Baseball cruises to five straight wins

After postponing its April 28 game against Springfield due to inclement weather, baseball (23-10, 5-7 in the NESCAC) dominated Springfield 3-0 on Monday. The men swept Hamilton in their three-game series on Saturday and Sunday, winning both games of Saturday’s doubleheader by one-run margins and pounding Hamilton 10-3 on Saturday. The men also drilled RPI for an 11-5 victory on April 26.

Steve Marino ’14 shut Springfield out on Monday. Marino pitched seven strong innings and held the Pride to just three hits, walking five and striking out four. Patrick Blizzard ’13 came on in the eighth and pitched two innings of shutout ball. The Ephs scored first in the second, as KC Murphy ’13 knocked in Tommy Stephens ’14 on an RBI double to take a 1-0 lead. The men scored another run in the third without recording a hit. Co-captain Pat Barren ’11 was hit by a pitch, advanced to second on a wild pitch and took third on a groundball. Barren then scored on Stephens’ groundball, taking a 2-0 advantage. The men scored their final run in the seventh off a triple from Matt Kastner ’14. Co-captain James Allison ’11 knocked a single to push across the men’s third and final run.

On Sunday, the men opened their final conference series of the season by batting around in the first inning against Hamilton. On the strength of RBI singles from Murphy, Jimmy Ray ’13 and Adam Marske ’14, the Ephs plated five runs in the first before scoring three more in the third. Murphy blasted a two-run homer out of left field to put the men on top 7-1. The men continued scoring in the fourth, and after ousting the Continentals’ starter in three innings, Kastner knocked a double to lead off the inning. Allison knocked him in with a groundball out to make the score 8-1. Cameron Susk ’12 then ripped a solo home run to put the Ephs on top of the Continentals 9-1. After a few well-placed balls and defensive miscues, the men finished their scoring in the fifth, and they took the game 10-3.

Southpaw Ben Oliva ’12 scattered eight hits in eight innings of work in the game. Oliva struck out eight and gave up three runs to the Continentals.

The men came out on top by a score of 7-6 after matching runs for 10 innings in their late game against Hamilton on Saturday. The men scored three runs in the first and two in the second to go up 5-0 off the bat, but Hamilton responded with a run in the third to come within four runs. The Ephs tied together three hits to score another run in the top of the fourth, making the score 6-2, but the Continentals retaliated with a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth to pull within two. Hamilton caught up to the Ephs in the seventh inning and knotted the game at six after notching five hits off Matt Berdoff ’12.

The game stayed tied at six until Stephens stepped up to the plate with two outs. Stephens belted a home run to left center to break the tie and score the deciding run in the Ephs’ 7-6 victory. Hamilton recorded two hits in the bottom of the tenth but was unable to score.

“Tommy’s been hitting the ball well in batting practice,” Head Coach Bill Barrale said. “He hit the ball with some pop. The leftfield fence was short, and it seemed like a good decision to have him hit there, and he hit the ball hard.”

In the opening game of the series on Saturday, the Ephs tallied another one-run victory as they bested the Continentals 3-2. Neither team scored for three innings until four singles put the men up 3-0. A double in the fifth and a solo home run in the seventh inched Hamilton closer to the men, but their efforts ultimately came up short.

Blizzard and Stephen Maier ’12 led the men to eleven runs as they trounced RPI on April 26. Blizzard was two for four on the day, recording four RBIs after pounding a three-run homer. Maier went four for five and scored four runs as the Ephs handled RPI 11-5. Marty Clarke ’14 started for the Ephs: He pitched three innings, giving up five runs on six hits. Dan Grossman ’12 took the win, giving up just two hits over four innings of work.

“In our [one-run] games against Hamilton, we had the lead both times,” Barrale said. “The first game we had the lead 3-0, and the game was far more in-hand than it seemed.”

With the rookies stepping up to earn some playing time late in the season, Barrale has been impressed with their efforts this week. “We have a talented class of rookies that are really maturing their baseball approach at the college level,” he said. “Steve Marino and Marty Clarke have been pitching well for us.”

The men played their last home game of the season against Union on Tuesday, but results came in too late to report. They will next travel to MIT for a doubleheader on Saturday. The first game will be at 1 p.m. and the late game will start at 4 p.m.