Baseball Wins Two, Drops Three Against Non-Conference Opponents
Issue   |   Tue, 04/19/2016 - 23:21
Amherst Athletics
Yanni Thanopolous ’17 currently leads the team in RBIs, with 23 total.

The Amherst baseball team began a full week of games with success, beating Worcester State University, 3-0, on Wednesday. Come Thursday, they defeated Eastern Connecticut State, 3-1. However, over the weekend, the purple and white suffered losses to Salve Regina (6-11) and Castelton (6-11).

In their Wednesday game, the men started strong with a 1-0 lead, thanks to an RBI from Nick Nardone ’19 in the top of the second. Four innings later, Anthony Spina ’17 increased the lead to 2-0 when he launched a double to right center.
In the seventh, Amherst scored its final run when Harry Roberson ’18 recorded a single to score Max Steinhorn ’18. Wilson Taylor ’19 pitched a full game for the purple and white, allowing no runs for Worcester.

“Last Wednesday’s complete game was satisfying, but I can definitely learn from it as I try to build on that performance over the next couple of weeks,” Taylor said. “I think it was an important confidence boost for me. It was a good team win, and hopefully it will give us momentum going forward.”

Taylor has had a standout season thus far, holding a 2.08 ERA, second only to junior Jackson Volle, whose 1.35 ERA stands second amongst all pitchers in the NESCAC conference.

On Thursday, Amherst returned to Memorial Field to take on Eastern Connecticut State. The men started down, 0-1, but rallied in the third and sixth innings to score three runs. Roberson and Ariel Kenney ’18 tallied back-to-back RBI’s to propel Amherst to a 2-1 lead.

To secure the win, Sam Ellinwood ’18 sent a single up the middle to score Conner Gunn ’16.

Volle started the game on the mound for the purple and white, allowing only one run on one hit in seven innings, before junior George Long and junior Mike Castiglle came in tandem for relief in the eighth. Andrew Ferrero ’19 came in to close the game in the ninth, earning the save for Amherst.

On the road again, the purple and white traveled to Salve Regina on Saturday. Though Amherst started strong with a 1-0 lead thanks to a single from Roberson that scored Yanni Thanopolous ’17, Salve Regina was able to answer.

After the Gulls went on a run in the fourth inning, the purple and white were unable to regain the lead. Despite the loss, the Amherst offense continued to impress: Six different purple and white players recorded an RBI during the game.

Looking to reclaim momentum, the men took their home field against Castleton on Sunday. Most of the action happened during the front half of the game, and although Amherst emerged from the first inning with the lead (3-2), they were unable to defeat this non-league opponent.

In the first inning, Gunn sent a double to right center with the bases loaded and scored three. Down 11-3, the purple and white worked to come back in the bottom of the fourth. After a Nardone walk and a Steinhorn single, Thanopolous doubled to secure two RBI’s. However, the men were never able to push past Castleton’s impressive 11 runs.

On Tuesday evening, the purple and white travelled to Nichols College, looking for a non-conference win to regain momentum. Although the Amherst offense continued to produce — they rallied back to take a 6-5 lead in the top of the seventh — the pitching and defense couldn’t hold the Nichols offense, who went on to score eight runs in the final two innings to down the purple and white 13-6.

Mike Dow ’19 threw three full innings for the purple and white, allowing six hits and five runs before classmate John Vasiliu replaced him. Amherst used seven pitchers throughout the matchup, walking six and notching one strikeout. Nichols outhit the purple and white, 17-11.

Offensive highlights for the purple and white included doubles by Thanopoulos and Gunn, who went 2-4 and 2-5, respectively. Amherst also utilized their pinch hitters successfully, when Sergio Rodriguez ’17 and Chris Collins ’19 came up clutch for singles late in the game.

The men remain on the road for a busy week of play, facing Curry College on Thursday and finishing their week off with a NESCAC series at Middlebury with a Friday evening matchup and a Saturday doubleheader.