WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – The Williams College Baseball team took on Southern Vermont College in a home game today. After a tough OT loss to Skidmore yesterday, the Ephs were looking to bounce back today.
A break in forecasted weather meant good things for all ten innings. The Ephs entered today's game with an overall season record of 16-7 and a conference record of 3-3. Southern Vermont College has not fared so well. They enter the game against Williams with an overall season record of 9-14-1 and a conference record of 3-7. Beginning at 4:00 pm, today's action featured out of conference play for both teams.
Southern Vermont College began the game quietly. They managed singles in their first three at bats but were shut off the scoreboard until the 4th.
The Ephs continued yesterday's trend with a quick lead in the bottom of the 1st. Junior Mike Stamas began with a single to right field. On first year Eric Pappas' at bat, Stamas stole second and then advanced to third when the catcher failed to pick him off. Pappas was walked as the second batter to put a man on first and a man on third for Senior Doug Schaffer's first at bat of the game. Schaffer ground into a double play which put him and Pappas out but allowed Stamas to put the Ephs up 1-0. Sophomore Erik Mini followed up soon after with a single to right field. He advanced to second on wild pitch, but was unable to move any further when the inning ended with a strike out.
In the top of the 2nd, junior Kyle Liddy singled through the left side, was pushed to the second, and found third on a wild pitch. He looked close to scoring SVT's first run, but a strike out pushed the game into the bottom of the second.
After jumping out to an early one run lead, Williams remained quiet until again until a flurry of runs in the bottom of the 3rd. First year Ryan Young singled down the left field line to begin the at bat. Stamas was walked next to push Young to second. Both stole a base on Pappas' next at bat. Pappas made contact for the first time during the game with a reach on a fielder's choice which prevented Young's run but left a man on first and third. Schaffer returned up to the plate and during his pitch count, Pappas stole second. Another monster triple from Schaffer brought both Stamas and Pappas across home plate and pushed the Eph lead to three at 3-0. Mini was walked next and stole second to reset the same situation. First year David Driscoll made contact on his at bat with a fly out which gave Williams their second of the inning but allowed Schaffer to score. The final Williams run of the inning was brought in by senior Tom Benz with a single to center field which allowed Mini time to score. Sophomore Jeremy Irzyk singled through the right side to keep the at bat alive. A final ground out ended the campaign with the score now at 5-0 in favor of Williams.
SVT burst into the game in the bottom of the 4th to cut the deficit to one. Liddy began things with a triple to left center to lead off strong. Sophomore Nick Guajardo cracked the scoreboard with a single through the left side to bring Liddy home. Junior Brandon Lara-Mack made it on base soon after on an error by the third baseman which pushed Guajardo to second. Junior Nick Santoro batted in another two runs two batters later with a double to left field. A second strike out after Santoro put the pressure on SVT. Senior Zack Stacy stepped up for his at bat with Santoro on base. Santoro advanced to third on a wild pitch during the count. Soon after Stacy knocked a final single out to left center which allowed the final run of the inning. Entering the bottom of the 4th, the score stood at a close 5-4.
The 5th and 6th innings featured solid pitching and fielding efforts for both teams. Both teams managed contact once in the 5th, but scoring did not return again until the 7th. In the top of the 7th, SVT stepped in to take the lead. Liddy started things off again with a reach on a fielder's choice. Guajardo continued with a single through the left side which advanced Liddy. Lara-mack was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A line out and a strike out separated Santoro's next up at bat. He knocked a single through the middle which drove two more runs in. With the score now at 6-5 in favor of SVT, Santoro stole second and sophomore Jason Marcelo was walked. The events sparked a pitcher change from sophomore Phillip Barnett to first year Daniel Lynch. Lynch's first batter flied out to end the inning.
Williams fired back in the top of the 8th to tie the game. Pappas came up big with a triple hard down the right field line to put him in good position for Schaffer's at bat. Schaffer managed to connect with a ball which was fielded by the shortstop but subsequently overthrown. The error allowed Schaffer time to reach second and Pappas to score. A shored-up pitching effort delivered two quick outs to follow which pushed the game to the bottom of the 8th with the score still at 6-6.
For the remainder of regular innings, both teams managed to shut each other out. Benz managed a single in the top of the 8th, but there was not much of an opportunity to advance further.
With the score still tied by the end of the 9th, the game extended into extra innings for the second consecutive game for the Ephs. In the top of the 10th, SVT maintained their trend with another streak of runs. Sophomore Zack Cronk singled up the middle as the second batter. Senior Ryan Serrato connected with a ball which the short stop inaccurately threw to first. The error allowed Serrato to reach first and Cronk to make second. Soon after, sophomore Blake Lenahan came in as a pinch runner for Serrato. Both advanced on wild pitch during Liddy's at bat, which ended in a walk. With the bases loaded, Guajardo knocked a sacrifice fly out to right field which gave Cronk time to score, gave SVT their second out, and pushed Lenahan to third. Liddy stole second which left a man on second and third for Lara-mack's final at bat of the game. He finished the game out and sealed the victory for SVT with a single to right center which batted in the final two runs of the game.
The Ephs looked close to making a run in their final at bat of the game. Driscoll singled to right field after the first batter flied out. Benz followed with a reach on a fielder's choice which put Driscoll out at second for the second out. A failed pickoff attempt by the pitcher allowed Benz to advance to second. Soon after he continued to third on a wild pitch. Both Irzyk and first year Matt Aventuro were walked to load the bases, but with a final fly out Williams conceded the game with a final score of 9-6.
With both weekday games completed, the Ephs look to Friday the 19th for their next chance at competition. They will face off against fellow NESCAC rival Wesleyan in a three-game series this weekend. As a part of their conference record, these games are particularly important for Williams to win. The Cardinals have struggled this season with an 11-12 overall record, but sit at a 3-3 conference record, same as the Ephs. The first game will take place at Williams, while the Saturday double header will be held at Wesleyan's campus. Play kicks off at 4:00 pm barring any rain delay or cancellation.