Baseball Team Opens Season In Florida

March 26, 2004

3/27/04 - The Panther baseball team played 11 games down south, including three NESCAC contests with Williams to end their spring trip.

In the season opener, Middlebury battled back from an 8-2 deficit to pick up a 10-9 win over Western Connecticut. Junior Bryan Lodigiani (Pennington, N.J.) earned the win with five innings of relief, allowing just one unearned run. Sophomore Ryan Armstrong (Whitman, Mass.) and senior Jim Muhlfeld (Darien, Conn.) both went 4-5 in the game, while senior Richard Hightower (Stone Mountain, Ga.) had three hits. Junior Dev Talvadkar (Washington, D.C.) drove in four runs with a pair of hits.

The next day, the Panthers dropped a pair of games to the University of Chicago by scores of 15-14 and 21-4. In game one, Middlebury scored seven runs in the fifth and four in the sixth to cut into a big lead. Middlebury then tied the game in the seventh, only to have Chicago win it in the bottom of the inning. Senior Jake Armstrong (La Jolla, Calif.) went 4-5, while sophomore Andrew Pavoni (Scotch Plains, N.J.) went 3-5 with five RBI and a home run. Talvadkar also had three hits in the game, including a pair of runs scored. Game two was shortened to five innings after Chicago scored 13 runs in the fifth inning. Hightower was 2-2 with two RBI to place the offense.

Middlebury scored eight runs in two innings to pick up an 8-1 win over Union in their only game of the day. Junior Liam Quinn (Waltham, Vt.) was 3-4 on the afternoon, while seven different players had hits in the game. Senior Ben Christensen (Kalispell, Mont.) went the distance, allowing no earned runs and striking out nine over seven innings of work.

Colby took on Middlebury in a double-header with the teams splitting the two contests. In game one, the Mules took a 4-0 early lead and went on to pick up the 7-3 win. Quinn had a pair of hits on the day as did J. Armstrong. In the second game, the Panthers scored five runs in the first inning on their way to the 10-4 win. First-year hurler Chris Solberg (Katonah, N.Y.) earned the win with the complete game, allowing no earned runs over seven innings. Hightower had three hits in the game, including a double, while Pavoni and junior Dave Reister (Appleton, Wis.) each had two hits.

The Panthers split another twin-bill the next day, beating Thomas 12-6 before falling 15-3 in the second game. Middlebury scored three in the bottom of the seventh of game one to pick up the win. Junior Dave Irwin (Carlisle, Mass.) earned the win with two solid innings of relief. Muhlfeld led the Panthers' 14-hit attack with three, while Riester, J. Armstrong, R. Armstrong and rookie Jocko DeCarolis (Taberg, N.Y.) each had a pair of hits. Thomas scored 11 runs in three innings to cruise to the win in game two. DeCarolis had two hits to lead the Middlebury offense.

Middlebury entered NESCAC play in Florida with a three-game set against Williams. In game one, the Ephs scored two or more runs in the second through sixth innings to pick up the 15-3 win. Lodigiani had two hits in the game, including a solo homer, while four other Panthers had singles.

In game one on day two, Williams held an early 4-0 lead and tacked on a few runs for the 7-1 win. Junior Joe Ramoin (Nederland, Texas) had two hits in the game, while Hightower and Quinn each had a double. In the final game of the series, the Ephs scored five runs in the eighth to pick up a 7-2 win and a three-game sweep. Ramoin had two hits as did Muhlfeld, while R. Armstrong drove in a pair of runs. (boxes)