WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – The Williams College Ephs (13-15) swept the Springfield College Pride (20-15) in a doubleheader at Cole Field this afternoon, taking the first game 8-6 and the second 10-9 in extra innings.
Game 1: The Ephs opened the scoring in the bottom of the first. Luke Pierce hammered a fly ball over the centerfielder's head for a triple and then scored on a ground ball hit by Tommy Stephens.
Neither team did much on offense in the 2nd or 3rd (Eph starter Marty Clarke did not allow a baserunner for the first three innings), but Springfield came roaring back in the 4th. Frank Calabrese hit a two-run homerun to put the Pride up 2-1, and two batters later, Brent Poulin smashed an RBI double into the gap in right-center to extend Springfield's lead to two. In an impressive baserunning performance by both players, Steve Starr beat out a grounder to the second baseman and Poulin took advantage of the play at first base to come all the way home from second, making the score 4-1. The inning finally ended on a strikeout by Clarke.
The Ephs, however, were able to respond in the bottom of the inning. Phil McGovern brought Marco Hernandez home from third with a sac fly to left, and Jack Roberts came home from second on a hard-hit single to rightfield by Kelso Stevens. Then Matt Kastner hit a grounder to the shortstop, but the flip to second base went wide, allowing Nate Michalski to score from third on the error, tying the game up at 4 apiece.
Neither team scored in the fifth, and Eph reliever Charlie Baxter kept the Pride silent in the top of the sixth, but the Ephs roared back in the bottom half. Springfield retired Lane after 5.2 innings of work and subbed in Peter Baranski with two outs and runners on first and second, but Baranski immediately ran into trouble. Matt Kastner reached base on a fielding error by the shortstop to load the bases, and then Luke Pierce was hit by a pitch to bring home Phil McGovern and score the go-ahead run. A hard hit single by Tommy Stephens up the middle scored Kelso Stevens and Kastner, and a liner to center by Jack Cloud scored Luke Pierce to put the Ephs up 8-4.
Tyler Duff came into the game with the bases loaded in the seventh, and the Pride were able to plate two in the inning, but Duff forced a double play and then a fly out to center to end the game, securing the 8-6 victory for the Ephs.
Duff registered his first save of the year and Charlie Baxter (2-1) was credited with the win, while Travis Lane (4-2) was charged with the loss. Daniel Smith also made a pitching appearance for the Ephs in the fifth inning.
At the plate for Williams, Jack Cloud went 3-4 and registered an RBI, while Tommy Stephens added another three RBI's to bring his season total to a team-leading 22. Brent Poulin led the Pride with a 2-3 performance and an RBI, while Frank Calabrese notched two RBI's with his homerun.
Game 2: Marcus Colella started on the mound for the Ephs, while Oliver Collette opened the game for the Pride.
Williams scored in the first inning again in this game: Tommy Stephens smashed a double to right-center to drive home Luke Pierce from first base. Then a single by Jack Cloud drove in Stephens to put the Ephs up 2-0.
But the Pride answered right back in the top of the 2nd. Colella loaded the bases with a walk, a single by Adam Zandri, and another walk, and then Keith Cotnoir came home from third on a grounder hit by Billy Peterson. Zandri scored on another infield single to tie the game up at 2-2 before Colella ended the inning with a strikeout.
Williams reasserted their lead with a run apiece in the 3rd and 4th, but the Pride would tie it up in the fourth. Springfield would take the lead in the 5th against Eph reliever Tyler Duff. A grounder to the second baseman by Adam Zandri brought in Steve Starr from third, and then a beautiful triple to left-center by Shane O'Leary drove in two more runners to make the score 7-4.
The Ephs pulled within two in the sixth inning with a 2-out single by Kelso Stevens to drive in Jack Roberts from third, and Eph relievers Alex Beschloss in the sixth and Luke Rodino in the seventh held the Pride at 7 runs. The Ephs were able to tie it up in the seventh and send the game to extras. Phil McGovern came up clutch with a 2-out, bases-loaded single to plate Luke Pierce and Jack Roberts.
In the top of the 8th, the Pride reasserted their lead. A grounder by Steve Starr brought home Sean Smith from third, and then Corey Wilcox hit an RBI single to center, putting the score at 9-7.
But the Ephs bounced back again: Kelso Stevens singled, setting up team captain Matt Kastner to drive him home with a triple to deep rightfield, who was in turn knocked in by Luke Pierce. After Jack Cloud singled to put the winning run in scoring position with one out, David Rosas also singled to load the bases. A fly ball to right field by Beau Horan was deep enough to allow Luke Pierce to tag up from third and score the winning run.
Tom Murphy (5-2), who pitched in the decisive 8th inning, was credited with the win, and Matt Burtrym (2-2) was saddled with the loss.
Jack Cloud led the Ephs again with a 3-5 performance at the plate and two RBI's, making him 6-9 on the day. Matt Kastner and Phil McGovern also had two RBI's apiece. Jared Hopkins went 3-3 for the Pride and contributed 2 runs scored, while Shane O'Leary added 2 RBI's.
Williams head coach Bill Baralle said after the games: "We hit the ball today. We hit the ball well in Arizona [over spring break] and then we had a dry spell the month of April, so it's good to see. And Springfield is a good team; really two good team wins."
Coach Baralle also singled out Matt Kastner, who had a clutch triple in the 8th inning of the second game, saying, "He's been a leader and a great player for us at shortstop, batting leadoff, so it's been a great senior year for him."
This was the final contest for the Springfield Pride on the year, while Williams will play another doubleheader at home tomorrow against Suffolk.