April 6, 2009

The Middlebury College baseball team played its first games of the year on Forbes Field as the Panthers hosted Southern Vermont and Wesleyan. Junior Erich Enns (Lansdale, Pa.) singled in sophomore Matt LoRusso (Medfield, Mass.) in the bottom of the ninth inning to give Middlebury an 8-7 win over Southern Vermont in the team's home-opener. The Panthers left 16 men on base in the game, while the Mountaineers stranded a dozen on a cold, rainy afternoon at Forbes Field.

Leading 2-1, S. Vermont struck for three runs in the third inning to take a 5-1 advantage. RBI singles from Eric Wells and Pat Warrington sparked the three-hit inning. An RBI double from senior Mark Shimrock (Lansdale, Pa.) in the third and an RBI single from sophomore Donald McKillop (Poway, Calif.) in the fourth cut the deficit to 5-3, before Andrew Matson made it a 5-4 game with an RBI single to right in the sixth.

S. Vermont extended its lead to 6-4 as Wells scored on a wild pitch in the seventh before the Panthers struck for three runs in the eighth to take a 7-6 lead. Senior Tim Dillon (Dracut, Mass.) scored on a wild pitch before senior Andrew Matson (Coventry, R.I.) singled through the right side to plate McKillop. Matson later scored on a single to left by senior Peter Bourdon (Simsbury, Conn.).

The Mountaineers rallied in the ninth to tie the game at 7-7 with an unearned run. Zach Roeder pinch-hit for the Panthers in the bottom half of the inning, leading off with a single up the middle. Dillon sacrificed him to second before LoRusso came in to pinch-run. Two batters later, Enns ended the game with a walk-off single to right center.

Senior Robert Palladino (Belmont, Mass.) went five innings, rookie Dirk vanDuym (Madison, Wis.) threw two innings of relief, while classmate Peter Kinchley (Swampscott, Mass.) earned the win with two innings of work and no earned runs. Junior Danny Seymour (Weston, Conn.) went 3-5 with a double, while McKillop, Shimrock, Enns, Matson and junior Alex Blair (Salem, Mass.) each had a pair of hits.

Middlebury and Wesleyan split a NESCAC West doubleheader on Sunday afternoon at Forbes Field in Vermont. The Cardinals (9-9, 3-2) picked up a 9-5 win in game one, while the Panthers (6-7, 1-4) came back to earn a 13-5 victory in the nightcap. The two teams will meet again at a date to be determined later in the season for the third and final game of the series.

Trailing 1-0 in the first, after allowing an unearned run, the Panthers struck for three unearned runs in the bottom of the inning, including an RBI single to center by first-year player Zach Roeder (Keene, N.H.). Middlebury led 3-2 in the fifth when the Cardinals struck for three runs on three hits. A two-run shot to center by Drew Dominguez was the big blast during an inning that saw Wesleyan take a 5-4 lead.

The Cardinals added to the lead with four runs in the top of the seventh inning to take a 9-4 advantage. Middlebury starter Steve Shortle gave up a double to Dominguez and a walk before being lifted. The Panthers bullpen was not able to keep it a one-run game as Garrett Lamborn singled in Dominguez and Kyle Weis later platted a pair with a single to center. Middlebury rallied in the bottom of the inning but could only score once on an RBI single from Seymour, who went 2-4 to pace the Panthers, while Roeder drove in a pair.

Middlebury pounded out 15 hits in game two, including seven runs on seven hits in the fifth, as they picked up a 13-5 victory. Rookie Tyler Wark (Burlington, Vt.) singled in Shimrock in the first to give Middlebury a 1-0 lead. Shimrock plated Seymour in the third before Enns drove in Shimrock with an RBI double to make it a 3-0 game. Trailing 4-0, Wesleyan struck for four in the fourth, the big blast coming from Dominguez, who belted a three-run shot to left center.

Middlebury scored a pair of unearned runs in the fourth to make it a 6-4 game before blowing the game open with a seven-run fifth. Nine straight batters reached in the inning as Blair and Dillon each earned RBI singles before Seymour plated Blair with a double to left. Following an RBI single through the right side by McKillop, Enns scored two with a triple to right center. Andrew Matson earned an infield single late in the inning, making it a 13-4 game. Wesleyan made some noise in the ninth, but scored just once on an RBI double to center by Julian Sonnenfeld.

Sophomore Nick Angstman (Williston, Vt.) earned the win, striking out six and allowing four earned runs over seven innings of work. Senior Matt Joseph (Alexandria, Va.) tossed a pair of effective relief innings. Enns finished the game 3-5 with a double, triple, three RBI and two runs scored, while Seymour was 3-5 with a double, two driven in and two scored. Shimrock had a 3-4 game with a double and three runs scored.
. Baseball record: 6-7
. Up next: 4/8 @ Plymouth, 4/10 @ Tufts (2) - 1:30, 4/11 @ Tufts (2) - 12:00