Baseball Drops Game One At NESCAC Tourney
May 13, 2011
Tufts junior starter Dave Ryan tossed seven strong innings, while senior David Orlowitz tied a tournament hit record, going 5-5 with three RBI, as the NESCAC East Division champion Jumbos downed Middlebury College 14-2 in the opening round of the conference championship at AIC Park in Springfield, MA.
Tufts, which improved to 25-7-1 overall and 15-15 in championship play with the win, will face Bowdoin College in the third game of the league tournament scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 14 at Memorial Field in Amherst, MA. The Panthers, who drop to 15-15 on the year and 3-1 in NESCAC championship action, will meet Amherst College in game four at AIC Park slated for 10:30 a.m.
Seniors Chase Rose and Frank Petroskey, junior Sam Sager and first-year Nate Izzo each recorded a pair of hits for the Jumbos, while combining for six RBI and six runs scored. Sophomore Eric Weikert and senior Ian Goldberg accounted for the other two Tufts base-knocks on the afternoon.
Middlebury sophomore Michael Morris paced the Panther offense going 2-4, while first-year Alex Kelly added a pair of hits. Sophomore Joseph Conway finished 1-3, while juniors Will Baine and Murphy McCurdy notched Middlebury’s lone runs-batted-in.
Ryan allowed two runs on six hits while striking out four in the win, while first-year Christian Sbily tossed a pair of shutout innings in relief. Panther senior Nick Angstman lasted two innings, surrendering six runs on five hits in the loss.
After a scoreless top half of the first, Tufts wasted no time getting on the board, pushing across five runs on four hits in the bottom of the frame. Senior David LeResche led off the inning, reaching on a hit-by-pitch before Orlowitz laced a single to right to put two aboard. The runners would advance to second and third on a wild pitch before Sager doubled to right center, scoring LeResche.
Hoping to keep things going, Weikert hit a bloop single to shallow left, plating two more runs to make it 3-0. With the bases loaded and one out, Petroskey hit a grounder to short, allowing Weikert to come home, before Izzo later capped off the Jumbos’ run with a two-out, RBI-single to center that staked Tufts to an early 5-0 lead.
Looking to extend the Jumbo margin, Orlowitz led-off the bottom of the second with a towering shot to left, pushing the Tufts lead to six. Hoping to avoid any further damage, Angstman settled in, inducing consecutive ground-outs to second before retiring the side on a fly-out to center.
The Jumbos would again threaten in the bottom half of the fourth, putting two on after an Orlowitz two-out double to center and a hit-by-pitch, but Panther reliever John Wiet got a much-needed strikeout, putting the wraps on a second-consecutive shutout inning in relief.
Middlebury would look to piece something together in the top half of the fifth with sophomore Thomas Rafferty drawing a lead-off walk. After junior Tyler Wark lined out to third, Kelly singled to right, putting two Panthers on. Sophomore Thomas Driscoll then reached on a fielder’s choice back to the mound, getting runners on the corners, but Ryan got a big strikeout to end the Middlebury threat.
Trying to put the game out of reach, the Jumbos responded with a big fifth, pushing across five runs on five hits as the Tufts lead swelled to 11-0. With runners on second and third with one out, Goldberg scored on a wild pitch before Petroskey laced a single to left plating another run. Orlowitz later singled to center with two-on and two out, driving in another run, before a Sager base-knock to left coupled with a Middlebury error allowed two more Jumbos to come home, putting Tufts up by 11.
Still searching for their first run, Rafferty and Conway led off the Middlebury seventh with a pair of singles. Kelly later drew a one out walk to load the bases, before McCurdy reached on a fielder’s choice to short, scoring the Panthers’ first run. Baine later added to the tally with a two-out, RBI-single to center, making it 11-2, but Tufts responded with a three-run frame to pad their cushion en route to a 14-2 triumph.