WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – The Williams College Ephs (8-16, 4-5) took on the RPI Engineers (15-16, 8-7) today at Bobby Coombs Field in a non-conference tilt.
The Ephs took a quick 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning before relinquishing it to a strong series of innings by the engineers to put RPI up 5-1. Williams returned in the seventh to take a 7-6 lead, but RPI rose again to finish out the game nine runs up at 16-7.
Today's action began slowly for both RPI and Williams. RPI managed to record two singles in the first two innings of the game while holding Williams hitless in the bottom of the first. The score opened up in the bottom of the second and was continuous throughout the rest of the game.
The Ephs were first on the board in the bottom of the second to take a 1-0 lead. Two quick outs in a row put the pressure on when first year Ed Manzella stepped to the plate. His single to the short stop got the juices flowing for Williams. Senior Adam Regensbur followed suit with a single through the left side to send Manzella to second. Sophomore Mike Stamas completed the set with a double to left field on the following at bat. His efforts batted in Manzella, but Regensbur was caught at the plate to end the inning abruptly.
Not to be kept down for long, the engineers returned with a strong showing in the top of the third. A walk on Weston Hawkins put him on first before he advanced to second on Austin Lawrence's single to third base. J.T. Sawyer's ground out bunt to the pitcher pushed both Lawrence and Hawkins forward a base but gave RPI its second out of the inning. Ethann Meister pulled through for the engineers with a single to left field to bring both runners home. Moving into the bottom of the third the score had been changed to 2-1 RPI.
The Ephs looked to close the deficit in the bottom of the third. However, senior Adam Dulsky's single up the middle was the only contact they could muster.
The top of the fourth saw another flood of runs for the engineers. Jack. Vaccari was walked as the first batter. Richard Drum took a pitch in the arm to put two men on early in the inning. Both Vaccari and Drum managed to advance a base on the following at bat despite a strong defensive effort by first year B. Woolley who threw the batter out at first. Hawkins delivered for RPI again with a double down the left field line to bat both his teammates in. He advanced to third on a wild pitch soon after. Even Lawrence's ground out to the short stop on the following play could not keep Hawkins from scoring the engineer's third and final run of the inning.
The Ephs were kept scoreless for the second consecutive inning with a strong fielding and pitching effort by RPI. Junior Kellen Hatheway began a strong effort for the day with his first hit to left field. He stole second to put Williams in a promising spot, but was cut short by the third out. The game moved into the fifth with the score at 5-1 in favor of the engineers.
RPI kept up a dominant streak of innings as they advanced into their next at bat. Junior Will O'Brien stepped in for the Ephs as their third pitcher of the game. He recorded a strike out on his first batter to start the inning strong. Spagnuola was the first engineer to reach a base in the fifth after two errors on subsequent throws allowed him to advance two bases. O'Brien forced a second strikeout to put the pressure on RPI. However, a failed pickoff attempt allowed Spagnuola to reach third. A final error in a tough inning for the Ephs ensured Spagnuola reached home to extend the lead to 6-1 for RPI. O'Brien delivered the final out of the at bat with a third strike out on the last batter.
The Ephs once again managed to reach base in the bottom of the fifth. This time first year John Digravio singled through the right side. Following in Hatheway's footsteps, he advanced to second on a stolen base. Again, Williams was unable to make anything of the chance and the sixth began with the score unchanged.
Quiet finally returned to the game in the top of the sixth when RPI was kept scoreless for their first at bat in a while. The Ephs used the opportunity to cut the deficit significantly in the bottom of the sixth. Hatheway got the momentum going with a single to left field. Junior David Kwan kept things going with another single to left field, to push Hatheway to third. First year Frank Stola stepped in as a pinch hitter and was walked on the following play to load the bases for the Ephs. Regensbur's walk on the next at bat brought home Williams' first run of the inning. A wild pitch soon after gave the Kwan the opportunity to score the second run of the inning and allowed Stola and Regensbur to advance a base. Stamas' ground out to first base in his next at bat gave the Ephs their second out of the inning, but brought Stola in for another run. Regensbur completed the scoring for the inning on a final wild pitch. The game entered the top of the seventh with a large score change at 6-5 RPI.
The Ephs managed to keep RPI scoreless again in the seventh and extended their run in the following at bat. Dulsky got on base first when he was walked as the second batter. He advanced to second with a ground out which put the number of outs at two for Williams. Hatheway stepped up for his third at bat and delivered big for Williams. His homer to center field scored two runs and gave the Ephs their second lead of the game at 7-6.
Unfortunately, the lead was not to last as RPI returned strong in the top of the eighth. Vaccari was walked for his second at bat of the game. Hudson Livesey's single through the left side pushed Vaccari to second and put two men on base. He further advanced to third with a stolen base to put a man on first and third. Another walk on Hawkins loaded the bases for the engineers. The walks continued on Lawrence's at bat to bring in RPI's first run of the inning and tie the score at 7-7. Another walk, two batters hit by a pitch, and a sacrifice fly out to center field opened up a significant lead on Williams and finished the inning with RPI up 13-7.
While the Ephs were unable to earn any more runs for the remainder of the game, Meister's homer in the top of the ninth, with two men on ensured another three runs for RPI. Their efforts ensured them a 16-7 victory over Williams College baseball.
Williams Baseball gets the chance to return to earlier success on Wednesday the 25th against Union College. The game will take place away and will not be apart of conference record.