Baseball splits series with Skidmore to close out regular season

Last Sunday, Jack Roberts ’18 hit a grand slam to bring his RBI total to 21 as baseball defeated Skidmore 21-0 in its last game of the spring. Photo courtesy of Sports Information.

Baseball (9–21, 4–8 in the NESCAC) split a Saturday doubleheader against Skidmore to close out the regular season.

In the first game, Skidmore got on the stat sheet first with a three-run second inning. The Thoroughbreds continued to extend their lead throughout the game, and a few late runs for the Ephs were not enough to even the score as Skidmore won 6-3. In the second game, Williams returned with 15 runs in the first two innings. The men managed to keep Skidmore scoreless and only continued to extend their lead. The final score was 21-0, an emphatic win for the Ephs’ last game of the spring.

In the second inning of the first game, Skidmore got the ball rolling with its first runs of the day. Catcher Patrick Geiger began with a double down the infield line. Two batters later, senior Hayden Smith followed suit with a double to left center, which brought Geiger across home plate. Two fly outs put the pressure on Skidmore, but left fielder Nate Scheinman kept the inning going for the Thoroughbreds when he reached first on a throwing error. Smith advanced to third, and both runners were quickly batted in by a third double, this time from senior Nate Fronte. The Ephs came back up to bat facing a 3-0 deficit. The Ephs reached base in the subsequent innings but were unable to capitalize on opportunities.

In the top of the fifth inning, Skidmore extended its lead further. Mike Fogarty managed a single to third base. Shawn Klier came up big when he tripled deep to right center to drive Fogarty home. On the following batter, Geiger sacrifice ground out to the short stop, which gave Klier the opportunity to score. The game moved into the bottom of the fifth with Skidmore up 5-0.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Ephs managed their first run of the game. Tom Benz ’19 reached on a fielder’s choice. He advanced to second soon after on a throwing error. Mike Stamas ’20 made contact for the second time two batters later with a single, which batted in Benz. A strike out and reach on a fielder’s choice ended the inning, but the men cut the deficit to four.

In the sixth, Skidmore and Williams kept each other scoreless again. For a moment, Skidmore had the bases loaded after a fielding error, single and walk put runners on first, second and third.  A well-executed double play, however, pushed Williams out of a dangerous position.

In the seventh, Skidmore began with two quick outs. What looked like a quick out developed when Jake Hardy was walked as the third batter. Smith singled to right center on the following play and pushed Hardy to second. A final single by sophomore Justin LaRose brought Hardy home and posted Skidmore’s final run of the first game to make it 6-1.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Ephs mounted a comeback attempt that closed the deficit, but it was not enough to tie the game. Adam Regensburg ’18 was walked as the first batter for Williams. Benz pushed him to third with a single up the middle. With men on first and third, Erik Mini ’21 reached on a fielder’s choice that got him to first, brought Regensburg home and put Benz out at second. Two batters later, Doug Schaffer ’19 managed a double to right field, which brought Mini across home plate. The inning ended shortly after, with the first game’s final score 6-3.

Following the loss, the Ephs bounced back with a blowout 21-0 win in the second game of the doubleheader. In the first inning, the Ephs came out firing after keeping Skidmore scoreless in the top of the inning. Stamas doubled to center field, and Kellen Hatheway ’19 followed his lead with another double to left field, which drove Stamas home. Adam Dulsky ’18 was walked, and Mini singled with a bunt to load the bases for the Ephs. Schaffer delivered once again with a single through the right side, which brought Hatheway and Dulsky home. Later, Benz knocked a ball deep into right center, which allowed Schaffer and Mini to score. The inning ended shortly after with a 5-0 lead for Williams.

The second inning followed a similar trajectory to the first. In a strong pitching showing, left-hander Jack Bohen ’19 struck out all three batters he faced. Looking to keep the momentum going, Stamas once again stepped up as the first batter of the inning for the Ephs. In a tremendous solo effort, he knocked a single to center field, stole second and advanced to third on a failed pickoff attempt. Jack Roberts ’18 delivered with his first contact of the day to bring Stamas home and reach first base.

Two plays later, Roberts advanced to second on a passed ball, and Hatheway was hit by a pitch to reach first. Dulsky knocked a ball into the outfield to reach second base, pushing Hatheway to third and allowing Roberts to reach home for the Ephs’ second run of the inning. Mini stepped to the plate with two men on and no outs and knocked another single to right field. He advanced to second when the right fielder’s throw went awry. The error gave Hatheway and Dulsky the chance to score the Ephs’ eighth and ninth runs of the game. Mini advanced to third quickly after on a wild pitch, and Schaffer reached first on another walk. Ed Manzella ’21 singled as the next batter to load the bases for the Ephs. Benz and Regensburg recorded consecutive singles to advance the lead to 11, with Mini and Schaffer scoring. With three men on and still only one out recorded, Roberts stepped back up to bat. He knocked a deep homer to right field, which batted in three of his teammates and extended Williams’ lead to 15-0. Another Hatheway double on the next batter was followed by the final two outs of the inning. The second inning marked the most runs scored by the Ephs or any team they have played throughout the season.

The Ephs delivered the game’s next period of action in their following at-bat. Schaffer tripled to right center as the first batter. A strike out on Manzella was followed by Benz’s sacrifice fly out to center field, which brought Schaffer across home plate. The inning ended shortly after with a final ground out to the pitcher.

The fourth inning repeated the third’s results exactly. With Skidmore kept scoreless, the Ephs came back up to bat again. This time, two quick strike outs put the pressure on Williams. Hatheway answered the call with a double to left center. Dulsky followed suit with a single up the middle, which gave Hatheway the opportunity to reach home plate. The inning ended a very successful period of scoring for the Ephs, with the score now at 17-0.

In the fifth inning, Skidmore and Williams kept each other from reaching base. The defensive effort moved the game into the sixth, where Fogarty made contact with a triple that ultimately amounted to nothing, with another strong Eph fielding and pitching showing. 

The bottom of the sixth saw another increase in the lead. Roberts maintained his control over the game with a double to left center. He advanced to third soon after when a wild pitch and walk put Hatheway on first. Likewise, Hatheway advanced a base on a wild pitch to put men on second and third for Dulsky’s next at-bat. Dulsky delivered another double to left field to bring both his teammates home. Moving into the seventh, the Ephs had taken a 19-run lead.

Skidmore found its legs in the seventh and looked to get on the scoresheet when first-year Andrew Knight hit a single to center field. Fronte was walked as the second batter to put two men on. Two strike outs put the pressure on for Andrew Aikins’ at bat. He managed to reach on a fielder’s choice, but Fronte’s out at second ended the brief opportunity for the Thoroughbreds.

The bottom of the seventh saw an uncharacteristically short inning for the Ephs, with a ground out, fly out and reach on a fielder’s choice.

In the top of the eighth, Will O’Brien ’19 stepped in to replace Bohen on the mound. He walked his first batter but then quickly forced a ground into a double play and a strike out to make it a quick Skidmore at-bat.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Ephs finished out their victory with two final runs. Roberts was walked as the first batter. Hatheway reached on a fielder’s choice by the pitcher, which allowed Roberts to advance to second. Dulsky was walked for his final at-bat as an Eph to put three Williams runners on base. John DiGravio ’21 stepped up with a single to right field, which pushed all his teammates forward a base and scored the Ephs’ 20th run. Schaffer followed suit as the next batter when he grounded into a double play, which gave Hatheway the opportunity to score Williams’ final run of the game. One more strong defensive effort ended the Ephs’ season on a high note.

Dulsky commented on the season as a whole. “The win in the final game [against] Skidmore was a great way to cap off myself and the rest of the seniors’ careers,” he said. “While the win-loss record was not where we would have liked it to be, I’m proud of the way that everyone battled through the adversity day in and day out. While every team loses players to graduation, I think the 2019 Ephs will be set up in a great position to contend for the NESCAC title, with only four seniors being on the 2018 team.”

The Ephs graduate four seniors this year: Roberts, Michael Cassidy ’18, Regensburg and Dulsky.

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