WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – The Williams College Ephs (8-14) and the Bates College Bobcats (9-11) split a doubleheader this afternoon at Bobby Coombs Field, with Williams taking the first game 3-2 and Bates winning the second 6-4 in 10 innings.
The first game was a pitcher's duel for the first 4 innings; starters Luke Rodino and Connor Colombo combined for 7 strikeouts, 4 hits and no walks; Colombo would finish the game with 8 strikeouts in 6 innings. In the bottom of the 5th, however, Williams was able to get an edge on the Bobcats' pitcher.
Nate Michalski singled through the right side and then advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Jackson Parese did his part with a single to centerfield, setting up Michalski to score on a passed ball. Colombo got out of the inning without further damage, but the Ephs took a 1-0 lead.
Rodino held his shutout through the 6th and most of the 7th, but with 2 outs in the final inning, Nate Pajka and Samuel Warren both contributed singles to put runners on first and second. Then Brendan Fox singled to left-center, driving in the tying run. Two wild pitches later, the go-ahead run came home to give Bates a 2-1 lead.
The Ephs came up to bat down one in the bottom of the 7th against a new pitcher, Rob DiFranco. DiFranco hit Nate Michalski and then walked Jackson Parese before hitting Lev Schecter with another pitch to load the bases with one out.
Luke Pierce came through in the clutch with a hard-hit liner down the first base line for a walk-off, two-run double, handing Williams the tight 3-2 victory in the first game of the doubleheader.
Rodino (2-3) got the win in a complete game, while Rob DiFranco was charged with the loss. Brendan Fox notched the Bobcats' only RBI of the game, while Luke Pierce went 2-4 for Williams, including his walk-off double.
In the second game, Bates opened the scoring with a 2-run double by Sam Berry in the 3rd inning, but Jack Roberts immediately responded for the Ephs with an RBI double of his own, cutting the lead to one.
Williams took the lead in the 5th when Lev Schecter singled through the left side and Luke Pierce brought him home with a triple down the right-field line. Pierce scored on the enxt play, a grounder to short by Phil McGovern.
Bates evened the score at 3 in the top of the 7th, only for Williams to add another run in the bottom of the inning with Jack Roberts driving in Lev Schecter.
Jacob Slater entered the game to pitch for Williams in the 9th looking for his first save of the season, but Mekae Hyde was able to knock a blooper into short centerfield to bring the tying run home from second. Williams couldn't respond in the bottom of the 9th, and the game went into extras tied at 4 apiece.
The Bobcats picked up where they left off in the 10th: Rockwell Jackson led off with a single up the middle then advanced to second on a bunt, when Brendan Fox singled to right, putting runners on the corners. Ryan McCarthy doubled deep to left, bringing in Jackson, and a sac fly by Alex Parker brought in the Bates' 6th run.
Despite a leadoff double by Adam Dulsky, the Ephs couldn't answer, and the game ended with the score 6-4.
Jacob Slater (2-1) was charged with the loss, and Sam Maliska picked up the win, his first of the year. Sam Berry had an excellent day at the plate for Bates, notching 3 doubles and 3 RBIs. For the Ephs, Luke Pierce went 3-4 and scored two runs, while Jack Roberts recorded two RBIs on a 2-4 performance and Lev Schecter contributed some clutch baserunning, scoring two runs.
Williams next faces Skidmore on April 21, while Bates moves on to face Gordon on the 20th.