Hamilton baseball earns split against Williams

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Hamilton College's Alex Pachella '13 threw a three-hit shutout in the first game, and the Continentals split a NESCAC West Division doubleheader with Williams College at Hamilton's Royce Field on April 27.

The Continentals (14-20 overall, 4-7 NESCAC West) took the first game 2-0, and Williams bounced back in Game 2 with a 9-8 win in 12 innings. Hamilton matched its single-season record with 14 wins, which was set in 2009. It was also the first win against Williams since April 21, 2007.

In Game 1, Hamilton scored a pair of runs in the fifth inning for all the offense in the contest. Pachella (2-2) fanned six and walked two in the seven-inning shutout. Six batters recorded hits for the Continentals. Gabe Klein '13 had a double for the only extra-base hit of the game. Lukas Bridenbeck '13 and Steve LaRochelle '14 singled and drove in one run apiece. Zack Becker '16 and Jared Friedberg '16 had one hit and one stolen base apiece.

Thomas Murphy '15 (0-4) had a solid start for the Ephs. Murphy allowed one earned run on six hits, struck out one and walked two. Darren Hartwell '13, Taylor Mondshein '13 and Marco Hernandez '14 had the hits for Williams (12-20, 3-8).

In a pitcher's duel between Pachella and Murphy, neither hurler allowed a hit through the first three innings. Pachella gave up a single to Hartwell in the fourth and Klein doubled to deep center off Murphy in the bottom of the inning, but neither team scored.

Hamilton broke through with a pair of runs in the fifth inning. Becker led off and reached on an error. Friedberg attempted to lay down a sacrifice bunt but it turned into a base hit because no one was covering the bag. The Continentals put on a hit-and-run, and Bridenbeck smacked a hit through the left side that scored Becker. LaRochelle sliced a single to right field that knocked in Friedberg, and Bridenbeck was tagged out at the plate trying to score from second.

Pachella pitched his way out of a jam in the sixth inning after he gave up a leadoff single. Hartwell reached on an infield hit and Bridenbeck caught him stealing second. Pachella issued a pair of two-out walks but the next batter grounded out to short and ended the threat. He retired the side in order in the seventh inning.

In the second game, Williams forced extra innings with two runs in the top of the ninth, and added the go-ahead run in the 12th. Kelso Stevens '15 went 4-for-6 with a double, an RBI and a stolen base. Hartwell, David Webster '15 and Jimmy Ray '13 collected two hits each. Matt Kastner '14 posted two hits and an RBI and Thomas Stephens '14 drove in two runs.

Ray (2-1) also picked up the win in relief with three scoreless innings. He gave up two hits and struck out five. Steve Marino '14 started for the Ephs and allowed one earned run on six hits in six innings.

Bridenbeck and Nick Taylor '16 boasted three hits apiece and Bridenbeck knocked in a pair of runs for the Continentals. Sam Fuentes '13 recorded two hits and two RBI. Becker finished with three RBI and a pair of stolen bases.

Cole Dreyfuss '16 got the start for Hamilton and yielded five unearned runs on seven hits and fanned three. Andrew Jaffoni '15 and Ryan Crawford '15 pitched well in relief. Jaffoni went 2.1 innings and gave up one run, and Crawford lasted 3.1 innings and allowed one earned run. Joe Wagner '14 (0-2) took the loss in one inning of work.

In the 12th, Ray walked with one out and Webster was hit by a pitch. A fielder's choice put runners on the corners, and Kastner hit a high chopper that landed in left field and scored Ray. Hamilton didn't go away in the bottom of the 12th. Ray struck out the first two batters but singles by Klein and Tim Burke '16 put runners on the corners. Burke moved to second on a wild pitch and the winning run was in scoring position. But Ray coaxed a groundout to second base that finally ended the extra-inning affair.

Hamilton jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Becker's groundout plated Joe Jensen '15. Williams took a 5-1 lead with two runs in the third and three in the fifth. Chance Reuger '13 and Ray singled with one out in the third and a fielder's choice off the bat of Hartwell put runners on the corners. Webster reached on an error that allowed Reuger to score and Hartwell went to third. Mondshein followed with a single to right that plated Hartwell for a 2-1 lead.

Ray and Hartwell started off the fifth inning with singles. Webster reached on a sacrifice bunt attempt when an error was made, Ray scored and Hartwell made his way to third. Dreyfuss retired the next two batters but Webster stole second and the throw allowed Hartwell to steal home. Stephens' single to center plated Webster.

Hamilton got one back in the sixth when Colin Henneberger '14 sent a double down the left field line, moved to third base on a flyout to right and scored on Bridenbeck's single up the middle. The Ephs responded in the seventh with another run for a 6-2 advantage. Webster singled, stole second and touched the plate on a double down the left field line by Andrew Bishop '13.

The Continentals' bats woke up in the seventh inning to the tune of five runs, and tacked on one more in the eighth for an 8-6 lead. The hosts loaded the bases in the seventh and with one gone, Becker was hit by a pitch and forced in a run. Fuentes hit a two-out single through the right side that drove in two more runs and cut the deficit to 6-5.

Fuentes got caught in a rundown between first and second base, and that allowed Becker to score the tying run from third. Fuentes wound up safe at second. Bridenbeck lined a single through the left side and that gave the Continentals a 7-6 lead. In the eighth, Brian Ferrell '16 reached on an error, went to second base on a groundout and scored on Becker's single.

Williams put two runs on the board in the top of the ninth. K.C. Murphy '13 led off with a single, Patrick Blizzard '13 was hit by a pitch, and both runners moved up on a passed ball. Murphy scored on Stephens' groundout and Blizzard crossed the plate on a single by Stevens.

Both teams wasted opportunities in the bottom of the ninth and beyond. In the ninth, Hamilton stranded runners on first and second. Fuentes saved a run for the Continentals in the top of the 10th when he threw out a runner at the plate and ended the inning.

The teams meet one more time at Hamilton to decide the winner of this division series on Sunday, April 28.