Baseball Goes 3-1 on Weekend, Heads into NESCAC Tournament
Issue   |   Tue, 05/05/2015 - 23:53

The Amherst men’s baseball team ended its season with a 4-1 record on the week against three separate non-conference opponents. The Jeffs beat Wheaton College in extra innings before splitting a doubleheader against Springfield on Saturday and sweeping Colby in another doubleheader on Sunday. Amherst finished their season with a 23-11 record (9-3 NESCAC) as they enter postseason play with the NESCAC tournament this weekend.

A two-RBI Harry Roberson ’18 single in the 10th inning against Wheaton allowed Amherst to claim a 5-3 victory on Thursday, April 30.

Highlighting the performance for the Jeffs was sophomore pitcher Jackson Volle, who started and allowed three runs (two earned) over 8.2 innings with six strikeouts. Chris Baldi ’17 earned the win, pitching two-thirds of an inning, while Sam Schneider ’18 recorded the final two outs of the game to earn his first save of the season. Tyler Jacobs ’15 and Sam Ellinwood ’18 led the Jeffs offensively, going 2 for 4 with two RBIs each.

Matt Lavanchy led Wheaton with a 3 for 4 effort from the plate, recording an RBI and a run while coming a home run short of the cycle. The Lyons used a plethora of pitchers in the game, with nine different players taking the mound. Chirs Fowler took the loss, giving up two runs on three hits in two-third of an inning.

Trailing 3-1 entering the seventh inning, Amherst tightened the score when Ellinwood reached base on a throwing error by the catcher, allowing Jacobs to score. Then, a single by Andrew Vandini ’16 allowed the Jeffs to even the score.

In the top of the tenth, Brendan Hardin ’15 started a two-out rally for Amherst with a double down the left field line. Amherst then loaded the bases before Roberson delivered the big hit, a two-run single.

Wheaton threatened in the bottom of the 10th with runners on first and second and only one out, but Baldi retired the last two batters to secure the win for the Jeffs.

In the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader against Springfield, the Jeffs fell 7-6, losing on a walk-off hit by Pride hitter CJ Monroe in the bottom of the seventh.

Leading Amherst once again was Tyler Jacobs, who batted 3 for 3 on the game with one run. Anthony Spina ’17 contributed three RBIs and two runs in a 1 for 3 effort from the plate while Roberson batted 1 for 3 and added two runs.

Keenan Szulik ’16 started and was the only pitcher for the Jeffs but was tagged with the loss as he gave up seven runs on nine hits through 6.1 innings.

For Springfield, Steve Starr went 2 for 4 from plate with three RBIs while Corey Wilcox and Billy Paskowski also recorded multi-hit games. Oliver Collette stated the game for the Pride and gave up six runs on eight hits in six innings pitched. Mitchell Goldman pitched a shutout inning in the seventh and took the win.

Amherst fell into an early hole when a Springfield rally in the bottom of the second gave the Pride a 5-0 lead. The Jeffs, however, bounced back with runs in the next four innings. Highlighted by a three-run Spina home run in the fourth, Amherst took a 6-5 lead heading into the final inning.

In the top of the seventh, Amherst was unable to add any insurance runs, and a Springfield rally in the bottom of the inning allowed the Pride to take home the victory.

In the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader, Amherst scored two runs in the top of the seventh to defeat Springfield, 4-3.

Conner Gunn ’16 went 2 for 4 from the plate with a run while Brendon Hardin ’15, Eric West ’15, and Spina each recorded RBIs. Sam Schneider ’18 started the game for the Jeffs and allowed two runs on five hits through 3.1 innings. Baldi earned the win, allowing one run in three innings of relief, and Mike Castiglie ’17 secured the win with his third save of the season.

Anthony Faggiana went 1 for 1 from the plate for Springfield with two walks, two RBIs and a run, and Dan Bergami batted 2 for 3 with a run. Dan Green started and took the loss for the Pride, giving up four runs on six hits in 6.1 innings.

Amherst started the scoring in the top of the fourth when a West single allowed Conner Gunn ’16 to score, but Springfield responded in the bottom of the inning when a Faggiana triple allowed two runs to score. The Jeffs tied it at 2-2 in the top of the fifth when Hardin’s sacrifice fly allowed Sam Ellinwood to score.

In the seventh, Jacobs led off the inning with a double and advanced to third on Ellinwood’s sacrifice bunt. Amherst took the lead when a wild pitch allowed him to score. Hardin, Roberson and Mike Odenwaelder ’16 loaded the bases with walks. Then, Spina’s sacrifice fly added an insurance run.

Springfield threatened to come back by loading the bases in the bottom of the seventh with one out. The Pride scored one run on a groundout, but Castiglie retired the final batter to secure a win.

In the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader against Colby College, John Cook ’15 outdueled Colby pitcher Scott Goldberg as Amherst claimed a 2-1 victory.

Cook claimed the win, throwing 6.2 innings and allowing just one run on three hits with five strikeouts, and Chris Baldi recorded the final out of the game to claim his second save of the season. Goldberg took the loss despite tossing a complete game and allowing only two runs on four hits.

Amherst took the lead in the bottom of the fourth, loading the bases with zero outs before Roberson and Gunn scored to give the Jeffs a 2-0 lead. Colby halved the lead in the bottom of the fifth when an Andrew Currier sacrifice fly allowed Tim Corey to score.

The pitchers then controlled the game until the bottom of the seventh, when Colby threatened to score by loading the bases with two outs. Baldi, however, forced the last Colby batter into a flyout to take home the win.

Amherst claimed the second game of their doubleheader, 5-3, behind another strong pitching performance from Riley Streit ’16. Streit tossed eight innings and gave up three runs on seven hits with six strikeouts, earning the win. Castiglie pitched the ninth and did not allow a baserunner as he earned the save.

Ellinwood led the Jeffs at the plate with a 3 for 4 effort and three RBIs. Conner Gunn went 2 for 5 with two runs and Jacobs batted 1 for 2 with two walks and two RBIs.

For Colby, Jason Buco hit two solo home runs on the day, and Ryan Arsenault contributed a 2 for 4 effort from the plate. Gregory Ladd started and took the loss, giving up three runs on six hits in six innings. Daniel Csaplar pitched three innings in relief and surrendered two runs on five hits.

Buco led off the game for Colby with a solo home run in the bottom of the first. The Mules then extended their lead when Arsenault scored on a wild pitch.

The Jeffs then loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth and scored three runs on a single by Ellinwood to take the lead, 3-2. Amherst then extended the lead to 5-2 when an Anthony Spina double allowed Gunn to score and another Ellinwood single sent Jacobs home.

Buco homered again in the bottom of the eighth to narrow the Jeffs’ lead to two, but Streit and Castiglie retired the last six batters.

“Our defense has improved throughout the course of the season, and last week, beginning with our win against Dartmouth, we didn’t give out opponents many extra baserunners,” head coach Brian Hamm said. “That took the pressure off of our pitchers, so even when our offense wasn’t producing, we still pulled out the victories.”

Finishing as the second seed in the NESCAC West, Amherst will take on Tufts, the first seed in the NESCAC East, in the semifinals of the NESCAC tournament on Friday, May 8, at 7 P.M.