Middlebury baseball takes two of three from Ephs
TUCSON, Ariz. — The Middlebury College baseball team opened NESCAC West play this past weekend by taking two out of three games from Williams during the college spring break in Tucson. The Panthers swept a Saturday doubleheader, 2-1 and 11-4, after dropping the opener on Friday, 8-2.
The Panthers’ Tuesday home opener vs. Norwich was postponed until Monday at 4 p.m. Middlebury (4-8) will visit NESCAC West foe Wesleyan for a three-game set this weekend.
Saturday’s first game featured a pitcher’s duel between Middlebury’s John Bunting and Williams’ Tyler Duff. The Panthers got on the board with a single tally in the bottom of the second inning. With one out, Max Araya was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a Williams’ fielding error and to third on a fielder’s choice. Ryan Rizzo then singled Araya home.
Williams (5-10) tied the game in the fourth inning. The Ephs got singles from Doug Schaffer and Jack Cloud, and Tom Benz drove home Schaffer with a sacrifice fly.
The score remained knotted at 1-1 until the bottom of the seventh inning. Spencer Tonies ripped a one-out double, and moved up to third on a single from John Luke. Alex Beschloss replaced Duff on the mound for Williams and Tonies scored the winning run on a wild pitch for the 2-1 victory. That wild pitch came while the Eph pitcher was trying to intentionally walk the batter to load the bases to set up a force play at any base.
Bunting (1-2) tossed a complete game for his first collegiate win, allowing three hits and two walks and striking out three. Rizzo and Luke each had two hits for the Panthers.
In game two, the Panthers took a 6-1 lead with six runs in the third. A sacrifice fly by Tonies scored Jake Turtel with the first run, while a bases-loaded walk by Rizzo made it 2-1 by scoring Luke, who had singled. Raj Palekar laced a bases-clearing triple, and Alex Deutsch singled in Palekar for the final run.
Middlebury added single runs in the fifth and sixth on RBI singles by Turtel and Phil Bernstein, and scored three times in the seventh on two errors and an RBI triple by Tonies.
Joe MacDonald (1-0) earned the win for Middlebury, allowing three runs, two earned, on eight hits with two strikeouts and a walk over seven innings. Brendan Donohue went the final two frames, giving up a run on two hits with two strikeouts and two walks.
On Friday, Eph Luke Rodino threw all nine innings for the Ephs, allowing two runs on eight hits with eight strikeouts and no walks in Williams’ win.
Colby Morris (1-2) took the loss for the Panthers, giving up seven runs, six earned, on 12 hits with three strikeouts and a walk in five innings. Robert Erickson tossed the final four frames, surrendering just one run on three hits with two strikeouts and three walks.
Johnny Read and Sam Graf poked RBI singles for the Panthers, and Turtel had two hits and scored a run.
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