WILLIAMSTOWN, MA — Five Williams pitchers combined to hold Hamilton to three hits Sunday, helping the Ephs a key 4-1 win over their NESCAC West Division rivals at Cole Field.
The Ephs, winners of five out of their last eight games, improved to 8-15 overall and 4-5 in the West while Hamilton slipped to 13-14 overall and 3-5 in the West. Williams is home Tuesday vs. RPI at 4 p.m. The Ephs will head to Wesleyan Friday and host the Cardinals for a Saturday doubleheader in a showdown for second place and a spot in the NESCAC Tournament.
"We had two-must win games this weekend and we won them both," Ephs' head coach Bill Barrale said. "We've been playing much better as of late. This is a good group, a resilient group. We're getting better as the season goes on and it's nice to still be alive heading into next weekend."
Both teams ended up with three hits in Sunday's nine-inning contest. The Ephs managed to make more of theirs than the visitors, but walked a tightrope much of the game as they issued 11 walks to Continental batters. Hamilton left 15 runners on base in the game. Williams hurlers combined to strike out 15 batters.
The Continentals took a 1-0 lead in the third on Matt Cappelletti's bad-hop single over Eph third baseman Tom Benz's head — and glove. After being no-hit through four innings by Hamilton starter Tom Riley, the Ephs scratched out two runs in the fifth, using just one hit. David Kwan got things started with a one-out double to center. Riley then walked Frank Stola and Adam Regensburg to load the bases. Mike Stamas' grounder to short resulted in a forceout and a run as Kwan scored. A wild pitch allowed Stola to score the go-ahead run.
The Ephs added two big insurance runs in the seventh. With two outs, Stola walked and stole second. Adam Regensburg followed with an RBI-double to center and Stamas then roped a double to left that scored Regensburg to make it 4-1.
Hamilton left two runners on base in the third, fourth and fifth and the bases loaded in the sixth. Stamas went the first 3 2/3 innings for Williams and allowed just one hit and one run, unearned, while walking six and striking out six. After two walks in the fourth, Will O'Brien replaced Stamas and struck out the first batter he faced to end the threat. After a walk in the fifth, Charlie Carpenter replaced O'Brien on the hill with two outs. He walked the first batter he faced before striking out the next batter to end the frame. In the sixth, Carpenter walked the first batter he faced before striking out the next two. He then hit a batter and was replaced for Nehemiah Wilson, who walked the first batter he faced to load the bases. But Wilson struck out the next batter to wiggle out of the jam.
Wilson pitched 2 1/3 innings, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out four. Philip Barnett came on to pitch a scoreless ninth for the save. Carpenter (3-3) was the winner, going one hitless inning while walking two and striking out two.
"Collectively, our pitchers did a very nice job today," Barrale said.
Riley (1-3) took the loss, allowing one hit hit and two runs, both earned, while walking three and striking out three over five innings.