Baseball Impresses Against Ranked Competition in Florida, Finishes 3-5
Issue   |   Tue, 03/21/2017 - 22:34

Amherst baseball saw an exciting start to their season last week, March 12-19, as the team went 3-5 on their spring break trip to Port Charlotte, Florida. The purple and white took down two ranked teams, recording wins over No. 4 Keystone College and No. 21 Marietta College.

The men began their season in dramatic fashion, totaling 19 runs on 16 hits to clinch a 19-9 win over fourth-ranked Keystone College. Jackson Volle earned the win for Amherst on the mound, tossing 4.2 innings and striking out three. The purple and white outscored the Giants 10-1 through three, before giving up eight runs over the next five innings. At the dish, junior Max Steinhorn notched a team-high three hits for three RBI and crossed the plate four times. Amherst saw two home runs, one apiece for Anthony Spina ’17 and Zach Horowitz ’20. Horowitz was an offensive threat, going 3-5 against Keystone. The first-year narrowly missed hitting for the cycle, only failing to hit a double.
After an exciting opener, Amherst faced two tough games the next day to Ohio Wesleyan University and Denison College. Sophomore Wilson Taylor opened on the mound against Ohio Wesleyan, allowing five earned runs in 5.1 innings pitched.

The second half of the game, however, saw four Amherst pitching changes and seven earned runs off of the purple and white pitching staff. Spina and Nick Nardone ’19 led the offensive effort, each notching four hits on the day, while first-year Will Murphy led the team with two RBI and his first collegiate home run. Junior captain Harry Roberson drove an impressive three doubles to the wall, but despite the offensive effort, Amherst fell 11-14 to the Bishops.

The purple and white faced off against Denison later that day, with Roberson and Spina once again highlighting the Amherst offense, each batter finishing 2-for-4. First-year Severino Tocci notched the lone purple and white RBI when he plated Nardone on a stand-up double. On the mound, Davis Brown ’19 took the loss for Amherst, while classmate Andrew Ferrero struck out four in two innings of relief.

The next two days saw two more tough losses for the purple and white, as they fell to Susquehanna University and Arcadia University 6-5 and 4-2, respectively. The young Amherst pitching staff saw impressive performances from Brown and Sam Schnieder ’18, who each went five innings to start the game. Schnieder allowed two runs and one hit against Susquehanna, while Brown held Arcadia to one earned run.

Amherst came back for a strong performance against Marietta later that week, defeating the No. 21 ranked team 14-1. Volle once again earned the start for the purple and white, allowing just one hit and striking out five through six innings of play. Steinhorn, Yanni Thanopoulos ’17, and Chase Henley ’19 each notched doubles in the winning effort, with Thanopoulos adding his first home run of the season.

On their final day down south, Amherst split their doubleheader: losing 11-2 to No. 9 Wooster, and pulling out a 12-11 victory over SUNY-Canton. Taylor took the loss on the mound against Wooster, allowing eight hits in two innings, while George Long ’17, Chris Baldi ’17 and David Brinkley ’19 each saw relief innings to close out the game. The purple and white nabbed a win in walk-off fashion against SUNY-Canton with impressive perfromances from Spina, Henley and junior Ryan Hardin.

The purple and white will take the field next on Sunday, March 26 when they welcome Wheaton to Memorial Field for their home opener at 1 p.m.