AMHERST, MA—On a glorious day at Amherst's Memorial Field, the recently-christened Mammoths (8-9, 2-2) defeated the Williams College Ephs (10-5, 4-3) by a score of 5-2.
Amherst took the lead in the third inning and never looked back. With a runner on third and two outs, Yanni Thanopoulos smashed a deep fly ball to leftfield, falling just feet short of a home run but hopping the fence for an RBI ground-rule double. Anthony Spina followed with a single into right to score Thanopoulos before Eph starter Sean Hager ended the inning.
After two hitless innings for Williams, Amherst extended their lead in the bottom of the fifth. Max Steinhorn led off the inning with a hard-hit ground ball that got past the third baseman followed by a single to right by Harry Roberson. Steinhorn, who advanced to third with some aggressive base running, scored on a another deep fly ball from Thanopoulos, this one caught for the sacrifice.
After a walk put runners on first and second, the Mammoths attempted a double steal that prompted a throw to second in the dirt from catcher Alex Panstares. Taking advantage of the ball in centerfield, both runners came around to score, extending the Amherst lead to five.
The sixth and seventh innings saw just one hit and no runs from Williams, but the Ephs looked poised to make a run at the Mammoth lead in the eighth. Jack Cloud and Kellen Hatheway led off the inning with singles, setting up Jack Roberts to knock them both home with a double over the head of the centerfielder. Roberts, however, was left stranded on second base as Amherst reliever Sam Schneider retired the next three batters in order to end the inning. The Ephs couldn't manufacture the comeback in the ninth, and the game ended with the score 5-2.
Sean Hager (2-1) was charged with the loss, while Amherst reliever Sam Schneider (1-0) was credited with the win. Mammoth starter Drew Fischer allowed two hits and registered 3 strikeouts and two walks in his three and two-third innings, while Williams reliever Kyle Dean pitched the same number of innings, striking out seven and allowing three hits.
Batting-wise, Alex Panstares led the way for Williams, coming up with three hits in his four at-bats, while Jack Roberts put up both of the Ephs' RBIs and their only extra-base hit with his eighth inning double. Yanni Thanopoulos led Amherst with two RBIs, while Nick Nardone and Severino Tocci each registered two hits on the day.
"I thought we pitched well, but they pitched better," Williams head coach Bill Baralle commented. "We committed two errors that both turned into runs, and they played a clean game. It really came down to that."
The two rivals will continue their series tomorrow in Williamstown, with the first game scheduled to begin at 1:00.