Baseball Suffers Only One Loss in Fort Meyers, Nine Game Preseason Showcase
Issue   |   Tue, 03/22/2016 - 23:22

After months of training in the cage, the Amherst baseball team kicked off its season by traveling down to Fort Myers, Florida, for the annual spring break trip. They came away from the trip with a solid record of 8-1, only suffering a close 8-7 loss to Johns Hopkins University.

The team started strong on day one. Led by Yanni Thanapolous ’17 at the plate and Jackson Volle ’17 on the hill, the purple and white secured a 13-4 victory over North Park. The next day, the team continued to thrive beating Plymouth State twice: 7-2 under the leadership of upperclassmen Anthony Spina ’17 and Keenan Szulik ’16, and 3-2 with crucial performances from the underclassmen Joe Feldman ’18 and Wilson Taylor ’19.

On the morning of the third day of competition, the men took down Mitchell College 12-8. They started down 5-3 entering the sixth inning, but Spina and Dave Cunningham ’16 stepped up to earn three hits each. Drew Fischer ’18 and Chris Baldi ’17 were able to effectively subdue the opposing offense with impressive pitching.

Later in the day, the purple and white came up short (8-7) in a tough, extra-inning battle against Johns Hopkins. Though Amherst held a three-point lead entering the ninth inning, Johns Hopkins leveled the score and sent the game into the 10th. The men were able to score an additional run in the top of the tenth while their opponents were able to outmatch them with two runs.

Despite the loss to Johns Hopkins, the team bounced back with a 3-1 victory over Salem State. Max Steinhorn ’18 played a huge role in the win, knocking in two runs during the top of the fifth. Amherst then entered yet another extra-inning tilt against Bethel College, but this time they came out on top with a score of 7-6. Among six pitchers used in this game, Zach Brown ’18 and closer Mike Castiglie ’17 led the defense. Defensively, Thanopolous and Conner Gunn ’16 made game-winning plays.

In the next match-up of the tournament, the purple and white faced Edgewood Colege, easily defeating them 17-5. They grinded out an impressive 21 hits including three each from Steinhorn, Gunn, Cunningham, Harry Roberson ’18 and Jonathan Ramirez ’16. First-years Taylor and John Vasiliu each made influential pitching appearances as well. Finally, the men took on Augustana, and shut them out 4-0 with an impressive shutout pitching performance.

The men look to continue their winning streak as they take on Endicott College in a doubleheader this Saturday, March 26. The first game starts at 1 p.m.