DUTCHESS COUNTY, NY – The Williams College Baseball team traveled to Vassar College today to take on the Brewers in an out of conference game. After a nail-biting 3-2 loss to Trinity College yesterday, the Ephs were looking to return strong in today's competition.
The Williams 13-4 record matched up against an 11-13 record for Vassar. Action kicked off at 4:00 pm today and ran the full nine innings.
The Ephs got things rolling early with an early lead in the top of the first. Sophomore leadoff batter Eric Pappas got on base with his customary single. Senior Kellen Hatheway pushed him to second as the third batter with a single to left field. Both runners advanced a base on a passed ball early in sophomore Erik Mini's at bat. Mini was walked to load the bases for Williams. Senior Doug Schaffer came up with important contact in his first at bat of the game. He ground out to the second basemen, but a throwing error by the first basemen, on the same play, gave both Mini and Pappas time to cross home plate. A ground out on the following play moved the game into the bottom of the first but put Williams up 2-0 in the process.
The Ephs posted a strong defensive effort to keep Vassar scoreless in their first at bat. They returned in the top of the second with another strong showing to extend their lead further. Junior Mike Stamas was walked as the first batter and managed to advance to second soon after on a wild pitch. First year David Lynch was caught at first by a throw from the pitcher to the first basemen. During the action, Stamas moved to third. Pappas returned up to bat and knocked out yet another single, this time out to right field to bring Stamas home. Pappas stole second on the subsequent play and found home plate soon after when sophomore Phillip Barnett singled to left field. Barnett eventually advanced to third, but a third out ended his run prematurely. The score sat at 4-0 moving into the bottom of the 2nd.
Vassar managed two men on base in the 2nd on a walk and a single respectively. They were unable to capitalize, and the game moved into the 3rd without a Brewer run.
The Ephs were quiet in the top of the third, but Vassar rallied to score their first run of the game. Sophomore Brewer Jason Salverno reached first on a throwing error. He stole second and was eventually batted in by junior Matt Martino. The inning ended shortly after but cut the deficit to three at 4-1.
The entirety of the fourth and the top of the 5th left the score unchanged. The bottom of the 5th saw Vassar cutting further into Williams' lead. Senior Jesse Mulham began things for the Brewers with a roller to the shortstop which gave him enough time to reach first. He advanced to second on a wild pitch during Salerno's at bat. Salerno returned with strong contact for a single deep into center field. The connection gave Mulham time to earn another Vassar run. The Ephs kept Vassar scoreless for the remainder of the 5th but moved into the 6th with a 4-2 scoreboard.
The 6th and 7th featured a period of solid pitching and fielding efforts from both teams. Across both innings only two batters made contact. In the top of the 8th Vassar made a series of defensive changes. Unfortunately for the Brewers, none of the changes could prevent the flurry of Williams runs earned. First year David Driscoll got on base first on a four-ball pitch count. Lynch repeated the trend with another walk to push Driscoll to second. A strike out and fly out put the pressure on for Pappas' at bat. He managed to send the ball down towards the third basemen. A fielding error ensured he got to first base and Driscoll and Lynch crossed home plate. First year pinch hitter Billy Shea stepped in for Barnett. He connected with a single to right center. The deep ball drove Pappas across second, third, and home plate. Hatheway kept the ball rolling with a single to the shortstop which pushed Shea to second. Another series of pitching and fielding changes for Vassar ended the streak for the Ephs and moved the game into the bottom of the 8th. Entering the final inning and a half of the game, Williams was up 7-2.
Vassar managed to get a man on first and second in their second to last at bat, but were unable to move further any more.
The Ephs extended their lead in the 9th with an additional run. Two quick outs on the first two batters gave the impression their final at bat would be uneventful. However, Stamas was walked as the third batter. He advanced to second on Lynch's single to left field. Soon after, first year Ryan Young connected with a single to right field which gave the Ephs their final run and pushed Lynch to second. A Williams strike out followed by three quick Vassar outs ended the game with a score of 8-2.
With another win under their belt, Williams Baseball moves to 14-4 on the season.
Williams College Baseball's next chance at competition is another quick turnaround. They will be taking on Middlebury College in a home series which runs through Friday the 12th and Saturday the 13th. Saturday's double header with temps in the upper 60s promises to be a good one. Prior to that the Ephs will play at 4:00 pm on Friday. All three games are in conference.