Baseball Sweeps Williams, Remains Undefeated in NESCAC
Issue   |   Tue, 04/14/2015 - 23:31
Rob Mattson
Tyler Jacobs ’15 has 16 hit five doubles for the Jeffs this season.

The Amherst College baseball team extended its undefeated (6-0) start to the NESCAC season with a sweep over Little Three rivals Williams last weekend. The team recorded a 3-1 record for the week, falling to Eastern Connecticut State, a strong non-conference opponent,on Monday after claiming the sweep to finish with a 13-7 record overall.

Originally slated to start their week last Wednesday with a home game against non-conference opponents Framingham State, the Jeffs were forced to postpone the game to this Thursday, April 16 due to the weather. With their first game against Williams on Friday at Amherst also postponed to Sunday at Williams, Amherst started the week’s action with a doubleheader against the Ephs in Williamstown on Sunday.

Although Amherst’s bats have been the storyline for most of this season, the Jeffs’ pitchers stepped up with big performances in the Williams series.

“Great hitting has been a big theme so far this season,” said sophomore catcher Sergio Rodriguez. “I think our top guy had 29 RBIs last year while multiple guys already have 30 this year. But we have a great pitching staff that’s stepped it up this year as well.”

In the first game of the doubleheader, Amherst, led by a brilliant performance on the mound by John Cook ’15, claimed an 11-4 victory. Starting the game, Cook tossed six innings, allowing two runs (neither earned) on three hits with 12 strikeouts.
Amherst’s bats continued their hot start to the NESCAC season, with multi-hit performances from shortstop Harry Roberson ’18, outfielders Mike Odenwaelder ’16 and Tyler Jacobs ’15, and designed hitter Ariel Kenney ’18.

For Williams, Phil McGovern led the way with three RBIs in a 1 for 3 effort while Beau Horan went 2 for 3 with the runs. Three pitchers took the mound for the Ephs. Starter Luke Rodino took the loss, surrendering eight runs (one earned) through five innings with three strikeouts.

The game started as a pitchers’ battle with neither team getting on the scoreboard until the fourth inning. In the top of the fourth, Jacobs drove in Conner Gunn ’16 with an RBI single before stealing home to open the scoring 2-0.

The Jeffs then broke the game open in the fifth when three costly Williams errors, one with the bases loaded and two outs, allowed Amherst to score six runs and claim an 8-0 lead. From there, Williams never really threatened again. allowing the Jeffs to take an easy win.

In game two, Amherst went 22 for 46 from the plate as the Jeffs cruised to a 17-3 victory over the Ephs. Odenwaelder went 3 for 6 with a two-run homer in the third inning to highlight effort, while Gunn and Eric West ’15 added four hits each. Keenan Szulik ’16 started another strong game for Amherst, giving up three runs (two earned) on five hits in seven innings.

Adam Dulsky led Williams hitters, going 2 for 4 from the plate with an RBI. Starter Thomas Murphy took the loss, giving up eight runs on 14 hits through five innings.

With the score tied 1-1 in the third inning, Odenwaelder’s home run highlighted a four-run third inning for the Jeffs. Amherst then tacked on runs in each of the next four innings, with four in the sixth, to claim a big lead.

Williams did not score a run later than the fourth inning, with Riley Streit ’16 pitching a scoreless eighth and Chris Baldi ’17 a scoreless, hitless ninth.

On Sunday, the Jeffs endured a closer game, securing a nervy 6-4 win on the back of a brilliant performance in relief by Streit, who did not allow a run in six innings with only one hit. West led Amherst hitters with a 2 for 3 performance from the plate that included one run and one RBI.

Dulsky logged a 2 for 3 effort with a run to lead Williams hitters. Daniel Smith started the game for the Ephs, giving up three runs in 3.1 innings, while Tyler Duff took the loss, giving up two runs over three innings despite allowing only one hit.

Amherst led by a score of 3-0 entering the fourth inning but lost the lead after a strong inning from the Ephs. Streit entered the game with the bases loaded, zero outs and the score tied at 3-3. The Amherst junior balked against his first batter, allowing Williams to take the lead, but proceeded to end the inning with three straight outs.

Streit kept Amherst close, recording 14 straight outs from the fourth to the eighth inning. After scoring a run in the sixth, Amherst loaded the bases in the seventh, and an Eric West walk allowed the Jeffs to take the lead. Amherst added an insurance run in the eighth. Streit then retired three straight Williams batters in the ninth to end the game.

On Monday, the Jeffs’ seven-game winning streak ended as they lost, 6-2, to Eastern Connecticut St. With the score knotted at 2-2 entering the seventh inning, ECSU buried the Jeffs with a four-run inning. Amherst could barely touch Warriors pitcher Ron Buchetto, who pitched a complete game, giving up only two runs on five hits through all nine innings.

Jackson Volle ’17 matched Buchetto through six innings, giving up just two runs on six hits with four strikeouts. Baldi took the loss, surrendering four runs through two innings on three hits. Andrew Vandini ’16 went 3-for-4 from the plate, but four Jeffs did not get on base as the team went 5 for 29 from the plate.

Amherst returns to action with a make-up game on Thursday at 4 p.m. against Framingham State. They then travel to NESCAC rivals Hamilton for a game on Friday at 4 p.m. and a doubleheader on Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m. The Jeffs finish their week with a non-conference game on Monday at 4 p.m. against Castleton.