Amherst Comes from Behind to Beat Ephs

Amherst Comes from Behind to Beat Ephs

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Amherst completed a series sweep of Williams with a 6-4 victory at Bobby Coombs Field this afternoon.  The Lord Jeffs (13-6, 6-0 NESCAC West) jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but the Ephs (6-12, 3-6 NESCAC West) came back to take a one-run lead with a four-run 4th.  Amherst, however, got a stellar relief outing from Riley Streit, who held the Ephs to one baserunner in the final five innings, allowing the Lord Jeffs to regain the lead for good. The game, though played at Williams, was a makeup of a scheduled Friday contest at Amherst, and the Lord Jeffs played as the home team.

Amherst started the scoring in the 1st against Eph starter Dan Smith. With two men in scoring position, cleanup man Yanni Thanopoulos lined a one-hopper through the left side to put the Jeffs up 2-0. They added a third on Conner Dunn's RBI groundout in the 3rd.

Meanwhile, Amherst starter Sam Schneider worked the first three innings cleanly, giving up just one hit. He ran into trouble in the 4th, however, when Williams exploded for four runs. A sequence of walk, single, passed ball, and intentional walk loaded the bases for senior center-fielder Luke Pierce, who lined a single into center to plate Phil McGovern for the Ephs' first run. Schneider hit the next batter (Nate Michalski) in the foot, prompting Jeffs' head coach Brian Hamm to lift him in favor of George Long. Long couldn't find the strike zone and hit nine-hole hitter Jackson Parese before running a 3-0 count on Jack Cloud. Hamm returned to the bullpen mid-batter for Riley Streit. Streit balked in a run to give the Ephs a 4-3 lead, but then got three straight outs to end the inning. He went on to shut the Ephs' offense down for the rest of the game, allowing only a single baserunner in 5.1 innings of relief.

Streit's heroics allowed Amherst to retake the lead. They threatened in the bottom of the 4th, but Tyler Duff came in from the Ephs' bullpen to strand two men in scoring position. They recorded single runs in the 6th, 7th, and 8th, however, and went on to win. As Eph head coach Bill Barrale said after the game, "They were a good team. We gave them opportunities and they capitalized on them."

Streit (2-1) collected the win for the Lord Jeffs. An 8th-inning single by Adam Dulsky was his only blemish. A remarkable 8 of the 16 outs he recorded were groundouts to second baseman Andrew Vandini. Williams reliever Tyler Duff (0-3) took the loss, giving up two runs (one earned) in three innings of work.

Offensively, the game featured only nine hits, with Amherst outhitting Williams 5-4 and taking advantage of four Eph errors. The Lord Jeffs' Yanni Thanopoulos drove in two, and Eric West walked in the go-ahead run in the 7th. Dulsky finished with two hits for the Ephs.

Both teams return to the field in the midweek for nonconference action. Amherst matches up with Eastern Connecticut on Monday at 4:00 PM in Willimantic. Williams gets back on the field for two midweekers against teams near the top of their conference standings. On Wednesday, they travel to RPI, who has a Liberty-League leading 12 wins, and on Thursday, they visit Gordon, second in the Commonwealth Coast Conference.