WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – The Williams College Ephs (7-15, 3-5) took on Hamilton College (13-13, 3-4) in a conference double header today at Bobby-Coombs field.
Fifty-five degrees and sunny marked the first good weather in the area in over a week as play got under way at 11:00 am. Today's play featured a split double header. Hamilton downed the Ephs 6-5 in the first game when scoring really opened up after the third inning. In the second game Williams posted a win with a 2-1 lead earning in the fifth inning.
Left handed first year George Carroll began the game at the mound for the Ephs. Hamilton and Williams recorded a single hit each in the first two innings. Hamilton's Matt Zaffino and senior catcher Adam Dulsky both connected for a single, but solid defensive efforts on both sides kept the game scoreless moving into the third.
The metaphorical ball really got rolling in the third inning. Three consecutive walks put Zaffino and his teammates Dean Rosenburg and Matt Cappelletti on first second and third with two outs posted in the inning. A fourth walk of catcher Craig Sandford brought Zaffino in to put Hamilton up 1-0. Hamilton's at bat ended shortly after with a final fly out to right field.
Unwilling to be kept down for long, the Ephs came in firing in their next at bat. The first three batters managed to connect on their appearances at the plate. Unfortunately, senior Adam Regensbur's single up the middle was the only one not to result in an out. Fellow senior Jack Roberts stepped up with sophomore Mike Stamas at second base. He knocked a deep double to center field which brought Stamas home and reset the situation for Dulsky's at bat. Dulsky followed suit with a single to left field which allowed Roberts to score and gave the Ephs the lead at 2-1.
Hamilton would take the lead in the fourth and not relinquish it until the game's finish. Sophomore Nate Goodman gave Hamilton a good start in his first at bat. His single to third base was followed by Ethan Wallis' single to the short stop. An attempted pick off from catcher to second base on the following play allowed Goodman to reach third and Wallis to find second. The Ephs instituted a pitching change following the play to bring in fellow first year Brian Wooley. His first batter James Nish sent a double down the right field line to bring in both Wallis and Goodman. Wooley's strike out on the next batter also involved a wild pitch which pushed Nish to third base. Rosenburg's final single to right center field brought Nish home to finish the inning at 4-2 Hamilton.
A walk in the top of the fifth put Sandford on base again. A fielding error by the third baseman allowed sophomore Graham McOsker to reach first and pushed Sandford to second. Wallis earned his second single of the game on the following at bat which brought Sandford in for Hamilton's only run of the inning.
Moving into the sixth, Hamilton maintained its run of strong innings. Zaffino's single to center field put a man on first. Rosenburg's bunt pushed him to second and put two runners on for Cappelleti's at bat. Cappalleti conceded an out, but allowed Zaffino and Rosenburg to advance a base. Sanford followed suit with a sacrifice fly out to right field, but gave Zaffino the chance to score Hamilton's final run and put them up 6-2.
The Ephs came into the bottom of the sixth down four but posted a convincing rallying effort. Dulsky's walk got him to first base. He was replaced by pinch runner Frank Stola who subsequently moved to second when Junior Kellen Hatheway was hit by a pitch on the following at bat. With two men in a good scoring position, Mini knocked a key double to right center which brought Hatheway and Stola home. The score change to 6-4 sparked a Hamilton pitcher change to first year Gavin Schaefer-Hood. Kwan kept the momentum going with a single up the middle which cut the deficit to one at 6-5. Unfortunately, the effort was cut just short with two outs on the following two plays.
The game moved through the final inning with the score unchanged. A 6-5 lead meant Hamilton moved into the second portion of the double header with a win under their belt.
The second portion of the double header began similarly to the first. With the exception of a handful of walks, neither Hamilton nor Williams were able to reach base in the first two innings.
Hamilton continued their hitless streak moving into the top of the third, but Williams managed to turn things around and open up scoring. Regensbur was hit by a pitch as the second batter of the inning. He advanced to second base on Stamas' ground out to the short stop. Junior Tom Benz recorded his first hit of today's play with a single to the short stop. Roberts stepped to the plate with Regensbur on third and Benz on second. He knocked a deep single to left center which batted in Regensbur and gave the Ephs their first lead of the game.
Moving into the fourth, Williams was up 1-0. Again, Hamilton was not able to break out of its slump, and Williams came back up to bat with their lead intact. After recording a quick two outs, Stola managed to reach first on a fielding error by the third baseman. Kwan delivered a double to center field at a key time to bring Stola home and give the Ephs a 2-0 lead. Unfortunately, a foul out on the following at bat ended the accumulated momentum.
In the top of the fifth, Hamilton managed to snap its streak by both getting on base and the score sheet. McOsker was hit by a pitch in Hamilton's first at bat. He advanced to second when Goodman was beat to first base by a throw from the pitcher. Wallis delivered yet another single in today's play to bring McOsker in and cut the deficit to one.
The brief opening in action was followed by another period of scoring calm which extended through the end of the game.
In the bottom of the sixth Williams play livened up a great deal. Hatheway was hit by a pitch to send him to first base. Mini delivered another hit with a single through the left side which pushed Hatheway to second. The excitement resulted in a Hamilton pitching change from sophomore Chris Keane to righty Brian Lawson. The first batter he faced was Stola who managed a bunt to get him on base. Unfortunately, the loaded bases amounted to nothing when the Ephs flied out and grounded into a double play on the following two at bats.
Likewise, Hamilton created a promising scoring opportunity in the top of the seventh inning. McOsker managed a double down the infield line and advanced to third base on a wild pitch soon after. The Ephs returned the favor this time with a strong defensive showing to cut the opportunity short.
In the top of the ninth, Hamilton mounted one last attempt to eliminate the deficit. Rosenburg was walked as the first batter of the inning. First year Joe Suski stepped in as a pinch runner. Suski managed to get to second on a wild pitch. He eventually reached third on a sacrifice fly out by his teammate Sandford. With a runner on third, and two outs posted for the inning, McOsker stepped back up to the plate for the final time. However, left handed pitcher Jack Bohen, who pitched all nine innings of the second game for the Ephs, handed Hamilton its final strike out. The Ephs finished the game up 2-1.
Eph head coach Bill Barrale had this to say: "
The Ephs will complete the series against Hamilton tomorrow at 11:00 am. The outcome will determine who emerges from the series victorious after the split double header today. Tomorrow's weather forecasts an even nicer baseball environment for the final game at Bobby-Coombs field.