LA VERNE, CA — The Middlebury College baseball team parlayed 19 hits, seven walks and four Williams errors into a 20-1 victory as the two teams opened their three-game NESCAC West Division series at the University of La Verne Friday.
The Panthers (5-8, 1-0) scored in seven different innings. Williams lost its ninth straight game and fell to 1-9, 0-1. The teams conclude their three-game series Saturday out west, playing a doubleheader with the first game starting at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time.
The Panthers got off to a fast start, scoring six times in the bottom of the first inning. Kevin Woodring drove in the game's initial run with an RBI single to left field to score Brooks Carroll, who later touched home plate on a fielder's choice for a 2-0 edge. Phil Bernstein doubled the lead with a two-run double to left, while Grant Elgarten drove in a pair with a two-base hit to the gap in left field, extending the advantage to 6-0.
The Ephs got one run back in the top of the second, as Kellen Hathaway raced home from third on an infield error to make it a 6-1 game.
Middlebury extended the lead to 8-1 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third. In the fifth inning, the Panther offense added three more tallies to extend the lead (12-1), as Hayden Smith, Justin Han and Woodring reeled off consecutive RBI singles.
Middlebury continued to score in bunches during its next turn at the plate, with a four-run sixth. Carroll drove in Graf with a base hit to left field and Bernstein scored on a fielder's choice for a 14-1 cushion. Han and Andrew Corcoran accounted for the final two runs of the inning, with RBI singles.
Carroll led the Panthers at the plate, going 3-6 with two RBI and a run scored, while Bernstein was 2-4 with three RBI and three runs scored. Woodring, Graf and Henry Strmecki added to the offense with two hits each, while Graf also scored three times.
Panther starting pitcher Colby Morris improved to 2-2 on the season, yielding only one run on four hits in seven innings. Morris has thrown at least six innings in each start this spring. Andrew Martinson and Evan Stewart each threw a scoreless inning of relief.