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Middlebury baseball wins one of three on weekend, splits two others

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Posted on April 14, 2016 |
By Addison Independent



MIDDLETOWN, Conn. — Host Wesleyan took two games out of three this past weekend from the Middlebury College baseball team in NESCAC play before the Panthers split two non-league games on Monday and Tuesday.

Middlebury (6-11, 3-3 NESCAC West) will play a three-game set at league foe Hamilton this weekend.

On this past Friday, the Panthers erupted for four runs in the sixth inning to snap a 3-3 tie on the way to a 7-4 win over host Wesleyan.

Middlebury took a 3-0 lead in the second on a walk to Phil Bernstein, a Raj Palekar RBI double, singles by Jake Turtel and Brendan Donohue, and an RBI grounder from Spencer Tonies. Wesleyan got two in the second and one in the third to knot the score before the Panthers broke through in the sixth.

A Sam Graf single, doubles by Donohue and Tonies and a Wesleyan error paved the way for the decisive rally.

Panther reliever Dylan Takamori worked a bases-loaded jam in the eighth before the Cardinals tacked on a run in the ninth.

Turtel knocked out three of the Panthers’ 11 hits. Colby Morris (2-2) picked up the win for the visitors, tossing 6.1 innings and surrendering three runs on eight hits with three strikeouts. Takamori pitched the final 2.2 innings and gave up one unearned run on three hits.

Wesleyan (15-4, 2-1 NESCAC) bounced back on Saturday to sweep a doubleheader, 8-1 and 10-2.

Middlebury scored in the opener in the fourth on a Graf double, a ground out and a Donohue sacrifice fly.

Wesleyan pitcher Peter Rantz tossed a complete-game three-hitter to improve to 4-1.

John Bunting (1-3) started the game for Middlebury and surrendered six earned runs in four innings. Mark Dickerson tossed two scoreless innings of relief.

In game two, the hosts used a six-run third inning to jump out in front and led by 7-0 before the Panthers scored their two runs in the sixth. Jason Lock walked, and Palekar doubled. Lock scored on a ground out by Noah Levine, and a Cardinal error on the play allowed Palekar to score.

Graf led Middlebury with three hits in four at-bats, while Palekar reached base twice with a double and a walk.

Joe MacDonald (1-1) started for the Panthers and worked into the third inning, allowing six runs (four earned) on eight hits. Robert Erickson, Conor Himstead and Ben Karlin threw in relief.

Cardinal Nick Miceli (5-0) earned the win, giving up one earned run in six innings on four hits.

On Monday, Colin Waters tossed a complete-game two-hit shutout as the Panthers posted a 4-0 victory over Norwich (1-18) in their home opener at Forbes Field. Waters finished with two strikeouts in nine innings for his first collegiate victory.

Singles by John Luke and Sam Graf made it 1-0 in the first. In the third, MacDonald singled in Max Araya, who had walked.

In the seventh, the Panthers pushed their lead to 3-0. Drew Coash walk, moved to second on a Sebastian Sanchez bunt, and scored on a Johnny Read single. In the eighth, Araya singled and scored on a Luke double for the final run.

On Tuesday, St. Michael’s blanked the Panthers, 6-0, for the 1-14 Purple Knights’ first win of the spring. That game was moved to Middlebury because of field conditions on the SMC campus.

SMC’s Trevor Allen (1-2) tossed a seven-hit complete-game with six strikeouts. Turtel stroked a pair of hits for the Panthers, while Graf and Garrett Werner doubled. Tucker Meredith took the loss, allowing three runs on four hits with three strikeouts over three innings. 

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