AMHERST, MA – The Williams College baseball team traveled to Amherst College to take on the Mammoths in the third game of the series today. Amherst managed to capture both games in the double header yesterday.
Their success yesterday moved Amherst to an 11-6 record and 3-2 in conference play. Williams was coming off a hot streak to start their season and now sit at a 12-3 record with an 0-2 in conference.
A late rally yesterday was too late to close the gap Amherst opened up. Williams came into today's game looking to make up for a disappointing Saturday.
As the away team, Williams began the game at bat. The 1st inning was quiet for both sides. Sophomore Eric Pappas continued a consistent streak of hits with a single to center field as the first batter. He advanced to third later on a passed ball and a ground out. His run was cut short by a final ground out.
In the top of the 2nd , scoring began. Senior Tom Benz knocked a double into center field to get on base. First year Matt Aventuro followed suit with a shot down the right field line. The contact got him to second base and brought Benz home for the first run of the game. The inning ended shortly after with Williams up 1-0.
Amherst managed a hit in the bottom of the second but was unable to crack the scoreboard. Senior Chase Henley singled to center field, the next batter was walked, and both advanced a base on a wild pitch. With a man on second and third, the pressure was on senior lefty Jack Bohen. He settled into a rhythm for the Ephs and struck out the following two batters to keep the Mammoths scoreless.
Williams returned in the second with a flurry of runs to extend their lead. A quick fly out and strike out put two outs on their at bat. Senior Kellen Hatheway managed contact as the third batter and made it to first on a throwing error. Sophomore Erik Mini continued his hot streak in his first at bat of the game. He homered to left field to add another two runs to the Ephs stat sheet. Entering the bottom of the second Williams was up 3-0.
The Mammoths did not remain silent for long. First year Daniel Qin fired a single to right center to get the ball rolling. Sophomore Kai Terada-Herzer kept the trend with another single to center field which pushed his teammate forward a base. A bunt by the third batter put him out at first but allowed both men on base to advance further. With a man on second and third, sophomore Stephen Burke delivered a double to right center which brought Qin and Terada-Herzer across home plate. Two quick outs followed but cut the deficit to one at 3-2.
The Ephs were silent in the 4th inning, but Amherst did not hold back. Junior Severino Simeone homered as the first batter to bring the score even at 3-3. Three straight fly outs followed to move the game into the 5th.
Both teams put on a strong defensive effort in the 5th to keep the score tied. It was not until the top of the 6th that the Ephs exploded out ahead. Hatheway gave Williams momentum with a homerun over the left field fence. Today's homerun is on the tails of his homerun yesterday which cut into the trailing deficit. Mini got on base as the next batter with a single through the right side. On the following batter's pitch count, Mini advanced two bases to reach third. Benz got to first as the fourth batter on a walk. Aventuro advanced the lead further with a bunt which gave Mini time to cross home plate, pushed Benz to second, and got him to first. First year Ryan Young connected on another single to center field which brought Benz home. With a man on first and second, Pappas delivered the third consecutive single which batted in Aventuro. Stamas continued the trend with a single to center field. His contact and an error by the third baseman notched another two runs for the Ephs. A steady stream of hits meant Hatheway came back up to bat in the same inning. He knocked a single to left field which gave Stamas the chance to cross home plate. A final strike out ended Williams' at bat. Altogether, the deluge of scoring put the Ephs up seven runs at 10-3. In the midst of it all, the Mammoths switched pitchers twice but were unable to contain the damage.
In the bottom of the 6th, Amherst's Simeone knocked out his second home run of the game to cut the deficit to six.
The Ephs answered in the 7th with another run to make their lead seven once again. Senior Doug Schaffer singled up the middle as the first batter. He advanced to second on Benz's ground out on the following play. Fellow senior Alex Panstares brought his teammate home with a single through the left side. Two strike outs ended the Ephs at bat but pushed the score to 11-4.
Amherst managed to get two men on in the bottom of the 7th but was unable to convert the opportunities into runs. Terada-Herzer managed a double down the right field line with two outs recorded. The following batter got on base due to a hit pitch. The events sparked a pitcher change to Eph first year Daniel Lynch. He was able to keep the Mammoths scoreless for the remainder of the game. The game moved into the 8th shortly after with a reach on a fielder's choice that put Terada Herzer out at third.
The 8th inning was scoreless for both teams but the Ephs stepped in to increase their lead in the 9th. Schaffer got a single past the shortstop as the first batter. Benz followed with another single to push Schaffer to second. Aventuro and Panstares were both hit by pitches on their respective at bats to load the bases and bring Schaffer across home plate. First year Ryan Young made contact on a ball and capitalized on a fielding error to reach first and drive Benz home. Pappas was also able to connect and reached on a fielder's choice which simultaneously put Young out at second and got Aventuro home for the final run of the game. Two quick outs ended the game with the Ephs up a commanding ten runs at 14-4.
The victory put Williams Baseball back to their winning ways with a record of 13-3 and a conference record of 1-2.
Williams' next chance to compete will come in two short days when they travel to Trinity College in Connecticut. Action kicks off at 4:00 pm against the 14-3 Bantams.