April 25, 2011

The Middlebury College baseball team went 4-0 last week, winning three NESCAC West league games against Hamilton. The Panthers are in a good position for a post-season bid, with Wesleyan needing to take three from Amherst this weekend to eliminate the Panthers.

            Middlebury sophomore John Wiet (Morristown, N.J.) tossed a nine-inning three-hit shutout as the Panthers picked up a 1-0 win over Hamilton to complete a three-game sweep over the Continentals (8-19, 1-8).

            The game’s lone run came in the third, when junior Zach Roeder (Keene, N.H.) extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a single through the left side. Sophomore Michael Morris (Scarsdale, N.Y.) singled to center with one out, moving Roeder to third base. Morris later moved to second on a wild pitch, as senior Tyler Wark (Burlington, Vt.) walked to load the bases. First-year player Alex Kelly (Rockville, Md.) came to the plate and singled to right, plating Roeder for the 1-0 lead.

            Hamilton received a two-out double down the left field line from Samuel Choate, but could not tie the game in the fourth. Pat Gennaco advanced to third with two outs in the fifth for the Continentals, but did not cross the plate.

            Middlebury looked to gain some breathing room in the eighth inning, loading the bases. Sophomore Thomas Driscoll (New Canaan, Conn.) singled, junior Will Baine (Rye, N.Y.) reached on a fielder’s choice, while senior Donald McKillop (Poway, Calif.) earned a walk. Morris ended the inning with a foul pop-up to the first baseman.

            Wiet (2-2) was strong in the ninth, going 1,2,3 to secure the win, striking out six in the complete game win. Roeder finished the day 2-4 with a run scored, while Driscoll went 2-4.

            In game one on Friday, sophomore Michael Joseph (Bala Cynwyd, Pa.) (2-2) tossed a four-hit complete game shutout, striking out six in the seven-inning 9-0 contest. The Panthers jumped on Hamilton starter Colin Henneberger (1-4) in the first, with a lead-off triple from Driscoll. Roeder singled through the right side to score Baine, before Morris belted a double to left to plate sophomore Thomas Rafferty (Chicago, Ill.) and Roeder.

            The Panthers added to the lead in the second with a two-run double to left by Baine, making it a 5-0 contest. After scoring a run in the third, RBI singles from sophomore Joseph Conway (Hummelstown, Pa.) and Wark scored a pair in the fifth to increase the lead to 8-0.

            Hamilton’s best chance to score came in the sixth with two on and two out. Wesley Mayberry hit a shot to right that was denied by a diving catching from McKillop to keep the Continentals off the board.

Middlebury added a run in the ninth to come away with the 9-1 victory. Rafferty went 3-4 in the game, followed by Roeder, who was 2-2 with three runs scored and two RBI. Driscoll and Wark each had a pair of hits in the contest.

            In game two, senior starter Nick Angstman (Williston, Vt.) improved to 3-0 overall, tossing seven innings in a 9-1 nine-inning victory. Senior Scooter Scott (Marlboro, Vt.) closed out the game with two innings of scoreless relief.

Roeder broke up a scoreless game in the fifth with a bases loaded double down the left field line to score three. The Panthers came right back in the sixth with three runs on four hits to make it a 6-0 game. Driscoll singled through the right side to score Wark and Conway, before Baine plated Kelly with a single through the left side.

Hamilton scored its only run of the day in the bottom of the sixth, with a bases loaded RBI groundout. Baine made a nice play on a ball hit to short by Joe Buicko, getting him at first as Kyle Mason came in the back door.

Middlebury added a run in the seventh and two in the eighth on a double to left center by Rafferty to make it a 9-1 final.

Roeder went 3-4 in the game with a double, three RBI and a run scored, while Baine was 3-5. Driscoll and Conway each went 2-5, while Morris finished the game 2-4. Roeder and Driscoll both extended their hitting streaks to 11 games over the pair of wins.

Middlebury scored runs in six innings on its way to a 9-5 win over Castleton State (14-17) on Tuesday. The Spartans were the home team, with the contest being moved to Middlebury due to wet field conditions at Castleton.

            A Roeder homer in the second gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead, before an RBI single to right by McKillop plated Kelly to make it a 2-0 contest. Sophomore Tyler Buckingham (Montclair, N.J.) threw the first four innings for Middlebury, allowing just four hits.

            Trailing 3-0, Castleton got on the board in the fifth with four runs on three hits off reliever junior Dirk vanDuym (Madison, Wis.). Singles through the left side by Ryan Zielinski and Zak Mayo and a two-run double to left center by Aaron Zrenda gave the Spartans a 4-3 lead.

After tying the game 4-4 in the sixth, Middlebury scored a pair in the seventh on a two-run homer to left center by McKillop. Castleton answered with a solo run in the bottom of the inning when Mayo’s double to right center plated Matt Eisenhuth, who had walked.

            Middlebury added three runs in the ninth to gain some breathing room with a 9-5 lead. Roeder singled in McKillop, with junior Matt Wassel (Rumson, N.J.) also scoring on an error. Rafferty drove in Roeder with a SAC fly to right for Middlebury’s final run.

            Sophomore Andy Dittrich (Woodbury, Minn.) (1-1) earned the win with 2.1 innings of work, allowing a run on three hits. Sophomore John Popkowski (New York, N.Y.) picked up the save, throwing the eight and getting out of a bases loaded jam in the ninth.

            Roeder and Driscoll both extended their hitting streaks to nine games, with Roeder going 3-4 with a homer, two runs scored and two driven in. McKillop finished the game 2-4 with a homer, three RBI and two runs scored, while Kelly was 2-4 with a pair of RBI.
• Baseball team record: 12-9
• Up next: 4/27 vs. St. Michael’s – 2:00, 4/30 @ Trinity