Baseball finishes third at NESCAC tournament

Baseball (23-12-1) saw its season end last weekend after a 7-3 loss to Bowdoin on Sunday in the double-elimination NESCAC tournament. Willliams had beaten Bowdoin 15-5 on Friday in their first game of the tournament before falling 14-12 to Tufts on Sunday morning and failing to muster the requisite offense to defeat the Polar Bears a second time Sunday afternoon.

Due to the foul weather, tournament officials were forced to alter the format of the double-elimination tournament: Teams are usually able to advance to the championship even with a loss, but could not this year. As a result, Williams’ afternoon game on Sunday was played for second place.

Williams opened the game strong against Bowdoin, with Steve Maier ’12 scoring off a Chad Brown ’10 hit in the first inning for a 1-0 lead. Bowdoin answered quickly, scoring two runs in the team’s first at-bat before tallying one more in the third for a 3-1 score heading into the fourth inning. Williams would give up three more runs before Taylor Mondshein ’13 could score off of an RBI single from Maier in the top of the sixth inning to make the score 6-2. The Polar Bears plated one more runner before Pat Barren ’11 scored, making the final score 7-3 Bowdoin.

Eddie Nadel ’12 started out on the mound for the Ephs, pitching 4.1 innings and giving up five runs before Matt Berdoff ’12 relieved him for the next two innings. Only two of Nadal’s runs were earned, as the Eph defense struggled, committing three errors in his time on the mound. After facing one batter in the seventh, Berdoff was pulled in favor of Ben Oliva ’12, who finished out the game.

“Once we lost the game to Tufts, the game against Bowdoin was meaningless in the tournament,” Head Coach Bill Barrale said. “I think we were a little deflated after the earlier loss. Bowdoin played well, and we just didn’t give our best effort.”

The men went up against Tufts earlier in the day. After Tufts pulled ahead 1-0 after the team’s first at-bat, Cameron Susk ’12 drove in Robin Allemand ’10 to even the score at 1-1. Another Williams run in the top of the fourth inning put the Ephs up 2-1 before the Jumbos went on a three-inning, 12-run hitting spree interrupted only by two Eph runs in the top of the sixth inning. Down 13-4 heading into the seventh, Williams responded with a seven-run rally to put the game within reach at 13-11. Tufts scored on their next at bat, adding to their lead. A Maier home run at the top of the ninth failed to spark a last-minute Williams comeback. The men fell 14-12.

The Ephs used five pitchers in the game, with Paul Burgdorf ’10 pitching the first three innings and Lucas Casso ’13, Berdoff and Nadel pitching a combined 1.4 innings. Jimmy Ray ’13 ended the game, giving up one run in two innings.

“As a result of the weather, the game against Tufts ended up being our championship game,” Barrale said. “We battled all the way back after going down, which was quite an accomplishment. We just came up a little short.”

The men opened the NESCAC tournament on a positive note on Friday, defeating Bowdoin 15-5. Williams started out well, scoring 11 runs before Bowdoin was able to register one. Harry Marino ’12 pitched the first six innings and allowed seven Polar Bear hits before Dan Grossman ’12 and Oliva rounded out the game. Allemand led the Eph offense with three RBIs, supported by Maier and Andrew Bishop ’13, who each knocked in two runs.

Barrale was impressed by his team’s play in the Ephs’ first game of the NESCAC tournament. “Marino pitched well and we were able to jump out to an early lead.” he said. “It was a clean game all around [and] a great way to start the tournament.”

Williams finishes the season third in the NESCAC with both the Little Three and West Division titles under its belt.

The Ephs graduate six seniors this year. This year’s graduating players have won the West Division title every year of their collegiate careers.

The returning 22 players hope to use the same pitch-by-pitch mentality that Barrale has advocated all season in order to improve on this year. “The seniors did a great job this year, and we’re going to miss them, but we have a good nucleus coming back and we hope to build off of our accomplishments,” Barrale said.

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