Hamilton baseball splits doubleheader with Amherst

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Hamilton College walked off with a win in extra innings in the opener and settled for a split with Amherst College in a NESCAC West Division doubleheader at Hamilton's Royce Field on April 21.

The Continentals (12-18 overall, 3-6 NESCAC West) won the first game 1-0 in eight innings and dropped the nightcap, 6-3. The win in the opener was the first against Amherst since a 9-3 victory on May 2, 2009. It also halted the Lord Jeffs' nine-game win streak and handed Amherst its first conference loss.

With one out in the bottom of the eighth, Joe Jensen '15 walked and stole second, and the Jeffs walked Gabe Klein '13 intentionally. The Continentals put on a double steal, the catcher's throw to third sailed high into left field and Jensen scooted home for the game-winning run.

JJay Lane '15 allowed five hits and struck out two in seven innings for Hamilton. Lane brought his earned run average down to 0.94 and hasn't given up an earned run in 13 innings. Tommy Moriarty '14 (2-3) pitched a scoreless eighth inning and earned the win.

Colin Henneberger '14 was 2-for-3 with a double and a single for the Continentals. Jensen finished with two stolen bases and Zack Becker '16 and Sam Fuentes '13 recorded one single apiece.

Fred Shepard '14 gave up four hits and struck out nine over seven scoreless innings for Amherst. Cam Windham '14 (0-1) pitched the eighth and took the loss. Conner Gunn '16, Quinn Saunders-Kolberg '14 and Andrew Vandini '16 collected two hits each, and Saunders belted a double.

Hamilton and Amherst squandered scoring chances early. In the bottom of the first, Klein walked and Henneberger had an infield single. An error put both runners in scoring position with only one out, but Shepard struck out the next two batters. After Saunders-Kolberg led off the top of the third with a double, he was left stranded on third base.

Both teams had opportunities to take the lead in the sixth.Vandini led off with a single and Brendon Hardin '15 reached on an error. A sacrifice bunt by Taiki Kasuga '14 moved the runners up, but Lane retired the next two batters and left the runners stranded at second and third. In Hamilton's half of the inning, Henneberger drilled a two-out double down the right field line, but Shepard ended the threat with a strikeout.

Amherst had another opportunity in the eighth after back-to-back, one-out singles by Vandini and Hardin. Kasuga again sacrificed the runners to second and third. But with two outs, Moriarty fielded a squib in front of the plate and threw out the runner at first.

The Jeffs were powered by Bob Cook '13 in the second game. Cook went 3-for-4 with a home run, a double, two RBI and two runs scored. Odenwaelder went 2-for-3 with a homer and two RBI. Alex Hero '14 notched a single and two RBI and Kasuga racked up a pair of hits, including a double. Dylan Driscoll '14 (6-0) surrendered three runs on five hits in six innings for the win and Adam Medoff '13 picked up his first save by striking out the side in the seventh.

Jensen, Fuentes and Klein finished with one hit and one RBI each for Hamilton. Cole Dreyfuss '16 started on the mound and gave up two runs on four hits and struck out three in four innings. Dreyfuss did not figure in the decision.

Amherst struck first in the second inning when Odenwaelder smashed a two-out home run to left center field for a 1-0 lead. Hamilton put three runs on the board in the bottom of the third. Ben Goffin '15 started things with a single to right field. Jared Friedberg '16 pinch ran for Goffin, went to second on a sacrifice bunt and stole third. Nick Taylor '15 bunted for a single and stole second so that both runners were in scoring position. An infield single by Jensen drove in Friedberg, Fuentes' single drove in Taylor and Klein knocked in Jensen with another single.

The Jeffs cut their deficit to 3-2 on a solo homer off Cook's bat in the fourth inning, and took the lead with three runs in the fifth. Vandini led off with a single and moved over to second on Hardin's sacrifice bunt. A double by Kasuga put runners on second and third and Hero's groundout tied the score. Cook drilled a double to left center that plated Kasuga and after Gunn walked, Odenwaelder drove in Kasuga from second base with a single for a 5-3 advantage.

Amherst added an insurance run in the sixth for the final margin. With one out, Hardin reached on an error, and back-to-back singles by Kasuga and Hero brought Hardin around to score. Driscoll and Medoff retired the last 12 Hamilton batters in order after the third inning.

The Continentals travel to St. Lawrence University for a non-conference game on Tuesday, April 23. Amherst heads to Springfield College on Monday, April 22.