WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — The Williams College baseball team entered the bottom of the ninth of its spring trip finale down four runs.
Five batters later, they walked off 14-13 victors and headed back to Williamstown wth a 12-1 record. Sophomore Erik Mini hit a walk-off, three-run home with no outs in the bottom of the ninth to set off the fireworks. The Ephs are off until Friday, when they pen conference play with a 4 p.m. game at rival Amherst.
Eph Phillip Barnett got the 9th started with a lead-off walk. Ryan Young also drew a walk. Senior Kellen Hatheway, who had missed the prior week with an injury, grabbed a bat to pinch-hit and belted an RBI-single to make it 13-10. Jacob Basil pinch-ran for Hatheway prior to Eric Pappas' RBI-single. John DiGravio pinch-ran for Pappas, but didn't need to use his legs as Mini drove a pitch from Colby reliever Cameron Garfield over the fence for a walk-off three-run home run.
The game was scoreless through the first three innings and, after Colby broke that up with three runs in the top of the fourth, the Ephs answered with four in their half of the inning. Pappas and Mini started the frame with singles, and first year Matt Aventuro stroked a two-run double. Billy Shea plated Aventuro with a sacrifice fly. After Alex Panstares reached via an error, Tom Benz singled to load the bases. Barnett then singled home a run that gave Williams a 4-3 lead.
Down 6-4 entering the bottom of the sixth, the Ephs rallied for three runs to take a 7-6 lead. With two outs and nobody on base, Barnett was hit by a pitch. Young singled and Daniel Lynch singled to load the bases. Pappas lined a two-run single to tie the game, and Williams took the lead when Mini struck out but reached first safely on an error by the catcher. That was the Ephs last lead until the bottom of the ninth, as Colby responded with four runs in the top of the seventh to take a 10-7 lead.
The Ephs had 16 hits in the win. Pappas was 3 for 5 with three RBI. Barnett was 2 for 2 with two RBI, two runs scored. Benz, Aventuro and Mini were each 2 for 5. Mini had three RBI and three runs scored. First year Sam Rohrer got the start and went the first five innings for Williams, allowing eight hits and five runs, three earned, while walking one and striking out three. First year Nate Orluk picked up the win, improving to 2-0.