Jeffs Take Two From Williams
Contact: Ben Badua
AMHERST, Mass . - The Amherst baseball team extended its win streak to seven games after sweeping a Saturday doubleheader with archrival Williams. Taking the first game of the twinbill, 2-1 (9 inn.), the Jeffs rolled to a 10-3, 7-inning victory in the nightcap.
Brendon Hardin ’15 finished 3-for-6 on the day with a pair of stolen bases, while Mike Odenwaelder ’16, Alex Hero ’14, Taiki Kasuga ’14 and Nolan Stewart ’13 each recorded a pair of RBI, with Odenwaelder tallying a triple and home run. Winning eight of their nine games since returning from Florida, the Jeffs are now 15-5 on the season, while remaining undefeated in NESCAC West play (5-0).
Amherst will host Williams in the final game of the weekend set on Sunday, Apr. 14 at 1 p.m.
Game 1: Amherst 2, Williams 1 (9 inn.)
Andrew Vandini ’16 singled in the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth inning to power the Jeffs past the Ephs in what was scheduled to be a seven-inning affair.
Getting out of a two-on, nobody out jam in the top half of the first, Williams pushed the first run of the game across in the bottom half of the frame. Matt Kastner ’14 led off with a single through the left side before advancing on senior Darren Hartwell’s sacrifice bunt. Moving to third on a grounder to first, Kastner later scored on a wild pitch to put the home team on the board.
Regrouping, Amherst starter Bob Cook ’13 retired six of the next eight batters he faced, giving up just three hits in his five innings of work. Looking to jumpstart a rally, in the top of the seventh, Odenwaelder belted a solo shot to left field with one out to suddenly pull the Jeffs even. Reaching on a single to center, Hero put himself in scoring position by stealing second, but Jonathan Ramirez ’16 grounded out to short.
Unable to push across the game winner in the bottom of the seventh, Williams threatened in the eighth, putting two aboard with nobody out. David Webster ’15 moved the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt, but Amherst reliever Eric Kotin ’14 settled down, getting K.C. Murphy ’13 and Kelso Stevens ’15 to ground out.
Once again keying the Jeff offense, Odenwaelder laced a one-out single in the ninth before stealing second. Vandini then came through with a big RBI single to bring home Odenwaelder. Getting the ball right back, Kotin struck out Patrick Blizzard ’13 before getting Marco Hernandez ’14 and Kastner to ground out to short to end the game.
Hardin finished 3-for-4, while Odenwaelder notched a pair of hits in four at-bats to record one of the Purple & White’s two RBI. Vandini went 1-for-3 with an RBI, including the winner in the ninth. Williams’ Phil McGovern ’15 was 2-for-4, while Kastner, Taylor Mondshein ’13, Stevens and Hernandez accounted for the rest of the Ephs’ six hits.
Cook lasted five innings allowing three hits and one earned run, while John Cook ’15 and Kotin combined to pitch the final four frames, surrendering just three base knocks. Thomas Murphy ’15 gave up one run on seven hits in 7.0 innings, while Jimmy Ray ’13 took the loss, allowing a run on two hits.
Game 2: Amherst 10, Williams 3 (7 inn.)
Grinding out a win in a pitchers’ duel earlier in the afternoon, Amherst wasted no time getting on the board in the second game of the doubleheader, putting up five runs in the first.
Reaching on an error to lead off, Hardin advanced all the way to second before coming around on a Kasuga double to right center. Eric West ’15 then singled trough the right side, driving in Kasuga before Bob Cook moved the runner to second with a SAC bunt. With West scoring on another Eph error, Odenwaelder tripled to right, bringing in Conner Gunn ’16. Getting caught in a rundown, Stewart allowed Odenwaelder to plate the fifth run before Steve Marino ’14 finally closed the door on the inning getting Vandini to ground out to short.
Looking for more in the fourth, Stewart singled to center before moving into scoring position on a bunt towards third. After a walk to Ramirez put two aboard, Hero tripled to right field to make it 7-0. Amherst later tacked on another run with Hero scoring on a fielder’s choice.
Williams cut into the lead in the bottom of the fifth, finally getting to starter Fred Shepard ’14 with Mondshein’s two-RBI double and a Luke Pierce ’15 RBI single to right. After going three-and-out in the top half of the next frame, Amherst padded its lead in the seventh, pushing two more across with two out.
Kasuga and Stewart both went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI, while Hero, West, Gunn and Odenwaelder each had one of the Jeffs’ seven hits. Kastner, Hartwell and Murphy all recorded a pair of base-knocks for the Ephs, who finished with 11 hits, but left eight runners on base.
Battling through five innings, Shepard gave up three runs on 11 hits, while striking out five. Charles Nutter ’15 and Cam Windham ’14 were solid in relief combining for a pair of hitless innings with four strikeouts.
Marino took the loss for Williams, surrendering eight runs (four earned) on six hits.