WESTFIELD, MA—The Westfield State Owls (28-6) won a 7-5 decision over the Williams College Ephs (17-11) on a gray day at Bud and Jim Hagan Field.
Williams got on the board early, scoring in the first inning when Jack Roberts knocked Jack Cloud home from second with a single to centerfield. The Eph lead would not last long, however, as Westfield scored two runs in the bottom of the second. After hitting a two-out single, followed by, Jack Ferrari moved to third on an errant pick-off attempt and then scored when Duff's pitch ricocheted off catcher Adam Dulsky's shin guard back to the mound and Duff's flip to home went over Dulsky's head. Alex Benevides, who walked after Ferrari's hit, then scored from third on an RBI single by Casey Boudreau.
Jack Roberts tied the game in the next frame with his second RBI single of the day, but Westfield put up three runs in the bottom of the inning to assert a multi-run lead. Anthony Crowley advanced to third on a ground-out and then a wild pitch, scoring on another ground-out. Again converting with two outs, the Owls strung together three hits to score two more runs before Duff was able to end the inning. John Lippincott singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored on an Alex Lafayette double. Lafayette then scored on a single by John Ferrari for Westfield's fifth run of the game.
In the top of the fourth, Doug Schaffer scored from third on a passed ball, and Jackson Parese crossed the plate on an RBI single by Jack Cloud to cut the margin to one. Westfield, however, reasserted their three-run lead in the fifth with an RBI double by John Ferrari—his third hit and second RBI of the day—and a sacrifice fly by Alex Benevides to score Alex Lafayette.
The next three innings were scoreless, and in the decisive frame Williams looked primed to come back in dramatic fashion. Kellen Hatheway and Jack Roberts were plunked in consecutive at-bats, and Adam Dulsky walked to load the bases with no outs for Adam Regensburg. Regensburg lofted a sacrifice fly to center field to score Hatheway and advance Roberts to third base.
With the winning run at the plate, Williams tried a squeeze bunt, sending Roberts and Dulsky on steal attempts while Parese squared up to bunt. The pitch was high however, preventing Parese from getting a piece of the ball, and Roberts found himself caught in a pickle between third base and home that ended in an out. Parese then struck out swinging, ending the game with the score 7-5.
"We had our chances, but we stranded a lot of guys on base," Williams head coach Bill Baralle said after the game. The Ephs indeed left ten runners on base, compared to Westfield's seven. Coach Baralle continued: "Our errors hurt us, and cleaner defense would have been nice. But they're a good team—they pitched well and made all the plays on defense—and sometimes those chances don't go your way."
Jared Ferrari was 3-4 for the Owls, contributing two RBIs and a run scored, while Alex Lafayette and Casey Boudreau each registered two hits and an RBI in the contest. For Williams, Jack Roberts got on base in all five of his plate appearances, notching three of Williams's five hit and two RBIs, Jack Cloud and Kellen Hatheway had the other two Eph hits, with Hatheway's double the team's only extra-base hit.
Tyler Duff (2-2) was charged with the loss after a troubled three-inning outing that saw five hits, four wild pitches, two fielding errors and one hit batsman. Westfield reliever Liam Neri (1-0) was credited with the win, and the Owl bullpen was impressive in general, allowing just one hit and two walks in their five innings of work. Despite his shaky start to the inning, ninth-inning reliever Jamie Butler was credited with his second save of the season.
Westfield will wrap up its regular season with a game at Nichols College on Tuesday, while Williams will play the same day against the nearby Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams.