AMHERST, MA - The Williams College baseball team (0-3) travelled an hour down the road on Wednesday afternoon (3/11) for a Little Three bout with arch-rivals Amherst College (3-0) at the picturesque Memorial Field. Coming off back-to-back narrow losses at Springfield College this past Sunday, the Ephs were looking for a big bounce back against the Mammoths.
Following a Senior Day ceremony for the hosts, action commenced at 3:30 p.m. with the visiting Ephs batting to kick off the first inning.
The first four innings of the contest were largely uneventful from an offensive standpoint, as the two NESCAC West foes held each other to a combined five hits and no runs (Williams edging out Amherst with three hits). Although, Williams was much closer to adding a run in the early stages with a combined five runners stranded over the first four as compared to Amherst's one.
Both sides were put down in straight order in the first inning.
In the second inning, Erik Mini '21 led off and was hit by a beanball from Amherst pitcher Zack Horowitz, and then advanced to second following a Jacob Cohn '23 single on the left side. Billy Shea '22 then laid down a sacrifice bunt, advancing his teammates Cohn and Mini to second and third, respectively. Williams was unable to capitalize upon this favorable position. On the defensive side of the ball, the Ephs defense and starting pitcher Charlie Carpenter '20 quickly put away the Amherst four through six hitters in straight order.
In the third inning, Williams' lead-off hitter, Eric Pappas '21 came to bat second and drove a single through the left side. His teammate Mike Stamas '20 followed through an errant throw by the Mammoths' second baseman which advanced him to second base and Pappas to third. Neither was able to advance beyond this though. In the bottom half of the inning Carpenter finally surrendered a hit, but Williams was able to keep Amherst off the board through the play of left fielder Erik Mini, and second baseman Ryan Young '22, who combined to throw out an Amherst runner at home for the third and final out of the inning.
In the fourth inning, number five hitter, first-year Jacob Cohn, led-off with a double to left field for his second hit of the day. The next three Williams batters went down though, leaving Cohn at second. Again, Carpenter was able to subdue the Amherst offense with another three up-three down inning in the fourth, making that three of these efficient innings in his first four of the day.
Following the early 0-0 stalemate of the first four innings, the two squads broke the deadlock in the fifth with Williams taking a short-lived 2-0 lead after loading the bases with no outs and then driving in two runs through a David Driscoll '22 RBI single and an Erik Mini '21 walk. Unfortunately, Williams would not cross the plate again on the day.
Amherst responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth, wiping away the Williams lead.
In the sixth, Amherst began to widen the gap by retiring the side for the Ephs on three consecutive strikeouts, and then adding on another four runs in the bottom half of the inning. They put up another four runs in the seventh, increasing the Ephs' deficit to nine.
No runs were scored on other side in the eighth or ninth, leaving Amherst with an 11-2 win.
The Ephs are scheduled to head down to Waltham, MA this Sunday to take on UAA squad Brandeis (6-4) in another high-level in-state matchup where they will look for their first win of the season—assuming that the game is held amid COVID-19 concerns.