Baseball Team Returns From Florida

March 27, 2005

3/28/05 - The <?xml:namespace prefix = "st1" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Middlebury College baseball team opened its season with a 10-game swing in Florida over spring break. The Panthers earned a 4-3 record, before taking two of three from Williams in three NESCAC conference games.<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

The season opened with a 4-0 loss to Gettysburg. The Bullets jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first two innings and held on for the win. Five different players had singles for the Panthers, as senior Chris Fraser (Brooklyn, N.Y.) suffered the loss.

In game two, senior Joe Ramoin (Nederland, Texas) hit a solo shot in the bottom of the eighth to lift the Panthers to a 5-4 win. Gettysburg held a 4-2 lead in the seventh inning, before Middlebury rallied to tie the game in the seventh, before Ramoin's game-winner. Ramoin had two hits on the day, as did senior Bryan Lodigiani (Pennington, N.J.) and first-year infielder Nick Lefeber (Branford, Conn.). First-year hurler John Lanahan (Jacksonville, Fla.) earned the win in relief.

Macalester scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning to earn a 4-1 extra-inning win over the Panthers. Lodigiani had a sac fly for the only Middlebury run, as the Panthers mustered up a pair of hits on the afternoon. Rookie Ryan Whyte (Lake Forest, Calif.) suffered the loss in relief.

Middlebury bounced back in game two, plated 11 runs on 14 hits to pick up the 11-0 win. First-year player John Lanahan (Jacksonville, Fla.) went 4-5 in the game with three doubles and a pair of RBI, while classmate Noah Walker (Oakland, Calif.) went 4-4 with four RBI and three runs scored. Whyte and senior David Riester (Appleton, Wis.) added two hits apiece in the win. First-year pitcher Jack Britton (Carmel, Calif.) threw the complete game shutout for Middlebury, allowing just four hits while striking out seven.

The offense continued to flow the next day as Middlebury scored 15 runs in the game's first three innings en route to a 22-2 win over Babson. Lodigiani had a huge game for Middlebury, including a grand slam and a three-run homer.  Junior Ryan Armstrong (Whitman, Mass.) went 4-5 with three runs scored, while Walker was 3-4 with a pair of runs. Lanahan earned the win, tossing five innings of two-hit ball.

Middlebury's next opponent was Albright, as the Panthers split a double header with a 17-1 loss before bouncing back to earn a 17-0 win. In game one, one unearned run is all Middlebury could muster up as they faced a tough pitcher who threw a four-hit complete game. Albright scored 12 runs in the first three innings, adding five more in innings four and five to earn the win. First-year starter Frazier Stowers (Lynchburg, Va.) was the starter who suffered the loss.

Game two was a different story as Middlebury scored 13 runs between the fifth and sixth innings to pick up the victory. Lanahan ended the game going 3-5 with three RBI and two runs scored, while senior Dev Talvadkar (Washington, D.C.) was 3-5 with a pair of RBI and runs. The other three-hit performance was from junior Andrew Pavoni (Scotch Plains, N.J.), who went 3-3 with a pair of RBI. Riester, Walker, Armstrong and Whyte each had a pair of hits in the win. Rookie Justin Wright (W. Simsbury, Conn.) looked impressive, throwing a two-hit shutout with four strikeouts.

Following a day off and a rainout vs. Union, Middlebury entered a three-game NESCAC series with Williams. In game one, Middlebury battled back from a 10-0 deficit to take an 11-10 lead with a five-run fifth inning. The game went back and fourth with the Panthers leading 14-12 entering the bottom of the seventh inning. The Ephs rallied and eventually won the game with a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the seventh. Armstrong went 3-3 with three RBI and three runs scored, while Walker, Lanahan, Talvadkar and Lodigiani each had two hits. Walker, Talvadkar, Lanahan and junior Dom DiDomenico (Oceanside, N.Y.) each had two RBI in the game. Lanahan suffered the loss in relief.

Middlebury came back from a 6-0 loss in game two, with five runs in the seventh to earn an 8-7 win in the nine-inning contest. Walker, Armstrong, Ramoin and Whyte each had two hits for Middlebury in the game, including a pair of doubles by Walker. Britton earned the win with four innings of solid relief work.

In their final game of the trip, Middlebury plated four runs in the third inning and held on to earn a 10-4 win over the Ephs. Senior Russ Budnick (New Canaan, Conn.) threw the nine-inning complete game, allowing two earned runs and striking out six. Sophomore Sam Timberg (Bethesda, Md.) homered in the game, while Armstrong went 3-4 with two runs scored and two RBI. Lanahan was 3-5 on the day with a pair of RBI, while Walker, Timberg and Lefeber had two hits apiece.

Armstrong hit .548 for Middlebury on its spring trip, including an 8 for 11 effort as the Panthers took two of three from Williams. He ended the 10-game stretch with 12 runs, eight doubles and six walks for an on-base percentage of .600. In the series win over Williams, Armstrong had five doubles, six RBI and four walks, reaching base 80% of the time he came to the plate. For his performance, he was named the NESCAC Player of the Week.