Baseball Drops First Game At NCAA's

May 17, 2006

Middlebury fell to Western New England College 14-2 in their first game at the NCAA New England Regional in Harwich, Massachusetts. The Panthers will play Bowdoin at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, with the loser seeing its season come to an end. The winner of the game will play a second game later that day at 4:30 p.m.

Middlebury struggled early, giving up seven runs in the first three innings. The Panthers got out of a jam in the first, allowing just one run on one hit after Steve Shortle tossed 29 pitches.

The Golden Bears scored six runs on six hits in the second and third innings, taking a 7-0 early lead. Shortle was chased from the game in the third and was replaced by Christian Hansen. Middlebury threatened in the bottom of the third, but left the bases loaded. WNEC struck again in the fifth plating a pair of runs on three hits.

Middlebury rallied in the fifth, getting on the board as Nick Lefeber plated Alex Casnocha with a single to center. The Panthers scored another run in the seventh as Sam Timberg scored on an error by the third-baseman on a grounder hit by Ryan Armstrong. WNEC added a run in the eighth and two in the ninth to earn a 14-2 win. Middlebury threatened in the bottom of the ninth, but left the bases loaded.

Shortle, Christian Hansen, Gary Roosa and Tyler Bak worked for the Panthers, with Shortle taking the loss and moving to 5-2 on the season. Middlebury left 11 runners on base in the game, while WNEC left 14.

Gabe Broughton and Mark Shimrock each went 2-4 to lead the Middlebury offense, with Timberg hitting a double.