April 8, 2013

Amherst's Bob Cook took a no-hitter into the ninth inning and the Lord Jeff baseball team pounded out 14 hits en route to an 11-0 win over Middlebury in the opener of the teams' NESCAC West weekend series on Friday at Memorial Field.

Brendon Hardin, Mike Odenwaedler and Danny Pillitteri each went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs for Amherst, providing more than enough support for Cook. The senior dominated the Panther lineup, striking out nine while walking one in 8.1 shutout innings as he saw his no-hit bid broken up by Middlebury rookie Steven Bodine's (Chevy Chase, Md.) pinch-hit grounder up the middle with one out in the ninth.

Eric Kotin relieved Cook after the single, completing the one-hitter as he retired the final two Panthers batters.

Sophomore Eric Truss (Port Washington, N.Y.) suffered the loss for the Panthers, lasting four innings and surrendering six runs (five earned) on eight hits. The righty was effective through the opening two frames, but Amherst left fielder Alex Hero pulled a two-run home run over the wall in right in the third inning.

The Jeffs added four more in the fourth before senior Andy Dittrich (Woodbury, Minn.) came on to relieve Truss in the fifth, pitching two scoreless frames before running into trouble in the seventh as he was touched for five runs. Rookie Sawyer Olson (Guilford, Vt.) pitched a scoreless eighth for Middlebury.

Middlebury dropped a pair of NESCAC West league games on Saturday, falling at Amherst 4-3 in game one before dropping the nightcap, 11-1. Amherst’s Mike Odenwaelder and Jonathan Ramirez went a combined 9-10 with eight RBI to lead the Jeffs at Memorial Field on Saturday.

Fred Shepard delivered a solid effort (4.2 IP, 7 K, 1 BB, 0 ER) for Amherst in game one before John Cook earned the win with 1.2 innings of scoreless relief. With the game tied 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth, Conner Gunn drove in Taiki Kasuga with the eventual winning run before Cam Windham finished off the triumph with a two-out save.

Kasuga went 2-3 with a pair of runs scored in the opener while Odenwaelder was also 2-3, driving in a run. Junior Alex Kelly (Rockville, Md.) had the lone multi-hit effort for Middlebury, going 2-4, while sophomore Logan Mobley (Ross, Calif.) suffered the loss, surrendering three earned runs over six.

Odenwaelder started the Jeff scoring with an RBI double in the second before Kasuga came home on a wild pitch in the third and Alex Hero plated Odenwaelder in the fourth when he beat out a two-out drag bunt to make it 3-0. Middlebury scored a trio of unearned runs in the fifth with seniors Thomas Driscoll (New Canaan, Conn.) and Michael Morris (Scarsdale, N.Y.) delivering RBI singles after a pair of Amherst errors extended the inning. But the hosts responded in the bottom half, with Kasuga ripping a leadoff triple down the right field line before Gunn’s single to left put the Jeffs ahead to stay.

Things got easier for Amherst in the nightcap, as Dylan Driscoll kept the Panther bats quiet, improving to 4-0 on the year as he went seven strong, yielding a single run on six hits while striking out three and walking none. Adam Medoff and Charles Nutter finished the win for Amherst with scoreless innings, while sophomore Cooper Byrne (Ridgewood, N.J.) (4.1 IP, 6 ER) took the loss for Middlebury.

Kelly had another 2-4 contest for the Panthers while rookie Max Araya (Redding, Conn.) was also 2-4 and junior Kyle Finck (New York, N.Y.) drove in the lone Middlebury run with an RBI groundout in the seventh.

Ramirez started the scoring for the Jeffs with a two-run single in the second, before his double drove in another in the fourth. Amherst added runs in the fifth, scoring five as first baseman Bob Cook delivered an RBI single, Odenwaelder ripped a two-run double, and Vandini (single) and Brendon Hardin (sac fly) also drove in runs.

After the Panthers got on the board in the seventh, Amherst tacked on an unearned run in the bottom half before Ramirez stroked his second double in the eighth to chase in the final two Jeff runs.

• Baseball record: 3-10

• Up next: 4/9 @ Plattsburgh, 4/12 vs. Hamilton – 4:00, 4/13 vs. Hamilton (2) – 12:00