SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – The Williams College Baseball team traveled to Skidmore College today to take on the Thoroughbreds in their twenty-second game of the 2019 season. The Ephs are hot off a split series victory over Middlebury from this past weekend. The final game went to extra innings and ended with junior Mike Stamas' double to center field.
Entering Tuesday's game, the Ephs stand at a 16-5 overall record and a 3-3 conference record. Having recently passed the halfway mark of the season, Williams is looking to continue what has been a strong overall season while also improving an even conference record.
Skidmore College sits at a similar 15-9 overall season record with a 6-6 conference record. Today's game began at 4:00 pm and is an out of conference game for both teams.
Williams began at bat and set the tone with a strong performance. Senior Tom Benz was the first to get on base. As the second batter, he knocked a single into left center. Fellow Senior Doug Schaffer was hit by a pitch as the next batter to put a man on first and second. Sophomore Jeremy Iryzk delivered the first run of the day with a single to left field which was bobbled by the catcher, on the same play, to give Benz time to cross home plate. During the ensuing action, Irzk advanced another base to second and Schaffer made it to third. A foul out by the next batter combined with an early ground out, put the pressure on sophomore Philip Barnett's at bat. He came up big with a double down the left field line to drive Schaffer and Irzyk home for the second and third Eph runs respectively. A final ground out ended the at bat shortly afterwards but put Williams up 3-0.
Despite the strong start for the Ephs, Skidmore pushed the pace and doubled their runs to take the lead soon after. Junior Justin LaRose was walked as the first batter. Senior Patrick Geiger pushed LaRose to third with a double to right center. The Thoroughbreds cracked the scoreboard on the next at bat when sophomore Zack Bunker delivered a single to second base which allowed LaRose time to score and Geiger time to reach third. Junior Matt Chipkin followed suit with a reach on a fielder's choice which put Bunker out at second but allowed Geiger to cross home plate. Sophomore Sam Browning continued the pressure with a single to third base which put him on first and Chipkin on second. Sophomore Andrew Knight continued the trend soon after with another single up the middle which gave both runners time to advance two bases and push the score to even at 3-3. First year William Snyder broke the tie in the following at bat with a single to the short stop which Browning scored on and Knight advanced on. Knight advanced further on junior Justin Bottcher's at bat during a wild pitch. Soon after Bottcher made contact to ground out, but gave Knight time to score the Thoroughbred's fifth run. The final run of Skidmore's at bat came on first year Pascal Marcktell's at bat. He singled to right field and brought Snyder across home plate. The flurry of runs brought LaRose back up to bat. He knocked a single to right field which pushed Marktell to second, but the inning ended shortly after with a final reach on a fielder's choice. An exciting first inning for both teams put the score at 6-3 in favor of Skidmore.
The 2nd inning was quiet for both teams, but the Ephs quietly closed the deficit over the 3rd, 4th, and 5th. In the top of the 3rd, Schaffer was hit by a pitch and promptly stole second. Iryzk came back up to bat and was walked on a four-ball pitch count. During the count a wild pitch allowed Schaffer to advance to third. Following his teammate's lead, Iryzk stole second soon after. With a man on second and third, first year Matt Aventuro made contact with a roller which put him out at first but gave Schaffer the opportunity to score and Iryzk a chance to reach third. A walk and a batter hit eventually loaded the bases for the Ephs, but the opportunity ended with a final strike out. After their third at bat, the deficit had been cut to two at 6-4.
The Ephs fully closed the gap in the top of the 4th and took the lead in the top of the 5th. Stamas got the ball rolling in the top of the 4th with a single to center field. His contact was followed by Benz's bunt which put him out at first but allowed Stamas to reach second. Schaffer stepped up to the plate with only one out recorded and bombed a triple out to center field. Stamas scored Williams' fifth run of the game and Schaffer was in good position for Iryzk's at bat. Iryzk continued a strong performance with a ground out which sacrificed the second out of the at bat, but gave Schaffer time to tie the game 6-6. Aventuro kept the at bat alive with a double as the following batter, but a good defensive effort meant Williams had to wait until the top of the 5th to regain the lead. In the top of the 5th, senior Alex Panstares was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game. He advanced two bases to third on wild pitches. First year Ryan Young batted Panstares in to take the lead with a double to right center as the third batter of the inning. Two outs quickly followed but put the Ephs up 7-6.
While Skidmore started the game strong, they were unable to keep the momentum going through much of the game. Williams kept the Thoroughbreds scoreless for the 2nd through the 9th innings.
In the top of the 6th and the top of the 8th, Williams looked poised to extend their lead. In the top of the 6th, Schaffer knocked a double deep into right field, but the rest of the team was shut out. Likewise, in the top of the 8th Schaffer was hit by a pitch to get on base. Iryzk followed with a single to right field which put two men on. Unfortunately, the Ephs were stonewalled again to keep the score steady at 7-6.
In the bottom of the 9th, with the Ephs still up by one, Skidmore broke through once again. Senior Will Potter was walked as the pinch hitter for first year Briston Maynard. Geiger singled to left field to push Potter to second soon after. A bunt resulting in an out put the pressure on the Thoroughbreds. However, Chipkin came up big with a tying run when he doubled down the right field line to bring Potter home. Geiger advanced to third with the contact as well. The Ephs had a chance to push the game into extra innings on sophomore Jake Hardy's at bat, but an error ensured he made it to first. First year Sean Lang sealed the deal soon after with a single to left field which allowed Geiger to score the winning run. The final score of the game was 8-7 in favor of Skidmore.
After a tough away game today, the Ephs will get another chance to play at home tomorrow at 4:00 pm. Another out of conference game, Williams Baseball will be taking on Southern Vermont college. A recent bout of good weather has kept any recent games from being rained out. With rain in the forecast from Wednesday through Thursday, the Ephs will hope to get a lucky break.