Baseball Beats Skidmore On Walk-Off Hit

April 15, 2009

Erich Enns' RBI single in the bottom of the ninth capped a four run comeback for Middlebury over visiting Skidmore 15-14 at Forbes Field on Wednesday. The Panthers built an early 9-1 lead only to see the Thoroughbreds charge back in the late innings, taking a 14-11 lead into the final frame. With the win, Middlebury improves to 9-11 on the year, while Skidmore drops to 13-13. The Panthers return to NESCAC West action on Friday, travelling to Amherst for a three-game series, while Skidmore hosts Southern Vermont on Thursday.

Middlebury scored three runs in each of the first three innings off Skidmore starter Zack Rudman, highlighted by a two RBI double by Donald McKillop in the second inning. Trailing 9-1 in the fourth, Rudman, who moved to the DH spot after the third inning, got a pair back, connecting on a two-run homer off Panther starter Scooter Scott.

The Thoroughbreds added two more in the fifth off Panther reliever Matt Lowes before scoring four more off Lowes in the top half of the seventh, cutting the Middlebury lead to 10-9. Logan Arena's pinch hit, two RBI double to deep right center highlighted the comeback.

In the eighth, Skidmore, with runners on second and third and no outs, took their first lead at 11-10 when Matt Pisani lined a double down the right field line for two RBI. Pisani's two-bagger chased Panther reliever Matt Joseph as Dirk vanDuym was called in to get out of the jam. With no outs and a runner on second, vanDuym quickly loaded the bases, but got out of the inning with a force out at home and a key 1-2-3 double play to end the Skidmore threat. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth, Thoroughbred reliever Ed Reilly enticed Nick Angstman into a two-out fielder's choice, but the ball was mishandled in the infield, allowing McKillop to score from third, knotting the game at 11.

In the ninth, Skidmore again loaded the bases with no outs. Pisani walked in the first of three Skidmore runs. With one out and the bases still loaded, Rudman was hit by a vanDuym pitch forcing in another run. Arena ended the scoring, plating Justin Morelli on an infield fielding error. The Thoroughbreds scored three runs, without a hit, for a 14-11 lead heading into the home half of the ninth.

After a pair of walks to Pete Bourdon and Tim Dillon to start the inning, the Panthers sent the meat of their order to the plate against Reilly. Danny Seymour connected on a two RBI double to left center, plating Bourdon and Dillon. McKillop followed with a hard single up the middle, scoring Seymour and tying the game 14-14. With no outs, clean-up hitter Mark Shimrock doubled to right, pushing McKillop to third, setting up Enns' game-winning single to left field and the 15-14 comeback win.

Shimrock and Enns each collected three hits for Middlebury as McKillop added three RBI on two hits. Rudman had a huge day for Skidmore, going 4/5 with the homer and five RBI as Pisani chipped in 3 RBI on a 2/3 day at the plate. VanDuym (1-0) earned the win, pitching the final two innings, striking out three Thoroughbred batters, allowing three runs, one earned, for his first victory of the season. Reilly (2-3), taking the mound with two outs in the eighth, is credited with the loss, giving up four earned runs, retiring just one batter.