WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – The Williams College Baseball Team made their 2019 home debut today on Cole Field. A high of 57 degrees with some sun mixed in made for a promising way to start the weekend's action. An away game at Amherst was scheduled for Friday the 5th but was moved to Sunday the 7th last minute, due to inclement weather.
The double header today marks the Ephs first action since they returned from an impressive Spring Break Trip. A nearly undefeated start to the season was only marred by a loss to Denison University out of Ohio.
Since that loss, Williams Baseball has gone on to win seven straight. Amherst enters the weekend with a record of 9-6. The first game began at 12:00 pm, the second portion of the double header began at 3:00 pm.
Junior Johnny Lamont started at the mound for the Ephs. After an injury and subsequent surgery kept him out of competition last season, the Ephs have benefitted from his return.
Amherst came out of the gate swinging in the top of the 1st. The first batter earned a quick out with a line drive to Lamont. Mammoth sophomore Kai Terada-Herzer was walked as the second batter. He advanced to second on the following play. A strike out was followed by a fielding error for the fourth batter. The error allowed Terada-Herzer to advance to third and sophomore Stephen Burke to reach first. In the intervening play, Burke advanced to second on a stolen base. Senior Chase Henley stepped to the plate with a runner on second and third. He managed to make contact for a single to left field. The hit drove Burke and Terada-Herzer in to give Amherst an early 2-0 lead. An out on the following play put the Ephs at an early deficit.
The remainder of the 1st and the entirety of the 2nd inning past without much action. Aside from an Amherst single in the top of the second the game remained scoreless until the top of the third.
Mammoth sophomore outfielder Joseph Palmo was hit by a pitch as the first batter. Burke returned to the plate for his second at bat. He managed a deep double to left field which got him to second base and brought Palmo in for another run. Two quick outs with a walk mixed in put junior Topher Brown up to bat with two men on and one out left. Following Palmo's lead Brown knocked a double into left field to drive Burke home. A final pop up fly out ended the inning but doubled Amherst's lead. Moving into the bottom of the third, the score stood at 4-0 in favor of the Mammoths.
The Ephs got some momentum going in the bottom of the third. Senior Alex Panstares was hit by a pitch to get to first. Junior Mike Stamas stepped to the plate with two outs recorded and Panstares on first. He singled to the shortstop to push Panstares to second. A throwing error on the play allowed both Ephs to advance a base. Unfortunately, the run was cut short with the third out coming the following play.
Two quick outs on the first two batters put the pressure on the Mammoths. Unfortunately, two consecutive walks and a stolen base followed to put runners on first and second. Amherst's Henley delivered with another key hit to drive Burke and Palmo in for their second runs of the game. The scoring sparked a pitcher change as the Ephs brought first year Daniel Lynch. A final fly out put an end to Mammoth scoring for the inning. The latest flurry of runs left Amherst up 6-0.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Ephs developed further into the game. After a quick out on the first at bat, senior Doug Schaffer singled to the shortstop to get on base. Fellow senior Kellen Hatheway knocked another single deep into center field. His efforts pushed Schaffer to second. A walk of first year Matt Aventuro loaded the bases for Williams College. Senior Tom Benz stepped to the plate with one out posted. He managed to make contact with a rolling ball towards the short stop. Unfortunately, the hit turned into a double play and prevented the Ephs from cracking the scoreboard for the time being.
Amherst returned strong in the top of the 5th to continue a string of scoring at bats. Junior Severino Simeone was hit by a pitch to reach first base. Brown returned to the plate and came up big again with a double to center field this time. His efforts brought in Amherst's seventh run of the game. In a strong fielding effort, the Ephs ended the at bat with three outs on the next three batters.
The remainder of the 5th inning and the entirety of the 6th and 7th innings were scoreless. Aside from another single by Stamas, the Ephs were unable to make it on base.
The seven innings of play concluded the first portion of the double header in favor of Amherst College with a final score of 7-0. After a brief break, the Ephs and Mammoths geared up for another nine innings to conclude the day.
The Mammoths started the second game comparatively quietly. In the top of the first they pushed a runner to third but were cut short by a strong defensive effort by the Ephs. Williams Baseball began the game strong. After being shutout in the first portion of the double header, sophomore Eric Pappas got the ball rolling with a double deep into right field. Hatheway got on base on the next at bat after being hit by a pitch. Schaffer followed suit as he reached first on a fielder's choice. The effort loaded the bases for the Ephs with only one out on the inning. After a quiet first game of the day, sophomore Erik Mini knocked a sacrifice fly out into center field. The contact brought Pappas home for the first Williams run of the day. The inning ended shortly after that but put Williams up 1-0 heading into the 2nd.
In the 2nd, Amherst answered back. Henley got yet another hit with a single to right field. Senior Nick Nardone connected as the second batter to reach first. During the ensuing play, a fielding error allowed Henley to reach second. Brown continued the trend with a center field double. With two runners already on base, the Mammoths earned a tying run. Sophomore Kevin Schroeder managed to reach first as the next batter on an error by the third basemen. With loaded bases and no outs recorded, Simeone stepped up to bat. He managed a reach on a fielder's choice which put Schroeder out at second but allowed Nardone to cross home plate. First year Daniel Qin was the next batter up. A man on first and a man on third meant that Qin's single through the right side brought in another runner. Terada-Herzer's followed Qin with a reset of a man on first and a man on third. He ground out to the pitcher but allowed time for Simeone to score. The at bat ended soon after, but put the Mammoths in the lead at 4-1.
The remainder of the 2nd was scoreless, but Amherst returned in the third to advance their lead. Burke recorded his first hit of the game with a single up the middle. He advanced to second soon after with a stolen base. Henley continued a hot streak with a triple into left center field which gave the Mammoths another run. Shoring up their fielding, the Ephs managed to keep the runs to one for the remainder of the inning.
Not to be kept down for long the Ephs returned in the bottom of the third to cut into Amherst's 5-1 lead. Pappas singled up the middle as the first batter. Two quick outs followed to put the pressure on Mini in his second at bat of the game. He came up big once again with a triple to right center which brought Pappas across home plate. Unfortunately, a fly out on the following at bat brought the 3rd to a close. Entering the fourth, the Ephs were down three at 5-2.
The following two innings of play remained scoreless. Aside from Pappas single through the left side in the bottom of the 5th, both teams performed very well defensively.
Amherst's final round of runs occurred in the top of the 6th. Brown got walked as the first batter. Schroeder managed to connect as the second, but grounded out in the process. The play ensured that Brown was able to advance to second. Simeone continued a strong performance across both games with a single through the left side. His efforts got him to first and pushed Brown to third. The events spurred the Ephs second to last pitching change of the day to sophomore righty George Carroll. Qin returned to the plate with two men on. During his pitch count, Simeone managed to steal second to put the pressure on further. Qin eventually flied out to give the Mammoths their second out. The connection gave Brown time to find home plate and Simeone to advance to third. Terada-Herzer delivered with a single up the middle in his final at bat to bring in Simeone and Amherst's second run of the inning. Palmo followed suit as the next batter with a single through the right side which pushed Terada-Herzer to second. Burke came back up to the plate with men on first and second. He knocked a deep double down the left side to bat in Amherst's final run of the game. By the end of the 6th, Amherst was up 8-2.
The remainder of the 6th and the top of the 7th left the score unchanged. Carroll was replaced on the mound by Eph Junior Charlie Carpenter to close the game. In an impressive finishing effort Carpenter kept the Mammoths scoreless for the remaining three innings.
In a show of their grit, the Ephs fired back to close the deficit in the bottom of the seventh. Stamas got things going with a bunt fielded by the pitcher which allowed him to reach first. A quick fly out followed on the next at bat. Hatheway rounded out his Saturday with one last strong showing. With Stamas comfortably on first, Kellen knocked a home run over the left field fence. His efforts gave the Ephs their final two runs of the day and cut the deficit to four. Unfortunately, Williams was unable to advance any further. The game ended in a tough 8-4 loss for Williams College Baseball.
With two of the three games in the series under their belt, the Ephs will look to tomorrow's game for a chance at redemption. The game will take place at Amherst starting at 1:00 pm.