AMHERST, MA – The Williams College baseball team traveled to Amherst College today to compete in their last game of the 2020 season. The international spread of the Corona Virus has impacted all levels of life from health and financial markets to educational and athletic endeavors. Concern over contagion, especially considering the Spring Break recess coming up, means many colleges across the country have been forced to move to remote classes and end all sports seasons.
Both Amherst and Williams College Baseball have had their seasons all but eliminated by these events. While the impact on all involved is undoubtedly devastating, the seniors who have put in four years of consistent effort and leadership have really drawn the short straw. Despite being unable to play the entirety of the season, or even the chance to play at home, the four seniors prepared the team well and will be sorely missed by the program. Seniors Charlie Carpenter, Kyle Dean, Johnny Lamont, and Mike Stamas leave big shoes to fill for the current junior class.
Despite the chaos at each of their respective schools the two teams put it aside to play nine innings of solid ball. In the end the Mammoths came out on top with an 11-2 victory. However, both sides should be commended for giving it their all given all that is going on.
The first five innings of the game passed with little action. Neither team was able to record any meaningful contact and only a few players made it on base. Three full innings during this period featured a pitching and fielding clinic by both teams in which they held the other to only three batters.
Of note, were efforts by both the Mammoths and the Ephs in the third inning. In the top of the third, junior Eric Pappas singled through the left side to get on first. Stamas followed suit with contact of his own which allowed him to reach second after a bobble by the second baseman. The action put two men on in with Pappas on third and Stamas on second. The Ephs' at bat ended soon after but foreshadowed a strong effort to come in the top of the 5th.
Likewise, senior Rob Casey III managed a single to center field as the second batter for the Mammoths in the bottom of the 3rd. Two batters later, junior Kai Terada Herzer managed a double which allowed Casey to round third and make an attempt for home plate. He was ultimately thrown out by the second baseman, but also got momentum going for later action.
In the 5th, both teams jumped onto the scoresheet in major ways. Junior Philip Barnett got things started for the Ephs with a double down the left field line. Pappas got on base soon after with a single which put a man on first and second with no outs recorded. Stamas fully loaded the bases as the next batter when he connected for the second time. Sophomore David Driscoll delivered the first run of the game when he singled to right center which allowed Barnett to score and reset the loaded bases. Junior Erik Mini got a four-ball pitch count which walked him and advanced all runners to give the Ephs a 2-0 lead. A couple strike outs, and a fly out ended the at bat soon after but gave Williams the lead.
In the bottom of the 5th, the Mammoths upended the lead and took one of their own. Senior catcher Severino Simeone was walked as the first batter. Senior William Murphy pushed Simeone to second with a single up the middle. A bunt by the following batter put him out at first but allowed both on base runners to advance. Casey stepped up to bat and managed contact which resulted in an error to allow Simeone to cross home plate. Sophomore Chris Murphy followed next with a single up the middle which allowed W.Murphy to tie the game for the time being at 2-2. Terada-He delivered the final run of the inning with a single through the left side which allowed Casey to make the game 3-2.
While Williams would go on to be blanked for the rest of the game, the Mammoths added to their lead in their following two at bats. Simeone started things again with a single up the middle. A wild pitch during W.Murphy's eventual walk allowed Simeone to advance two bases and eventually score an unearned run. W.Murphy went on to steal second during senior teammate Topher Brown's at bat where he earned a single of his own. When C.Murphy stepped up to the plate two batters later, he had runners on second and third. He knocked a double deep to left center which brought both home to notch another two runs. C.Murphy's second base positioning would be capitalized on later on to give the Mammoths their fourth run of the inning when sophomore Daniel Qin doubled down the right field line two batters later.
Moving into the 7th, Amherst was now up 7-2. They would go on to complete their scoring in the bottom of the seventh when they added another four runs. Junior Stephen Burke got on base first for the Mammoths with a single down the left field line. He stole second and advanced to third when Simeone connected on a single to left field. W.Murphy came up big as the next batter with a triple which brought Simeone and Burke in for the eighth and ninth Amherst runs respectively. W.Murphy would go on to score unearned soon after on a wild pitch. Brown was next up to bat and he delivered with a double down the left field line. He managed to advance to third on a passed ball during Casey's at bat. C.Murphy brought in the final run of the game in the next at bat when he connected on a single up the middle. A double play ended the inning soon after but put Amherst up 11-2.
The game would end up ending in the top of the 9th after the Ephs were shut out of their final at at bat. With the 11-2 loss, Williams Baseball regrettably ends their season on a 0-3 record. With the school year and athletics tossed up in the air by health measures, the Williams Baseball team will look to piece together as much training as possible for next year's season. The whole team is disappointed by the circumstances they are facing, but the program will return strong ahead.