CLINTON, NY – The Williams College Baseball team took on Hamilton College in a three-game series this weekend. The first of the three games wasplayed today while the remaining two games will be played as a double header on Sunday. Play kicked off at 2:30 pm
The Ephs are on a two-game win streak after defeating SVT on Tuesday 11-0 and Union on Wednesday 7-4. Their success has moved their current overall record to 18-7, but their conference record remains 3-3. A series against Wesleyan University which was scheduled for last weekend has been moved to May 3rd and 4th. Thus, this will be William's first opportunity in to play within conference in a couple weeks. Their last in conference action ended in split result against Middlebury in which the Ephs took the series 2-1 on an extra innings nail biter.
Hamilton College enters the series with a 0.500 overall record at 14-14. Their conference record is slightly negative at 4-5. A series of storms and rain have shifted the schedule around considerably. Originally, the first game in the series was going to be played on Friday the 26th and the double header was to be played on Saturday the 27th. All three games have been pushed back but will be completed by the end of the weekend.
Neither team was able to crack the scoreboard in the first two innings. Hamilton got close in the bottom of the first when sophomore Eric Wallis doubled to left center to get things rolling. Junior Nate Goodman followed up with a bunt which allowed him to reach first and Wallis to reach third. Senior Jordan Northrup also bunted two batters later to try and get Wallis across home plate. The ball was fielded by Eph senior pitcher Jack Bohen who put Wallis out at home and allowed Northrup the first base. Bohen went on to strike out the next batter and ensure Hamilton was kept scoreless.
Likewise, in the top of the 2nd, the Ephs made a run of their own which was stifled by Hamilton's pitching and fielding efforts. Two quick outs put pressure on junior Mike Stamas who delivered with a bunt to reach first. First year Matt Aventuro knocked a bouncing ball past the third baseman which allowed him to reach first and Stamas to reach third. Unfortunately, both men were left on base when a ground out moved the game into the bottom of the 2nd.
In the top of the 3rd, the Ephs broke the tie to take a lead they would not relinquish for the rest of the six innings remaining. First year Ryan Young got to first with a single through the right side. His contact was followed by a fly out and a line out on the next two batters. Two outs recorded made the at bat seem likely to end soon. Young kept the movement alive with a stolen base on a wild pitch. Senior Kellen Hatheway delivered an important double deep into right field which allowed Young another two bases for the first run of the game. A final fly out ended the at bat but put the Ephs up 1-0.
The remainder of the 3rd and the entirety of the 4th and 5th were quiet for both teams. Hamilton pushed for another run in the bottom of the 4th but were unsuccessful. Sophomore Rich Marooney was hit by a pitch as the first batter. A fly out followed, and Marooney was thrown out at second on first year Bradley Singer's reach on a fielder' choice. Slinger was eventually pushed to third by junior Matt Cappellet's double to left field. Both runners were left on base with a final strike out.
Moving into the 6th, the score remained at 1-0 but opened up significantly in the following two innings. Hatheway got the ball rolling with a double to left center. He was quickly batted in by sophomore Erik Mini's single to right field. A picked off runner and a line out put two outs on for Stamas' return to the plate. He singled through the right side to keep the Ephs moving. Similarly, Aventuro knocked a deep double to right center which scored William's third run of the game.
Hamilton was again kept scoreless in the bottom of the 6th, and Williams returned strong in the top of the 7th to put the game out of Hamilton's reach. Two successive ground outs gave the impression the at bat would be uneventful. Senior Tom Benz got on base first with a double to right field. Hatheway put two men on next when he was hit by a pitch. Likewise, Mini loaded the bases with a walk as the next batter. Senior Doug Schaffer connected on meaningful contact which was fielded but miss-thrown by the third baseman. The error allowed all runners to advance a base and made the score 4-0. Stamas also managed first on an improperly thrown ball by the third baseman. This time, all runners advanced two bases, Mini and Hatheway scored, and two men were left on base. Stamas advanced to second soon after on a wild pitch. With a man on second and third, and two outs recorded, Aventuro connected on a pitch which was mishandled by the short stop. The third error of the inning cost Hamilton another two runs to make it 8-0. Senior Alex Panstares rounded out the effort for Williams with a double to center field which brought Aventuro home. With a final fly out, the damage stood at six runs and made the score 9-0 in favor of the Ephs.
Hamilton broke on to the scoreboard in the bottom of the 7th. First year Adam Wijaya singled through the left side as the second batter. He was pushed to third when junior Matt Zaffino and senior designated hitter James Nish were both walked. With the bases loaded, sophomore Eph Philip Barnett struck out a batter to put two outs on the inning. Unfortunately, a final walk gave Hamilton its first run of the game unearned. The event sparked a pitcher change to sophomore lefty Bryan Wooley who earned a ground out to move the game into the 8th with a score of 9-1.
In the 8th, the Ephs were kept to one man on base but Hamilton closed the deficit a bit. Cappellet, Wallis, and Wijaya were all walked early on to load the bases. Zaffino came up big with a single through the left side which allowed Cappellet and Wallis time to score the final Hamilton runs of the day. A fly out and a ground out ended the inning with the lead cut to six at 9-3.
The Ephs returned in the 9th with a final run and a strong defensive effort to seal the victory. Stamas got on base first with a single. A strike out and a ground out did not bode well for Stamas' on base position. However, Panstares stepped up with a deep triple which brought Stamas home and made the final score 10-3.
With the first game under their belt, the Ephs will be looking to complete the sweep tomorrow with two more wins. Sunday's games will begin at 12:00 pm with seven innings of play, followed by another nine starting at 2:30 pm.