Baseball Routs Amherst
April 30, 2010
Trailing 5-0 after one inning, the Middlebury bats came alive, scoring 17 runs on 21 hits en route to a 17-7 win over visiting Amherst at Forbes Field on Friday. With the win, the Panthers even their NESCAC West record at 5-5, improving to 10-13 overall. Amherst drops to 16-11 overall and 5-5 in NESCAC West play and is eliminated from NESCAC Tournament contention. Both teams resume play on Saturday with a double-header starting at noon at Forbes Field.
In the first, Amherst jumped out to a 2-0 lead before Thomas Wheeler blasted a pitch from Panther starter Matt Lowes over the fence for a three-run homer and a 5-0 advantage. Lowes settled down over the next few innings as Middlebury added a run in the second on a solo homer by Joseph Conway and another run in the fourth, cutting the Amherst lead to 5-2.
The Panthers took a 9-7 lead in the seventh before exploding for eight runs in the eighth inning for a commanding 17-7 lead. Middlebury played small ball scoring a pair of runs on a pair of RBI singles before Donald McKillop knocked in two runs on a bases-loaded double for a 13-7 lead. Amherst intentionally walked Erich Enns, loading the bases for Conway with one out. Conway delivered with a towering blast to dead centerfield for a grand slam home run and a 17-7 lead.
Of the 21 hits by the Panthers, nine were for extra bases, including seven doubles along with Conway's two homers. Six Middlebury players had multiple hits, including McKillop's 5/6 day, along with Will Baine's 4/5 showing. Conway finished 2/5 with the two four-baggers and five RBI.
Wheeler paced the Jeffs with a 3/4 day, including the three-run homer, while Mike Samela added a solo shot and Kevin Heller went 2/4 with an RBI.
John Popkowski (1-2) relieved Lowes in the seventh, pitching two scoreless innings for the win, as Michael Joseph pitched the ninth. Amherst's Max McKenna went 4.2 innings, before Pat Harris ended the fifth inning in relief. Hayden Metz (5-1), who replaced Harris in the sixth inning, took the loss. Metz entered the game leading the NESCAC in ERA (1.80) allowed 11 runs, 10 earned, over three innings of work.