April 30, 2012

Middlebury scored seven runs in the final three innings and banged out 18 hits on the day on its way to a 10-5 non-league win at St. Michael’s on Doc Jacobs Field. The Panthers improve to 12-12 on the season, while the Purple Knights slip to 9-24.

Junior Thomas Rafferty (Chicago, Ill.) was 5-6 with three RBIs, two runs and a double for Middlebury, which had six infield singles among its 18 hits. Six players had two hits apiece, including senior Zach Roeder (Keene, N.H.), who also scored four runs while knocking a triple. Classmate Matt Wassel (Rumson, N.J.) had two hits and three RBIs, and sophomore Dylan Kane (Sands Point, N.Y.) worked eight innings, yielding four runs and scattering 10 hits for the win.

Sophomore Alec Tice was 3-5 for the Purple Knights, who used wooden bats. Rookie Nicky Elderton had two hits, among them a triple, to go along with two RBIs, while senior Chadwick Estey and sophomore Nick Nelson both added a pair of hits. Rookie Don McGuirl walked twice in addition to singling. Sophomore Nick Myers allowed three runs in five innings, taking the loss.

Wassel's two-out RBI single in the third put the first run of the game on the board, as he dropped his base hit into shallow center field. Kane yielded only three base runners over the first four innings, and Roeder and Rafferty ripped back-to-back run-scoring hits to provide their team a 3-0 edge in the fifth.

Saint Michael's strung together three straight hits to begin the home half, with one striking a runner, leaving Purple Knights at the corners with one down. Sophomore Tyler Wild legged out a fielder's choice grounder, bringing the runner home from third to make it 3-1.

Wassel plated two more with a single in the seventh, but Saint Michael's put two on with one down while threatening to trim the four-run deficit. After a teammate struck out for the second out, McGuirl hit a grounder deep into the hole between shortstop and third base that seemed headed toward left field, but senior shortstop Will Baine (Rye, N.Y.) ranged far to his right and tossed to third for an inning-ending forceout.

Two more Middlebury runs came home in the eighth, including one on a Rafferty double, but Elderton's two-run triple keyed a three-run bottom half for the hosts. Junior Collin Fishman's sacrifice fly produced a 7-4 score. However, three unearned runs scored with two down in the ninth for the visitors, with Rafferty providing another RBI single, before Tice drove home the Purple Knights' final run with a single in the bottom half. Saint Michael's stranded two to end the contest.

Middlebury won its second game in as many days, thumping Southern Vermont 15-2 in in non-league road game. Roeder, Rafferty, and junior Thomas Driscoll (New Canaan, Conn.) led the Panthers (13-12) with three hit days. Roeder and Driscoll also had home runs for Middlebury. Rafferty also had a double and scored four times in the win. Baine and senior Tyler Wark (Burlington, Vt.) each recorded two hits as well.

On the mound, senior Dirk van Duym (Madison, Wis.) earned the start and worked four innings. Van Duym scattered three hits while allowing two unearned runs. Rookie Edmund Murphy (Dover, Mass.) came on for two innings and earned the victory for the Panthers, before classmate Spencer Egan (Freeport, Maine) threw a scoreless seventh inning.

Greg Gilmore started for SVC (9-28), allowing four hits and four runs on short rest. Kurt Kowalczyk then came on to pitch four innings before handing the ball over to Dustyn Marfyak and Mike Larsen to finish the game.

The Panthers got on the board early as Driscoll led off with a full count home run over the right field fence. After back to back errors from SVC Roeder and Rafferty each doubled. Baine would later single in the inning to make the score 4-0 in the top of the first.

In the bottom half of the inning, Keith Diotte led off with a single. On the next pitch it looked as if Sal Sciara had bounced into a double play but a throwing error from Middlebury put runners on first and second. After a balk, Pat Warrington put the Mountaineers on the board with his 33rd RBI. Desiderato cut the Middlebury lead in half at 4-2 when he singled to plate Sciara.

However, that was the only offense SVC would muster the rest of the game, as Middlebury held the Mountaineers scoreless over the next six innings. SVC held the Panthers off the board in the second, third, and fourth innings, but Middlebury exploded for two in the fifth, five in the sixth, and four more in the seventh to win the game 15-2.

Trinity topped Middlebury in a pair of cross-conference NESCAC games, taking the opener 7-4 and winning 12-3 in game two at Forbes Field. The games had no impact on NESCAC East or West standings as the Bantams improve to 25-9 overall, while the Panthers drop to 13-14 on the season.

Trinity scored four runs in the eighth inning of a game scheduled for seven, picking up a 7-4 win in game one. Ben Goldberg improved to 4-0 with three innings of relief, allowing one run while striking out four. First-year hurler Eric Truss (Port Washington, N.Y.) took the loss in relief for the Panthers, falling to 0-1 with 1.1 innings of work.

Middlebury struck for a pair in the fourth inning as Roeder walked and later scored on a wild pitch. First-year player Hunter Merryman (San Marino, Calif.) doubled to left to drive in Wassel, who had earlier singled through the right side. A SAC fly by junior Michael Morris (Scarsdale, N.Y.) plated sophomore Alex Kelly (Rockville, Md.) in the fifth to make it a 3-0 game.

Trinity plated three in the sixth to tie the game at 3-3. Marc Crowley singled through the left side to plate D.J. Goldberg, who had pinch-run for Bryan Wolfe, who had singled. A SAC fly from Adam Moossman and an error led to the other pair of Bantam runs.

Back-to-back doubles from Alex Almeida and Michael Rueger plated three runs in the eighth, with two scoring on Ruger’s shot to left. The Bantams added a fourth run on an RBI single through the left side by Stephen Rogers.

The Panthers made some noise in the bottom of the inning, loading the bases with nobody out. A strikeout, a run-scoring fielder’s choice and a fly out ended the contest.

Rogers finished 3-4 for Trinity, while Rueger was 2-5 with a double and two RBI. Baine was 3-3 for Middlebury, while Kelly went 3-4 and Merryman was 2-4 with a double.

In game two the Bantams scored four first-inning runs. Already leading 1-0, Kyle Decker delivered, driving a bases-loaded offering from first-year starting pitcher Cooper Byrne (Ridgewood, N.J.) to right-center for a three-run double.

Trailing 4-0, Middlebury scratched a run across in the bottom of the frame when Morris doubled home Baine from first. Bantam hurler Sean Meekins had control issues in the early going, walking six batters over the first four innings, but the Panthers could not produce a big inning to chase the Trinity ace.

            After Byrne was relieved in the second inning by rookie Matt Leach (W. Hartford, Conn.), the scoring quieted before Trinity solved the Panther reliever with a key five-run sixth inning. The Bantams collected four hits, but actually hit for the cycle in the frame. David Casanova opened with a double and scored on an RBI triple by Connor Sullivan. After a single by Alex Almeida and a two-out walk to Joe Papa, Rogers blasted a three-run homer over the right field scoreboard for a 9-1 lead.

            Trinity added three more in the top of the seventh before the Panthers plated a pair on a two-out, two-run home run by Rafferty off Bantam reliever Ryan Carr, capping the scoring at 12-3.

Decker’s 4-5 game two, with three RBI including a double paced Trinity. Rueger’s two doubles highlighted his 3-5 game, while Roger’s three-run blast capped his 2-5, three RBI performance. Meekins (7-0) spaced out seven walks and four hits over six innings, while allowing one run for the win. Carr went two innings in relief, giving up two unearned runs, striking out one as Angus Anderson pitched a clean ninth inning.

Rafferty’s homer and two RBI along with Morris’ double highlighted the five Panther hits over nine innings. Byrne (2-2) took the loss, going 1.2 innings, striking out a pair. He allowed four earned runs on three hits, while walking five Bantams. Leach went 4.1 innings, allowing five earned with a walk and two strikeouts. Rookie Logan Mobley (Ross, Calif.) pitched the seventh, giving up three earned, collecting a free pass and one strike out. Junior John Popkowski (New York, N.Y.) and junior Tyler Buckingham (Montclair, N.J.) pitched the eighth and ninth, respectively, as neither allowed a run to score.

• Baseball team record: 13-14

• Up next: 5/1 @ Plymouth, 5/2 vs. Castleton – 4:00, 5/5 vs. Bowdoin (2) – 12:00, 5/6 @ Tufts (2)