Baseball suffers string of losses in tough week

Baseball (9-16, 2-7 in the NESCAC) traveled to Amherst last Sunday and lost 7-2, allowing the Jeffs to sweep the series that began on Saturday when the men hosted Amherst for a doubleheader. They lost both games on Saturday, the first 2-1 and the second 10-3. On April 10, the men suffered another loss to Gordon, falling 5-0, after losing 7-5 to Westfield State on April 9.

In Sunday’s game at Amherst, the Jeffs scored at least one run in each of the first five innings, grabbing a 7-2 lead by the fifth inning that they did not relinquish. After falling behind 5-0 after four innings, the Eph bats finally came to life in the fifth as a single by Darren Hartwell ’13 and a double by Phil McGovern ’15 both drove in a run. However, in the bottom of the inning, Amherst responded with two runs off reliever Charlie Baxter ’14. Williams starter Dan Smith ’16 went three innings and gave up four runs, taking the loss to drop to 2-3. Reliever Andrew Bishop ’13 provided one of the bright spots for the Ephs, pitching three shutout innings in relief and surrendering only one hit. The Ephs were also very active on the base paths as Hartwell, Kelso Stevens ’15 and Marco Hernandez ’14 all stole a base.

In the second game at home on Saturday, Amherst tagged Williams’ starter Steve Marino ’14 for five runs in the first inning, three of which were earned. The Jeffs never looked back. Amherst added three more in the fourth before Williams added three of their own in the fifth, courtesy of a double by co-captain Taylor Mondshein ’13 that drove in two runners and an RBI single by Luke Pierce ’15. Amherst added two more runs in the top of the seventh. Despite being outscored, the Ephs actually outhit the Jeffs 11-8 including two hits each from Mondshein, catcher McGovern and first basemen K.C. Murphy ’13. Marino took the loss for the Ephs, dropping to 1-3 on the season.

In the first game on Saturday, the Ephs jumped out to a quick lead, as Matt Kastner ’14 scored on a Mondshein RBI groundout in the bottom of the first. The Ephs’ starting pitcher, Thomas Murphy ’15, had an excellent outing and was very unlucky not to pick up a win. He pitched for seven innings, striking out three and only giving up one earned run. Only two outs away from a complete shutout, Murphy gave up a solo home run to Amherst rightfielder Mike Odenwaelde that forced the game into extra innings. Co-captain Jimmy Ray ’13 replaced Murphy in the eighth after a leadoff walk and promptly struck out the heart of the Amherst lineup. The Ephs were unable to capitalize on a rally in the bottom of the eighth and Amherst managed to score one off Ray in the top of the ninth. Williams was unable to respond in the bottom of the inning and lost the game 2-1.

“Obviously, we had a tough weekend against Amherst, getting swept in three games,” Ray said.  “We still have a lot of games left to play, and although a shot at the NESCAC tournament is out of reach, we all want to finish the season strongly and do exactly that.”

In a non-conference game on April 10, the men lost to Gordon 5-0. The Ephs mustered only five hits in seven innings, with two hits coming from second baseman Stevens.

On April 9, the men traveled to Westfield State for another out of conference game. Williams fell to Westfield State 7-5 despite a four-run rally in the fourth inning. First basemen Murphy had an RBI single (his 22nd RBI of the season) to give the Ephs a 1-0 lead. However, Westfield State responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning off starter Arnie Capute ’16, and they added three more in the third. The Ephs responded with a four-run rally in the top of the fourth to tie the game as Tommy Stephens ’14, Hernandez and Hartwell all had RBI singles in the inning. However, Westfield State scored two more runs in the bottom of the inning, chasing starter Capute, who eventually took the loss falling to 2-2. Baxter and Bishop each pitched a scoreless inning of relief, and Eddie Kelly ’15 pitched 2 1/3 innings, giving up only one earned run.

The men next host Southern Vermont on Thursday before hosting a three-game series against NESCAC rival Bowdoin on Saturday and Sunday.