gave up one earned run on seven hits. Lane (1-4) took the loss. Offensively, Jack Roberts had a two-hit day for the Ephs, and Cloud and Stephens collected the RBI. Kenneth Collins went 3-4 for the Continentals.
In game two, senior left Steve Marino started for Williams, while sophomore righty Cole Dreyfuss got the ball for Hamilton.
The Ephs picked up where they left off in game one, nicking Dreyfuss for single runs in the first and third. In the first, consecutive singles by Kastner, Pierce, and Stephens brought home Williams' first run. In the third, Kastner singled again and eventually scored on a wild pitch to give the Ephs an early 2-0 lead.
Hamilton answered in the fourth, tagging Marino for his only three runs and the Continentals' three extra base hits of the day. Kenneth Collins worked Hamilton's first walk against Marino with one out. The Continentals then got a triple from Wolfsberg and doubles from Stephen LaRochelle and Haser to take a 3-2 lead.
The Williams offense was quiet until the sixth, when they drove Dreyfuss from the game and tied the score at three. Roberts got things going for the Ephs with a two-out, line-drive triple down the right-field line. Hamilton head coach Tim Byrnes pulled Dreyfuss in favor of submarine righty Tommy Moriarty. Against the new pitcher, Rosas came through with a clutch single up the middle to make the score 3-3.
The Ephs went ahead for good with a run off of Moriarty in the seventh. Williams again rallied with two outs. Stephens doubled on a ground ball down the right field line that snuck past Hamilton first baseman Tim Burke. Cloud chopped a ball to the third-base side of the mound and hustled down the line. Moriarty went to field the ball, but bobbled it and threw it away, allowing Cloud to reach and Stephens to score the go-ahead run. The Ephs tacked on insurance in the eighth on RBI from Roberts and Pierce and went on to win the game and sweep the doubleheader.
Marino (2-2) tossed a nine-inning complete game to get the win. He gave up three earned runs on four hits, walked two, and struck out nine. Moriarty (1-4) took the loss after giving up two runs (one earned) in 1.2 innings. For Williams, Stephens went 3-5 with a triple, RBI, and run scored. Pierce, Roberts, and Rosas also had multihit games. Hamilton's Wolfsberg had a triple, an RBI, and a run scored.
Defensively, the Ephs committed only one error on the day, which came early in game one (Hamilton made eight on the day). Eph outfielders Pierce and Stephens both flashed the leather with sliding catches in game two.
Asked for his thoughts on the wins after the game, Williams head coach Bill Barrale said, "These were two games we needed to win. I was most impressed with the pitching. Murphy and Marino really stepped up."
Williams returns to action Tuesday, April 29 at 4:00 PM to visit Union in what will be their fifth straight game against competition from New York. Hamilton plays next on Tuesday, as well, with a game against Oneonta State.