Amherst baseball won their first two home games this week in blowout fashion, rolling over Springfield for a 20-5 victory on March 29 and taking down regional rivals Keene State on April 3. The purple and white’s victory over the Owls of Keene State came after five straight games were postponed due to inclement weather.
First-year Zach Horowitz earned his first collegiate win on the mound against Springfield. The lefty threw three complete innings to start the game, striking out five and allowing just two earned runs. Andrew Ferrero ’19 came in for relief, shutting out Springfield and tossing two hitless innings. The Amherst bullpen showed off its depth as Wilson Taylor ’19, Chris Baldi ’17, Mike Castiglie ’17 and David Brinkley ’19 pitched an inning each to finish the game.
Offensively, Amherst exploded for 22 base hits, six of which went for extra bases. Senior Yanni Thanopoulos roped a pair of doubles while Harry Roberson ’18 recorded the only triple of the day. Anthony Spina ’17, Chase Henley ’19 and Severino Tocci ’20 each added a double, while junior Max Steinhorn led the team in runs scored with three.
On Monday, April 3, the purple and white saw the first sunny day in several weeks, and played to a full crowd as they grabbed another dominant win over the 8-9 Owls, this time by a margin of 19-5.
Amherst leapt out to a 5-0 first-inning lead courtesy of doubles from Roberson, Henley and Tocci and questionable fielding on the part of the visitng Owls. However, the top of the second saw Keene State roar back, posting a four-run frame, thanks in large part to a three-run shot from Devin Springfield.
Although the Mammoths went scoreless in the bottom half of the second, the team then plated three runs in both the third and fourth to pull away from the Owls. Thanks to another timely hit by Roberson and even more suspect defensive work, Amherst led 11-5 after the fourth and 12-5 after a fifth inning that saw Keene State allow yet another unearned run.
The seventh inning, however, proved to be the most impressive of the entire game for Amherst, with the Mammoths piling on seven runs. Keyed in large part by a two-RBI double from Nick Nardone ’19 and a two-run homerun from Henley, Amherst extended their lead to 19-4. Although Keene managed a consolation run in the top of the eighth, the Mammoths’ walked away from the affair with a 19-5 win.
Horwitz once again paced the Amherst pitching effort, tossing three scoreless innings in relief work, while Ferrero, who rebounded well from a rough first inning, garnering six strikeouts and the win in his three innings of work.
The Mammoths will continue this recent stretch of non-conference play with a home game against Mitchell on Wednesday, April 5, at 3:30 p.m.