Middlebury Concludes NESCAC West Play with Loss to Amherst

April 19, 2014

Amherst utilized three big scoring innings Saturday afternoon in an 11-3 victory, earning a three-game NESCAC West series sweep against Middlebury at Forbes Field. The Panthers (4-15, 2-10 NESCAC) return to the field for a Wednesday game at Union at 4:00 p.m., while the Lord Jeffs (21-5, 7-1 NESCAC) host Hamilton on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.

Middlebury jumped on the board in the bottom of the first inning. Alex Kelly singled up the middle and moved to second on a base hit through the left side by Johnny Read. The pair moved up to second and third on a double steal, and Kelly scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Joe MacDonald.

In the top of the second, Amherst took the lead scoring five runs on six hits. The big blow of the frame came from Taiki Kasuga, who laced a three-run double to dead center field that hit the base of the fence. Yanni Thanopoulos and Anthony Spina also had RBI singles in the frame.

Traling 5-1, the Panthers produced a single run in the bottom of the second. Garrett Werner reached on an Amherst error in the outfield, moved to second after Matt Leach was hit by a pitch, and touched home plate on a double down the left field line from Kelly. 

Amherst pushed its advantage back to four at 6-2 with a run in the fourth when Conner Gunn smacked a double into the right-center field gap scoring Kasuga all the way from first following a walk.

The hosts cut the lead to three at 6-3 in the fifth when Max Araya legged out a double to right-center scoring Kelly, who had singled down the right-field line and moved to second on a groundout.

The Lord Jeffs tacked on two in the seventh and three more in the eighth for an 11-3 final score. Tyler Jacobs provided the big hit in the seventh with a two-run double to right-center. Mike Odenwaelder beat out an RBI single in the hole between shortstop and third base, while Thanopoulos recorded a two-run double to left center.

Kelly raised his season average to .427 with a perfect 4-4 day at the plate including a double and a pair of runs scored.

Thanopoulos went 4-5 with three RBI for Amherst, while Kasuga and Gunn also each had three-hit games.  

Logan Mobley (1-2) took the loss for Middlebury, giving up five runs on seven hits in 2.0 innings. Dylan Kane logged five innings, allowing three runs on six hits, while Sawyer Olson and Dylan Takamori both threw an inning apiece.

Keenan Szulik (3-0) went the first 6.1 innings for the win. He gave up three runs, two earned on five hits and struck out five. Eric Kotin came on in relief allowing just one hit over 1.2 IP, while Robert Cahill worked a perfect ninth.