Baseball destroyed St. Michael’s for a 13-6 win on Friday coming off a crushing 9-8 loss to MCLA on Wednesday that saw the men lose their five-run lead in the ninth.
Eddie Nadel ’12 took the mound for Williams in Friday’s afternoon game. Nadel gave up two RBI triples in the third and fourth but limited St. Michael’s to three runs on six hits in four innings.
After St. Michael’s scored in the top of the third with an RBI triple, the men came out swinging to plate six runs on the strength of six hits. With two on, four straight singles from co-captain James Allison ’11, Cameron Susk ’12, co-captain Pat Barren ’11 and Marco Hernandez ’14 pushed four across to go up 4-1. KC Murphy ’13 came up to the plate with runners on the corners and knocked a double down the right field line to drive in Barren. After Hernandez scored on a balk, the Ephs took a 6-1 lead into the fourth.
St. Michael’s responded with two runs of its own in the fourth to tighten the score to 6-3. Ben Oliva ’12 relieved Nadel in the top of the fifth and struggled in his first inning of work. Oliva saw the men’s lead dwindle to 6-5 after two hits, a wild pitch and an error gave St. Michael’s two runs. He recovered well, however: Oliva threw the lead runner out at third, induced a ground ball and recorded a strike out to close the fifth. The Eph took the win after three innings, giving up three runs on five hits and striking out five.
“[Nadel and Oliva] aren’t overpowering, but they keep guys off balance,” Head Coach Bill Barrale said. “We had guys making plays behind them and that helped us win the game.”
The men built up their lead in the sixth after two doubles from Allison and Barren to take an 8-5 advantage. After St. Michael’s scored in the seventh, the men capitalized on some defensive miscues to plate three unearned runs and shut the door on the Purple Knights with an 11-6 lead. Tommy Hester ’11 and Jimmy Ray ’13 combined to pitch scoreless eighth and ninth innings. The men strung together three hits in the eighth to push two across and finish the game with a 13-6 win.
“We’re leading the league in hitting, and we still have some guys who are about to step up,” Barrale said. “We’ve been getting some timely hits, and it’s nice to see that production [from the top of the lineup] come up.”
On Wednesday, the men fell to MCLA after taking a five-run lead into the ninth inning. Steve Marino ’14 started for the Ephs.
The southpaw pitched four and a third innings and gave up three hits and three runs, two of them unearned. “Steve’s base on balls have been up, but he’s been right around the plate,” Barrale said. “He’s had some fielding errors that have cost him, but he has a bright future ahead of him.”
MCLA scored first, playing small ball to score a run in the second. A double from Adam Marske ’14 and a triple from Matt Kastner ’14 in the bottom of the second scored two to give the Ephs a 2-1 lead. An error in the fourth followed by a double let MCLA take a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the fourth. “We’ve been getting a lot of production from some young guys who have done a nice job,” Barrale said.
The Ephs’ offense got back on track quickly, however, piecing together two singles and a well-placed ground ball to score Taylor Mondshein ’13 and cut the Trailblazers’ lead to 3-1 in the fourth. The men then pounded MCLA for four singles and a double in the fifth to surge to an 8-3 lead.
Their lead would not hold, however, as MCLA came out swinging in the ninth. Tommy Stephens ’14 took the mound to start the ninth and recorded only one out. MCLA started the inning by stringing together a run, walk and fielder’s choice to tighten the game to 8-4. Stephens went one third of an inning and gave up five runs on four hits before Dan Grossman ’12 came on to attempt to clean up the damage. Grossman loaded the bases and then induced a groundball down the third-base line. He attempted to throw the ball to first, but after a questionable call the runner from third scored to give MCLA a 9-8 lead and the batter was ruled safe at first. Grossman recovered to get two groundouts to end the inning but took the loss, as the men were unable to mount a comeback to MCLA’s ninth-inning surge.
The men will take on Southern Vermont at home today. First pitch will be at 4 p.m. The team will then travel to SUNY-IT, where they will play nine innings starting at 4 p.m. on Thursday. Williams will continue its week with a three-game series against Amherst: The Ephs will travel to the Jeffs’ fields for a 4 p.m. game on Friday night and will then turn around to head home, where they will host the Jeffs at 1 p.m and 4 p.m. on Saturday. The men will also go up against RPI at home on Tuesday afternoon.