NESCAC Tournament Live Blog: Amherst vs. Trinity
Bottom 9th: Rogers grounds to first as Bob Cook helps out his brother with a great pickup. Papa flies to Hero and Rueger grounds to short to end it. John Cook earns the win with a huge relief effort as Jeffs advance to face Wesleyan on the Cardinals' home diamond tomorrow morning. Final: Amherst 8, Trinity 5.
Top 9th: Rogers guns down Ramirez after snaring a tough hop, but Kasuga's grounder skips over the Bantam shortstop's glove. Hero lines out to second before Meekins walks Bob Cook but Odenwaelder grounds to short. John Cook back to the hill to try nail it down for the Jeffs. Amherst 8, Trinity 5.
Bottom 8th: John Cook delivers another perfect inning of relief as Cullinane grounds to short, Almeida fans, and pinch-hitter Bryan Wolfe pops to center. Amherst 8, Trinity 5.
Top 8th: Amherst breaks through against Meekins, scoring three. Hero tries to bunt for a hit but pops it up, then Bob Cook wins another long at-bat, lining a double over Rueger's head in center. After an intentional walk to Odenwaelder, Cunningham makes the Bantams pay, lining a single up the middle as Cook beats Rueger's throw home for a Jeff lead. Vandini pops out and, after wild pitch moves the runners to second and third, Stewart grounds one off the glove of a diving Moossmann and it bounces into center field for a two-run single. Hardin tries to bunt for a hit but is thrown out. Amherst 8, Trinity 5.
Bottom 7th: Settling in, John Cook catches pinch-hitter Robert Ferrara looking before Connor Sullivan grounds to third and Moossmann bouces to short. Amherst 5, Trinity 5.
Top 7th: Sean Meekins replaces Burrows on the hill for Trinity and works a 1-2-3 frame, striking out Hardin looking before groundouts by Ramirez and Kasuga. Amherst 5, Trinity 5.
Bottom 6th: John Cook gets Huley on a popup and Rogers on a fly to center, then works around a Papa single with help from Hardin, who retires Rueger on a great running catch down the RF line. Amherst 5, Trinity 5.
Top 6th: Amherst jumps on Burrows, tying it with three extra-base hits. Hero flies to left but Bob Cook wins a long battle with Burrows, lining one past the diving Almeida in right for a standup triple. Odenwaelder finally breaks through, smashing another three-bagger off the wall in center before Cunningham pops one to center, but an extra-base hit is turned into a game-tying sacrifice fly on a tremendous diving grab by Rueger. Continuing to go the other way, Vandini lines a double down the left-field line but Stewart grounds to short to end the frame. Amherst 5, Trinity 5.
Bottom 5th: Rueger lines a leadoff single into center then steals second. Pinch-hitting for Sternberg, Kyle Decker can't execute the sacrifice and strikes out swinging, but Cook hits another pinch hitter, Marc Crowley. The runners advance to second and third as the Bantams catch Amherst off guard with a double steal, then Moossmann strokes an RBI single to left past the drawn-in infield. With Cullinane showing bunt, Moossmann takes second on a ball in the dirt but Cook induces a groundout to Vandini, keeping the runners in place. The Jeff lefty cools off the red-hot Almeida, getting him to chase a pitch in the dirst. Trinity 5, Amherst 3.
Top 5th: Jeffs get one back but can't get the tying run in from third with one out. Vandini bloops his second single of the day into shallow left. Stewart lays down a sacrifice bunt, but Burrows guns down Vandini at second. Hardin then drives one past the shallow outfield to the left-center track and motors all the way to third with an RBI triple. With the infield drawn in, Ramirez can't tie it, hitting a soft liner to short before Kasuga flies out to right. Trinity 4, Amherst 3.
Bottom 4th: Trinity tacks on another run, chasing Driscoll. Moossmann pokes a leadoff single down the 3B line and Cullinane sacrifices him to second. Almeida then continues to dominate Driscoll, blasting another double off the wall in right center to score Moossmann. Driscoll walks Huley, just his fourth free pass handed out this season, spelling the end of his day as John Cook comes on in relief. The lefty gets Rogers on a shallow fly to right but a wild pitch advances the runners to second and third. Trinity can't cash in, however, as Papa grounds to short on a bang-bang play. Trinity 4, Amherst 2.
Top 4th: Burrows rebounds with a quick inning, striking out Cook swinging before Odenwaelder lines to center and Cunningham grounds to short. Trinity 3, Amherst 2.
Bottom 3rd: Trinity comes right back to take a lead, ripping four hits off Driscoll for three runs. Almeida picks up his second hit of the afternoon with a leadoff double to the wall in right center before a Huley single to shallow center puts runners on first and third. Rogers cashes in with a sac fly to right center before Papa ties it with another ringing double to the right-centerfield wall. After a mound visit, the Bantams continue to pound Driscoll with Rueger lining an RBI single to left and advancing to second on a Ramirez bobble. Sternberg then tattoos one to deep center, but Hero turns in a fine running catch on the track, with Rueger tagging and reaching third. Driscoll limits the damage by getting Howard to pop up. Trinity 3, Amherst 2.
Top 3rd: Jeffs put up a two-spot with help from the Trinity defense. Andrew Vandini bloops a leadoff single to shallow left off the glove of the diving Huley. Nolan Stewart drops down a sacrifice bunt, but Howard juggles the throw while covering first, putting runners on first and second. Brendon Hardin then drops down a successful sac bunt and Ramirez puts the Jeffs on top, stroking a two-run double to the right center gap. Kasuga fouls to first and Hero flies to center to end the inning. Amherst 2, Trinity 0.
Bottom 2nd: Evan Sternberg fights off a 3-1 pitch for a bloop single over third. After failing to execute a sacrifice bunt, Steven Howard takes a called third strike before Adam Moossmann flies out to right. Driscoll strands the runner, freezing Scott Cullinane with an inside fastball for his second K of the inning. Amherst 0, Trinity 0.
Top 2nd: Burrows falls behind 3-0 to the leadoff man again, but comes back to retire Bob Cook with a popup. Mike Odenwaelder then blasts one to the warning track in dead center, but Rueger tracks it down with a terrific running catch. Burrows strikes out Dave Cunningham looking to complete the 1-2-3 frame. Amherst 0, Trinity 0.
Bottom 1st: Trinity gets runners to second and third with one out but cannot score. Alex Almeida starts it off with a single up the middle before Scott Huley flies out to right. With one down, Steve Rogers rips a line drive single up the middle then a wild pitch from Dylan Driscoll moves runners to second and third. The Jeff righty bears down and gets Joe Papa to fly to shallow left, keeping the runners in place, before Michael Rueger grounds out to short. Amherst 0, Trinity 0.
Top 1st: Trinity starter Pete Burrows falls behind Jeff leadoff man Jonathan Ramirez 3-0 but battles back to induce a long flyout to center. Jeffs go quietly the rest of the way with Taiki Kasuga grounding to short and Alex Hero grounding to second. Amherst 0, Trinity 0.
2:35 pm: Delayed by a few minutes here while the grounds crew finishes up working on the field. In addition to this live blog, tournament host Wesleyan will be providing a live audio broadcast of today's game. Click the link above to listen.
2:15 pm: Here are today's lineups. Amherst will be the away team as the lower seed. Sophomore Brendon Hardin is back at second base for Amherst after moving in from centerfield for the Colby doubleheader. Hardin was the Jeffs' regular 2B as a first-year in 2012.
1. Jonathan Ramirez, LF
2. Taiki Kasuga, SS
3. Alex Hero, CF
4. Bob Cook, 1B
5. Mike Odenwaelder, RF
6. Dave Cunningham, C
7. Andrew Vandini, 3B
8. Nolan Stewart, DH
9. Brendon Hardin, 2B
Dylan Driscoll, P
1. Alex Almeida, RF
2. Scott Huley, LF
3. Steve Rogers, SS
4. Joe Papa, 1B
5. Mike Rueger, CF
6. Evan Sternberg, DH
7. Steve Howard, 2B
8. Adam Moossmann, 3B
9. Scott Cullinane, C
Pete Burrows, P
1:45 pm: We'll have lineups at 2 pm, but first here's a quick "at a glance" preview of today's teams:
Trinity Bantams (20-17, 8-4 NESCAC East)
Head Coach: Mark Lambert (1st season)
All-time Championship Record: 19-8 (5-5 vs. Amherst)
Key Wins: UMass Dartmouth, Hamilton, Endicott, Bowdoin (2x)
Key Losses: UMass Dartmouth, Hamilton, Endicott, Bowdoin, Tufts (3x), ECSU, Brandeis (2x), Wesleyan (2x)
Top Hitters: 1B Joe Papa (.383 AVG/.490 OBP/.565 SLG), OF Alex Almeida (.375/.442/.500), SS Stephen Rogers (.250/.363/.477), OF Scott Huley (.379/.507/.466), OF Marc Crowley (.338/.423/.446)
Top Pitchers: RHP Peter Burrows (2-2, 2.74 ERA, 35 K, 15 BB, 46.0 IP), RHP Sean Meekins (4-1, 3.38, 32 K, 17 BB, 37.1 IP), RHP Ben Goldberg (5-2, 2.54, 19 K, 17 BB, 28.1 IP)
Amherst Lord Jeffs (22-11, 9-3 NESCAC East)
Head Coach: Brian Hamm (4th season)
All-time Championship Record: 13-13 (5-5 vs. Trinity)
Key Wins: UMass Dartmouth, Endicott, Brandeis, Hamilton (2x) Wesleyan
Key Losses: Hamilton, Wesleyan (2x), ECSU (2x)
Top Hitters: OF Mike Odenwaelder (.369/.414/.573), SS Taiki Kasuga (.352/.388/.426), 3B Nolan Stewart (.351/.434/.412), OF Jonathan Ramirez (.400/.463/.517), 1B Bob Cook (.319/.467/.447)
Top Pitchers: RHP Bob Cook (4-2, 0.52 ERA, 32 K, 5 BB, 51.2 IP), RHP Dylan Driscoll (7-0, 2.17, 29 K, 3 BB, 49.2 IP), LHP Fred Shepard (2-3, 3.71, 47 K, 7 BB, 43.2 IP)
1 pm: Good afternoon from Beehive Field in New Britain! We'll be providing inning-by-inning updates on this page once Amherst and Trinity get underway in the opening game of the 2013 NESCAC Baseball Championship. First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 pm with lineups and a few pregame thoughts to come between now and then. For now, read up on the Jeffs and the rest of the field in our tournament preview.