Baseball succumbs to Jeffs’ series sweep

Baseball dropped both games in a doubleheader against Amherst on Sunday. The men lost the late game 8-5 and the early game 7-2. The men also suffered a 14-2 defeat to Amherst on Friday, yielding a three-game series loss to the Jeffs. The team’s Thursday game at SUNY-IT was canceled due to weather, but on Wednesday the men pounded Southern Vermont for a 15-1 victory.

A late charge in the men’s second game on Sunday was not enough to overcome Amherst. Eddie Nadel ’12 took the loss from the Jeffs, as he went three innings and gave up two runs, one earned, on two hits. The Jeffs did the majority of their damage against Matt Berdoff ’12 in the fourth, fifth and sixth. Amherst took three runs in the fourth, one in the fifth and two in the sixth inning to take an 8-2 lead into the seventh. Smart base running in the fifth allowed the men to push two across on two hits as co-captain James Allison ’11 singled to score centerfielder Stephen Maier ’12 and leftfielder Darren Hartwell ’13.

The Ephs tacked on a run in the eighth with an RBI single from Ben Oliva ’12. The men made it a game in the ninth inning on the strength of two triples from Maier and Allison to make the score 8-5. Two strikeouts and a popup ended the men’s run, however, and Amherst won the contest 8-5.

“Our starting pitching didn’t go well, and we didn’t have timely hits,” Head Coach Bill Barrale said of the men’s performance against conference rival Amherst.

A five-run second inning sealed the men’s fate in the early game on Sunday. After back-to-back singles from Allison and Cameron Susk ’12 put runners on first and second with one out, co-captain Pat Barren ’11 stroked a double to left to clear the bases and give the men an early 2-0 lead. Amherst responded quickly, however, as the Jeffs piled eight hits on Oliva to push across five runs. Amherst had a 5-2 advantage heading into the bottom of the second.

Singles from Maier, Matt Kastner ’14 and Susk added two runs for the men in the second to put Williams down 5-4. In the fifth, Amherst added a run to go up by two. Oliva finished his day with five innings pitched, 11 hits and six earned runs. Lucas Casso ’13 gave up another run to Amherst in the seventh to bring the final score to 7-4 in Amherst’s favor.

Amherst ousted lefty Harry Marino ’12 in the second inning on Friday. Marino closed the Jeffs out in the first, but he recorded only one out in the second before allowing five runs on four hits, punctuated by Bob Cook’s three-run homer. Dan Grossman ’12 came on in relief and navigated out of the second before pitching a scoreless third and fourth inning.

The men scored two in the fifth to tighten the score to 5-2 on the strength of Maier’s RBI double and a single from Susk to plate Maier. “Maier is a talented ballplayer,” Barrale said. “He pressed a bit earlier on in the season, but he’s at the top of our lineup, so it’s always good to have him going.”

The bottom of the fifth proved to be the men’s undoing, however, as Amherst capitalized on three errors to push across nine runs, only four earned, on 10 hits. Powerful pitching from Amherst’s starter Max McKenna, who pitched a complete game, allowed Amherst to claim a 14-2 home victory.

“The first game against Amherst was a wash,” Barrale said. “We had more errors than hits, and that didn’t give us a chance to win.”

The men’s conference losses to Amherst this weekend eliminate them from NESCAC playoff competition.

The men’s game against SUNY-IT was canceled on Thursday, but the men pounded Southern Vermont 15-1 for a seven-inning victory on Wednesday. Marty Clarke ’14 took the mound and was superb as he hurled six scoreless innings for the Ephs. He walked five and struck out four, giving up only one hit.

“Marty did a great job,” Barrale said. “He had a great demeanor on the mound and great velocity. He just needs to be more consistent around the plate and eliminate the base on balls.”

Ten Ephs earned hits in the contest, as Williams scored three or more runs in four different innings. Maier and Taylor Mondshein ’13 each recorded three hits and scored two runs in the men’s victory.

The men hosted RPI on Tuesday, but results came in too late to report. The men will host Springfield on Thursday at 4 p.m. before traveling to Hamilton for a three-game series on Friday and Saturday and then hosting Union at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.