Williams Falls to Hamilton on Walk-off Homer, 7-4

Williams Falls to Hamilton on Walk-off Homer, 7-4

CLINTON, NY—The Williams College Ephs (15-10, 4-6) lost a very tight game to the Hamilton College Continentals (14-14, 2-7), their second straight game to end in a walk-off loss. Tied 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Ryan Wolfsburg crushed a three-run home run, his second of the day, ending the game with a score of 7-4.

"It's very frustrating" to lose on a walk-off like this, Williams head coach Bill Baralle said after the game. "We don't feel like they're better than us, but we came up short. Baseball is a cruel game, and it can be very frustrating."

The first frame of the contest had a flurry of scoring. Jack Cloud smacked a lead-off double in the top of the first, advancing to third on a fly ball by Kellen Hatheway and then scoring on a sac fly by Jack Roberts. Hamilton answered in the bottom, however, with Wolfsberg's first home run of the contest, this one scoring two runs.

Williams retook the lead in the third inning when Jack Cloud knocked Michael Stamas home on his second double in as many at bats. Cloud then came home to take the 3-2 lead for Williams on a two-out RBI single by Jack Roberts, Roberts's second RBI of the day.

Hamilton knotted it up in the fourth. Kenny Collins reached first after being hit by Williams starter Luke Rodino, stole second, and advanced to third on an infield single by Ian Nish. After Nish stole second to remove the threat of a double play, a grounder to the second baseman allowed Collins to score from third.

Rodino barely escaped from the fifth after loading the bases with one out, and the Continentals returned in the sixth to take a 4-3 lead in the sixth. After a walk and blooper to left by Robert Morris put runners on first and second, Jordan Northrup grounded the ball back to the mound, but Rodino's throw to second base was not accurate. while shortstop Kellen Hatheway tracked down the ball, lead runner Dean Rosenberg rounded third and beat out the throw on the throwing error.

The seventh inning knotted the game once more. Singles by Alex Panstares and Jack Cloud put runners on the corners, and a long fly ball by Kellen Hatheway was sufficient for the RBI sac fly, scoring Stamas on the tag.

Williams loaded the bases in the top of the ninth with two outs but left all three men stranded when Jack Roberts flew out to center to end the inning. In the bottom of the ninth, however, the big bat of Ryan Wolfsburg ended the game with his massive three-run walk-off home run to right field. The final score, then, was 7-4, a mark that does not reflect the extremely tight contest between the Ephs and Continentals.

Ryan Wolfsburg was far and away the offensive player of the game, doubling his season home run total with blasts to bookend the game. In addition to racking up five RBIs on the game, the senior outfielder became Hamilton's all-time leader in both hits (136) and in RBIs (91).

"Their best player beat us, and that's not supposed to happen," Coach Baralle commented. "We didn't hit the ball very well—I think we could have scored more than four runs—and we just didn't execute today."

Jack Cloud was a bright spot for Williams, notching two doubles and single as well as an RBI and two runs scored against Hamilton, while Jack Roberts registered two RBIs despite going just 1-4 on the day.

Williams reliever Tom Benz (0-2) was charged with the loss, while Hamilton first-year Tom Riley (1-1) registered his first win of the year. Both pitchers entered the game in the ninth inning.

The teams will continue their series tomorrow in Clinton, with a doubleheader starting at noon.