April 2, 2012

            The Middlebury College baseball team opened up its season in Chandler, Arizona with a 7-5 loss to Carthage on March 24. Senior Tyler Wark (Burlington, Vt.) went 3-4 with two runs scored in the game, while classmate Will Baine (Rye, N.Y.) was 2-4 with a double and two RBI. Junior Michael Joseph (Bala Cynwyd, Pa.) took the loss, tossing a complete game with eight innings of work.

The Panthers picked up their first win of the season later that day, topping Hamline 9-8 in 11 innings. First-year player Sean McQuillan (Andover, Mass.) plated senior Matt Wassel (Rumson, N.J.) in the bottom of the 11th with a single to right to win it. Senior Dirk van Duym (Madison, Wis.) earned the win in relief with one inning of work. Junior Michael Morris (Scarsdale, N.Y.) finished the game 4-6 with a double, while senior Zach Roeder (Keene, N.H.) was 3-6 with a double. Junior Thomas Rafferty (Chicago, Ill.) and rookie Dan Andrada (Almeda, Calif.) each had two hits in the contest.

Middlebury fell 11-7 to Gustavus Adolphus on the 25th. Roeder was 3-5 with a triple, two runs scored and two RBI, Rafferty went 2-3, while junior Thomas Driscoll (New Canaan, Conn.) scored three runs. Junior Andy Dittrich (Woodbury, Minn.) took the loss in 1.1 innings of work.

Middlebury split with Thomas on the 26th, falling 13-2 in game one before rebounding with a 14-5 victory in the nightcap. Thomas scored 11 runs through the middle innings on its way to the game one win. Roeder tripled for Middlebury as first-year hurler Matt Leach (W. Hartford, Conn.) suffered the loss in five innings of work.

In game two, Morris went 2-3 with two doubles, two RBI and four runs scored while rookie Cooper Byrne (Ridgewood, N.J.) picked up the victory with five innings of work. Driscoll finished the game 2-4 with two runs scored and two RBI, Baine scored four runs, while Roeder was 2-4. First-year player Hunter Merryman (San Marino, Calif.) ended the game 2-3 with a double and four runs driven in, while Wassel went 2-4 with three RBI.

Middlebury took two from Lewis & Clark on March 27th, 9-5 and 15-4. Dittrich earned the win in relief in game one as the Panthers scored five in the sixth inning. Driscoll went 2-4 with two runs scored, while rookie Dylan Sinnickson (Sands Point, N.Y.) was 2-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. Morris, Wassel and Wark each had two hits in the game.

The second game saw van Duym earn his second win with five innings of work as the Panthers scored in all but one inning. Baine finished the game 3-5 with two runs scored and two RBI, sophomore Alex Kelly (Rockville, Md.) went 3-3 with three runs scored, while Wassel was 3-5 with three runs scored. Sinnickson had a 3-4 game with three RBI and two runs scored, while Morris, Merryman and Wark each had a pair of hits.

Middlebury dropped game one of a two-game set with Oberlin on the 28th, falling 11-4. Kelly finished 2-4 at the plate, while junior Andrew Lind (Carlisle, Mass.) doubled and Baine tripled. First-year pitcher Eddie DeArias (Sudbury, Mass.) took the loss with three innings of work.

The Panthers scored twice in the eighth to earn an 8-6 win in game two. Dittrich moved to 2-1 with the win in relief, while rookie Logan Mobley (Ross, Calif.) picked up a save. Driscoll paced the offense with a 3-5 game, hitting a triple and scoring twice. Morris was 2-3, Andrada went 2-2 with a double, while Wassel was 2-3 in the game.

Middlebury built a 13-0 lead Friday and held on to defeat Williams, 13-8 in Arizona. Roeder went 4-4 for Middlebury, starting with an RBI-single in the bottom of the first that gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead. Williams committed four errors that led to a whopping nine unearned runs in the contest, including one in the second that allowed Wark to score for a 2-0 Panther lead.

It was 3-1 Middlebury when the Panthers exploded for 10 runs in the sixth to take that 13-run lead. The Panthers had eight of their 16 hits in that frame, while Williams committed three of its four errors. Sinnickson, who was 4-5 in the game for the Panthers, had two hits in the inning, an RBI-double that got things going, and an RBI-single. Roeder had a two-run single and Wassel a two-run double during the frame.

The Ephs rallied for seven runs in their last two at-bats of the day, but ultimately fell short. In a three-run eighth, Thomas Stephens and Andrew Bishop had RBI-singles. The Ephs had the bases loaded, three runs in and two outs, but Middlebury rookie reliever Eric Truss (Port Washington, N.Y.) induced an inning-ending groundout.

In the Ephs' ninth, Luke Pierce led off with a triple and scored on Kirby Neuner's double. Jimmy Ray and Matt Kastner walked to load the bases. Stephens then walked to force in a run. David Webster hit a sacrifice fly to make it 13-7, and an error allowed the final Eph to score before a groundout ended the game.

Joseph picked up the win for the Panthers, tossing the first 7 2/3 innings and giving up nine hits and four runs, all earned, while walking three and fanning four.

Middlebury split a pair of NESCAC West games with Williams on Saturday. The Panthers pulled out a 4-3 win in game one, but fell in the nightcap by a score of 8-1. Middlebury takes the early NESCAC West series 2-1, based on a 13-8 win on Friday.

In game one, Byrne threw five innings, allowing one earned run, while striking out five. Mobley picked up the win in relief, allowing a run over two innings of work with a pair of strikeouts. Williams tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the seventh inning, before the Panthers won the game walk-off style in the bottom of the inning. Baine singled to lead off the seventh and later scored on a bases loaded RBI walk from Andrada.

Rafferty went 3-3 in the game, while Kelly and Wark each went 2-3 with a double. Baine and Morris both finished 2-4 in the win.

Game two was knotted at 1-1 heading into the eighth where the Ephs plated a pair of runs. Williams later blew the game open with five in the ninth to pick up the 8-1 victory. Leach took the loss, despite allowing just one earned run over eight innings of work. Sinnickson went 2-3 in the game, while Wassel doubled.
• Baseball team record: 7-5
• Up next: 4/4 vs. Plattsburgh – 3:30, 4/6 @ Wesleyan, 4/7 @ Wesleyan (2)