Baseball won one of its three games in a road trip to Amherst this weekend. The Ephs fell 11-9 in the first game, won 5-4 in the second and closed the series with a 16-4 loss.
In the first game, Amherst took a lead with nine runs in the bottom of the first inning. Nick Nardone put the Mammoths’ first runs on the board with a two-run double out to left field. The Mammoths extended the score to 4-0 with another left-field double by Robert Casey III. Casey scored Amherst’s fifth run after a single up the middle brought him home. The Mammoths continued to extend their lead when a single to right field brought in another run. A couple more singles to the left side brought the game to a 9-0 early rout.
The Ephs brought in a fresh pitcher during the first inning to replace Kyle Dean ’20. Jack Bohen ’19 entered the game and pitched the remaining six innings for Williams. The change brought some calm to the contest, and the second inning passed with no score on either side. Amherst extended its lead in the bottom of the third inning as Ariel Kenny batted in another two runs with a double down the line to bring the score to 11-0.
In the top of the fourth inning, Kellen Hatheway ’19 put the Ephs on the scoreboard with an RBI double to left field that brought Erik Mini ’21 home. Adam Dulsky ’18 further closed the deficit with a single to third base that scored Hatheway.
Dulsky and Hatheway’s success in the fourth inning began an impressive comeback for the Ephs. Jack Roberts ’18 got on the board at the beginning of the fifth as he batted in Tom Benz ’19 with a double down the left-field line. Hatheway’s return to bat marked further success for the Ephs. While he grounded out to the second basemen, his effort moved Mike Stamas ’20 to second base and brought Roberts home to make the score 11-4. Doug Schaffer ’18 rounded out the inning with a fly ball that was dropped by Amherst’s center fielder, giving Stamas time to score a final run for the Ephs.
Moving into the sixth inning, the Ephs still trailed 11-5. The bottom and top of the sixth passed quickly, with two ground outs and a shot to the second baseman for the Ephs and two strike outs and a ground out for the Mammoths.
The seventh and final inning marked an exciting finish for the Ephs. Stamas’ return to bat resulted in a double to left field that was off of an error. The error cost the Mammoths another run, as Roberts brought the score to 11-6. Schaffer returned to the plate with two outs left in the inning and Hatheway and Stamas on base. His homer to right field batted both his teammates in and brought the score to a close 11-9. Unfortunately for the Ephs, the home run was followed by a walk and a double play to end the game with Amherst on top.
Head coach Bill Barrale spoke highly of Bohen’s efforts. “Jack gave up some runs at the beginning of the first but then fought back well to clean up for the rest of the game,” he said. After Bohen initially conceded three runs at the end of the first inning, he and the Eph defense held the Mammoths to only two more runs for the remainder of the contest.
In the second game of the weekend, George Carroll ’21 and Bryan Wooley ’21 teamed up to earn the Ephs a 5-4 victory.
Once again, the Mammoths were the first to get on the board after a triple to right field batted in a prior walk and a double to left field in the bottom of the first.
Moving into the second, the Mammoths were up 2-0. Two quick outs for the Ephs set the stage for Dulsky’s solo homer to left center. His effort cut the deficit to 2-1. Two walks and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases for the Ephs, but a foul out ended their second inning. Solid field work by Williams handed the Mammoths three consecutive outs and ended the inning.
The top of the third ended disappointingly for the Ephs with an attempt to steal home that was denied at the plate. The Mammoths extended their lead in the bottom of the third, with Nardone’s double down the line making the score 3-1.
Williams entered the fourth and quickly notched two outs before Dulsky recorded the Ephs’ second run of the game off a balk. Stamas kept the momentum going with a single up the right side that brought Mini home. A fly out on the next batter ended the fourth inning for the Ephs with the score now tied at 3-3. Amherst’s three ground outs maintained the tie moving into the fifth inning.
The following two innings passed without much action. Together, the Ephs and the Mammoths recorded five ground outs, three fly outs and a strike out over the course of the fifth and sixth innings.
Stamas continued a strong performance for the day with a double to start the seventh inning. He advanced to third base off a bunt by Benz. Roberts sacrificed a fly out to left field for Stamas to cross home and put the Ephs into their first lead of the day. Unwilling to concede for long, Amherst evened the score at 4-4 to end the inning.
Coming into the top of the eighth with the score tied, the Ephs had only two more at bats to pull out a victory. Schaffer got the ball rolling with a single up the middle. Dulsky got on base next via a fielder’s choice that put Schaffer out at second. Frank Stola ’21 stepped in as Dulsky’s pinch runner. He advanced to second on a ground out. Alex Panstares ’19 stepped up to the plate with two outs and Stola on second. His double to left brought in Stola and clinched the 5-4 victory for the Ephs.
Barrale was proud of his team’s efforts. “The second game was a must-win for us,” he said. “The team scratched and clawed [its] way back to a 1-1 record on the day.”
The men played Amherst for a third game and closed the series with a loss of 16-4. Yesterday, the Ephs faced Trinity at home, but results came in too late to report. Today, the Ephs host Vassar at 4 p.m on the Booby Coombs Field.