The Williams Men’s Baseball team swept a doubleheader against the Tufts Jumbos on the heels of strong starting pitching by Matt Jewell ’98 and Matt Marvin ’98. The Ephs won the first game by a score of 5-2, and the second by a 4-1 count.
The two starters, Marvin for Williams and Lex Mugar for Tufts, began strongly. The Ephs could muster only one run through the first five innings, while the Jumbos failed to score. Leading 1-0 entering the sixth inning, the Ephs rallied to chase Mugar from the game. After Ian MacAllister ’98 singled and Mike Paolercio ’00 reached base on an error, Jeff Russell ’99 was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Mike Ostella ’98 hit a booming double off the top of the fence, clearing the bases and building the lead to 4-0. The shot would have been a home run, had Tufts not recently doubled the height of their outfield fences. Two batters later, Tim Albrecht ’01 singled home Ostella, making the score 5-0.
Five runs were all the support Marvin would need. Tufts was unable to mount a significant threat throughout the game, as Martin allowed only two runs through five innings of work, striking out four. Jim Frew ’99 picked up the save, working the sixth and seventh frames. Solid pitching was a major factor in the win. “We were able to get the leadoff guys out. Everything went from there,” Mike Valenti ’01 said.
The second game of the doubleheader also went to the Ephs. Another low-scoring affair, the game was tied 1-1 through four innings. In the top of the fifth, Williams manufactured a run to take the lead. MacAllister reached base to lead off the inning on a strike out, when the Tufts catcher could not get a handle on the pitch, allowing it to trickle back to the backstop. David Carillo ’00 singled and Russell was hit by a pitch, loading the bases. Ostella grounded into a double play, scoring the run, making the score 2-1.
The Ephs would hold the lead on the strength of Jewell’s stellar pitching. He went the distance, allowing only three hits while striking out five. “We dominated them,” Valenti noted. “The score was close, but we were never really threatened.” The Ephs improved their record to 15-4 on the season.
Three days earlier the Ephs dropped their home opener to RPI, 8-7. RPI, a perennial Division III powerhouse, is expected to qualify for the tournament this season despite losing two of their starting pitchers from last year’s team to the Major League Baseball draft. The game was marred by bad weather, as the teams combined for nine errors.
RPI staked out an early lead, scoring three runs in the first inning off Marvin. The Ephs struck back in the bottom half of the frame, as Carillo and Paolercio hit RBI singles.
Marvin would settle down, pitching two scoreless innings and striking out six batters, before being relieved in the fourth inning by Jewell.
RPI maintained their lead throughout the game, building it to 8-4 with a three- run seventh inning. The Ephs would mount a final rally in the ninth inning. Still trailing by four, they pulled within a run with RBI’s by Ostella, Carillo, and Paolercio. Down now by only one run, the Ephs had runners on first and third with only one out. However, they were unable to score, and went down in defeat, 8-7. “This game was not good baseball,” Valenti said. “Both teams played sloppy ball.”
With their strong week, the Ephs built upon a successful stint in Florida over Spring Break, where they went 13-3.