Baseball ends six-game skid with extra-inning win

Thomas Murphy ’15 recorded three strikeouts in 5.1 innings against Bowdoin last Saturday.
Thomas Murphy ’15 recorded three strikeouts in 5.1 innings against Bowdoin last Saturday.

Last Saturday, baseball (8-12, 4-5 in the NESCAC) traveled to Bowdoin for a doubleheader against its NESCAC rival. The Ephs dropped the first game 4-2, but showed great fortitude, rebounding to win the second game 7-6 in 10 innings. The win snapped a six-game losing streak for the Ephs. Last Thursday, the men traveled to RPI for a non-conference game. Despite once again gaining an early lead, the Eph bats went quiet, and the men mustered only four hits and one run in a 3-1 loss.

The Ephs started the first game on Saturday well, scoring a run in the top of the first inning. Tri-captain Matt Kastner ’14 and Luke Pierce ’15 led off the game with back-to-back singles. Two batters later, Thomas Stephens ’14 ripped a single past the Polar Bear shortstop, scoring Kastner and giving the Ephs an early lead. The lead was short lived, however, as Bowdoin responded with three runs in the bottom of the first off starter Thomas Murphy ’15, bringing the score to 3-2 in favor of Bowdoin. Both pitchers settled down after the first inning and held both lineups scoreless until the sixth.

In the top of the sixth inning, Pierce beat out a groundball to short, earning an important infield hit. A few batters later, Pierce’s hustle was rewarded as Phil McGovern ’15 smashed a ball over the left fielder’s head for a double that drove in Pierce. The Ephs failed to capitalize with McGovern, the tying run, in scoring position. Bowdoin added an insurance run in the bottom of the inning and held on for a 4-2 win. Thomas Murphy  pitched five-and-one-third innings in the loss, striking out three batters, walking three and allowing three earned runs.

In the second game of the doubleheader, the Ephs again started off hot. RBI singles for Beau Horan ’16 and Jack Roberts ’17 capped off a rally that gave the Ephs an early 2-0 lead. However, for the second game in a row, Bowdoin answered, scoring two runs in the bottom of the inning. Williams regained the lead in the fourth inning on a fielder’s choice by Horan. The Polar Bears again responded, scraping a run off of Eph tri-captain Steve Marino ’14 in the bottom half of both the fourth and fifth innings, giving them a 4-3 lead. The Eph bats woke up in the top of the sixth. David Rosas ’16 ripped a double down the right field line for his third hit of the game, which drove in Marco Hernandez ’14 to tie up the score. A few batters later, Roberts knocked in another run to give the Ephs the lead.

In the bottom of the seventh, Bowdoin narrowly escaped defeat, knocking in a run to knot the game 4-4. Neither team scored in the eighth inning, but the Ephs scored in the ninth on a Pierce sacrifice fly. Bowdoin, though, responded once again to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth. In the top of the 10th, Rosas drove in the winning run with an RBI single. Eddie Kelly ’15 shut the door on any Polar Bear comeback as he sent them down in order in the bottom of the 10th. Tri-captain Charlie Baxter ’14 picked up the win for the Ephs and Kelly notched the save. In six-and-one-third innings of work, starting pitcher Marino allowed four earned runs, while striking out three.

“We were pretty evenly matched with Bowdoin,” Baxter said. “They edged us out in Game One, but we bounced back with a big team win in Game Two.”

In the game last Thursday against RPI, Kastner led off the game with a single and eventually worked his way to third base before Hernandez knocked him home to give the Ephs an early 1-0 lead. The Ephs held on to the lead until the bottom of the fourth when the Engineers manufactured two runs, one unearned, off of starter Luke Rodino ’17. The Engineers extended their lead in the bottom of the fifth and held the Eph bats in check for a 3-1 victory. Rodino picked up the loss for the Ephs, working four-and-two-thirds innings and allowing only two earned runs, while punching out two batters.

Williams hosted RPI for another non-conference game yesterday, with results coming in too late to report. The men travel to Skidmore today for a 4:30 p.m. game. The men will host Hamilton in a critical three-game series this Saturday and Sunday. Then this Tuesday the men will take on Union in an away game.