April 13, 2009

The Middlebury College baseball team had a busy week with five games, including a four-game series with Tufts. The Panthers scored eight runs in the seventh inning Wednesday afternoon, breaking open a 5-5 game and spoiling Plymouth State University's home opener with a 14-5 victory over the home team at Panther Park. Middlebury led 5-4 after an inning and a half, and it stayed that way until PSU plated a run in the last of the sixth inning to knot the score. The visitors came right back in the top of the seven with the eight runs to put the game away. Middlebury evens its season record at 7-7, while Plymouth State drops to 5-12.

Sophomore Donald McKillop (Poway, Calif.) had three hits, including a pair of two-run home runs to lead the visiting Panthers. His first round-tripper gave Middlebury a 2-0 lead in the first inning, and his second finished off the seventh-inning rally. Junior Danny Seymour (Weston, Conn.) and senior Tim Dillon (Dracut, Mass.) joined McKillop with three hits each for Middlebury. Seymour also had a double and three RBI, while Dillon added a double and two RBI. Senior Andrew Matson (Coventry, R.I.) contributed two hits, including his first home run of the season. Middlebury used five pitchers, with rookie Peter Kinchley (Swampscott, Mass.) picking up the win in relief.

Chris DeGoti helped lead Tufts to wins at Huskins Field on Friday afternoon, picking up a win and a save as the Jumbos swept a doubleheader from Middlebury, 6-4 and 9-4. David Leresche reached base eight times in nine appearances on the day, driving in five runs and scoring twice on four hits, one walk, and three hit-by-pitches, stealing three bases in the process.

The Jumbos were helped to a 4-0 lead in game one by some shaky Middlebury defense in the second inning. With one out, three Panther errors loaded the bases for Dave Katzman, who cashed in with a two-run double to left center. After a walk to Kevin Casey, Sam Sager brought in a run with a sacrifice fly to center and Leresche brought in Katzman with a single.

After being staked to the 4-0 lead, Pat O'Donnell settled in, allowing just four baserunners in the first five innings. However, the Panthers rallied with two outs to tie the game in the sixth, as senior Mark Shimrock (Lansdale, Pa.), junior Erich Enns (Lansdale, Pa.), and Matson all had singles before first-year catcher Zach Roeder (Keene, N.H.) tied the game with a two-run double. DeGoti then loaded the bases by allowing a walk and a single, but got a big strikeout to end the threat.

A Panther error helped the Jumbos to two more unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth, as the third baseman booted Sager's two-out groundball to load the bases. Leresche was hit by a pitch to bring in the go-ahead run, and Corey Pontes drew a walk for an insurance run. DeGoti breezed through the seventh with two K's and a groundout to seal the 6-4 win.

McKillop, Roeder and Shimrock each had two hits for the Panthers, with Roeder earning a double and driving in two.

In the back end of the double-dip, the Jumbos scored six times in the first three innings to jump out to a 6-1 lead. In the first, Casey scored on a bases-loaded wild pitch to start the scoring, followed by a Pontes RBI groundout and a sacrifice fly to center by Alex Perry.

Following a Middlebury run in the top of the second, Leresche drove in a pair on a single to left in the bottom of the inning, and Sager brought in Ian Goldberg with a single down the line in left in the third.

RBI singles by Nate Bankoff and Goldberg made it 8-1 after six, but the Panthers finally got to Mike Stefaniak in the seventh. After a throwing error and a single through the left side, Middlebury rookie Joey Liberator (Avon, Conn.) chased Stefaniak with an RBI double. Kevin Gilchrist entered and gave up two more runs before DeGoti made his second appearance, inducing an inning-ending double play.

The Jumbos added one more run in the bottom of the seventh as DeGoti cruised through two more frames, striking out three in the 9-4 victory. For the day, DeGoti allowed just one run and one walk in four innings, striking out six batters. Shimrock had a pair of hits in the nightcap for the Panthers.

Middlebury picked up a 16-8 win over Tufts in game one, falling in the nightcap 8-1 on Forbes Field the following day.

Trailing 2-1 in the third inning of game one, McKillop belted his fourth homer of the season to give the Panthers a 4-2 lead. The Jumbos scored an unearned run in the fourth, before regaining the lead with a five-run sixth inning. Dave Katzman singled in Alex Perry, before David Leresche cleared the bases with a three-run double to left center. Nate Bankoff later plated Leresche with a single to give the Jumbos an 8-4 advantage.

Middlebury answered in the bottom of the inning, scoring 12 runs on eight hits as 17 men came to the plate. Seymour had an RBI single and a three-run triple, as both McKillop and rookie Matt Wassel (Rumson, N.J.) each had two-run singles in the mammoth inning.

Senior Steve Shortle (Rutland, Vt.) picked up the win for the Panthers, allowing three earned runs and striking out four over 5 1/3 innings of work. McKillop went 3-5 with a homer, three runs scored and six RBI, while Seymour was 2-2 with a triple, two runs scored and four driven in. Dillon and Enns each had two hits in the victory.

Middlebury's bats cooled in game two, as Tufts' Derek Miller earned a complete game win, allowing one earned run and striking out five over seven innings of work. The Jumbos manufactured runs in the first three innings, taking a 3-1 lead after an unearned run by the Panthers in the second. Ian Goldberg singled, stole second and was driven in on a base hit from Matt Collins. David Orlowitz then drove in Collins, who had also stolen second after a base hit. A hit-by-pitch and a SAC bunt led to an RBI single from Bankoff in the third.

Tufts gained a comfortable lead in the sixth, scoring four runs on a pair of hits, the big one coming from Orlowitz on a three-run shot. The Jumbos added a run in the seventh to come away with the 8-1 victory.

Collins went 2-2 with two RBI, Katzman was 2-3, Sam Sager went 2-5, while Orlowitz was 2-4 with a homer and four RBI. Four different players had hits for Middlebury, including a double from Enns.
. Baseball record: 8-10
. Up next: 4/14 @ St. Michael's, 4/15 vs. Skidmore - 3:30, 4/17 @ Amherst, 4/18 @ Amherst (2)