Baseball Takes First Game At Amherst

April 20, 2007

Middlebury took game one of a key three-game set at Amherst as the Panthers earned a 3-2 win. Justin Wright threw the nine-inning complete game, allowing one earned run and five hits on the afternoon.

Middlebury threatened in the top of the first by putting runners at the corners, but Amherst's Chris Edgar picked up his second strikeout of the inning to end the early threat and hold the Panthers scoreless. The Lord Jeffs were sat down in order by Wright in the bottom half of the inning, the first of five 1-2-3 innings for the lefthander.

Noah Walker got things going for the Panthers in the third when he doubled to right center, and was eventually driven in by an Erich Enns single that gave Middlebury a 1-0 lead. The Panthers chalked up another run in the fourth inning when junior Gabe Broughton started a two-out rally with a single to right field. Broughton advanced to second on a wild pitch and was brought home on a double from Nick Lefeber.

Wright did not allow a base runner in the third, fourth, fifth or sixth innings, with eight of 12 outs coming via groundout. Middlebury tallied what would be the game-winning run in the seventh when Mark Shimrock singled through the right side to bring in Walker.

Amherst's first threat came in the bottom of the seventh when Wright walked Jared Banner after retiring the first two hitters, marking Wright's first walk of the game. Neal Allar singled to left field and was followed by Will Lawton drawing a walk to load the bases. Wright got out of his jam by getting Brendan Powers to fly out to right field, preserving the 3-0 lead.

Angus Schaller doubled with one out in the bottom of the eighth and later stole third. Wright looked as though he would escape unharmed yet again when he got Thal to hit a ground ball that was mis-handled, allowing Schaller to score for the Jeffs' first run of the game.

After a 1-2-3 top of the ninth, Banner led off the bottom half of the frame with a single up the middle. Josh Card moved Banner to second with a sacrifice bunt, allowing Lawton to pick up an RBI with a single to right field. Lawton advanced to second when the throw from right field sailed over the cut-off man's head in an attempt to gun out Banner at the plate, putting another runner in scoring position with just one out in the inning.

Powers grounded out to the first baseman in Amherst's next at-bat, but it was enough to move Lawton over to third base. Wright battled with Nat Pedley in the next at-bat, but eventually won the battle when a nasty curve ball gave the hurler his third strikeout of the game, as Middlebury hung on for the 3-2 win.

Broughton, Walker, Lanahan and Enns each finished with two hits for the Panthers, with Walker and Lanahan each going 2-for-3 with a pair of walks.