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Panther baseball: Middlebury wins Amherst series

AMHERST — The Middlebury College baseball team won three of five games this past weekend, including taking two of three at NESCAC West foe Amherst. The Panthers improved to 6-10, 2-4 in league play. Their scheduled Tuesday home game vs. Plattsburgh was postponed.
On this past Friday, Justin Han’s go-ahead grand slam in the eighth inning lifted the Panthers to an 8-4 win over Amherst, a team now known as the Mammoths. Han’s blast came after an Andrew Hennings double and two hit-batsmen and erased a 4-3 Amherst lead.
Spencer Shores (1-0) picked up his first career win for Middlebury, allowing two earned runs and six hits over seven innings, while striking out four batters. Jake Stalcup pitched two innings of scoreless relief to earn his second save of the year.
Eight players had hits for Middlebury. Raj Palekar doubled twice, Hennings scored three runs, Phil Bernstein drove home two runs, and Jason Lock and Sam Graf poked RBI singles.
Amherst’s George Long (0-2) suffered the loss in relief, giving up five runs and four hits over two innings of work.
On Saturday, Amherst won the first game of a doubleheader, 3-1, but Middlebury took the nightcap, 6-2.
Middlebury’s only run in the opener came after a Ryan Rizzo single, one of his two hits, and stolen base in the third. Rizzo moved to third on a ground ball and scored on a Lock sacrifice fly. Colby Morris (1-3) took the complete-game loss for Middlebury, allowing three earned runs while whiffing two. Jackson Volle tossed a complete-game five-hitter for the Mammoths.
In the nightcap the game was tied at 2-2 into the seventh. The Panthers picked up an unearned run in the second, and Bernstein singled in Lock in the third. Middlebury took the lead in the seventh, when Graf singled, moved up on an error and a wild pitch and scored on a Lock sacrifice fly. The Panthers tacked on three more runs in the ninth on a Lock RBI double and RBI singles by Han and Bernstein.
Colin Waters (1-1) pitched 7.1 innings to earn the win, giving up two earned runs and striking out two, while Conor Himstead got a save, coming on in the eight with a 3-2 lead and allowing no hits and fanning two in 1.2 innings.
On Sunday, the Panthers split a doubleheader at Curry, winning the opener, 2-0, and losing the second game, 6-5.
In the opener, the Panthers scored in the first on a Brooks Carroll single and Graf double, and in the sixth, on a Gray Goolsby single and another Graf double.
Middlebury pitcher Andrew Martinson (1-1) picked up his first career win, allowing one hit over five innings with four strikeouts. Conor Himstead tossed a scoreless seventh inning for the save, while Stalcup also pitched a scoreless inning.
Carroll, Lock, Han and Graf all had two hits for Middlebury.
In the nightcap the teams traded the lead several times, with the Panthers scoring twice in the top of the seventh to make it 5-4 on a Palekar pinch-hit two-run double. But Curry scored twice off Dylan Takamori (1-1) in the bottom of the seventh for the win; both runs came home on a single wild pitch.
Robert Erickson started for Middlebury and allowed two earned runs in five innings. Rizzo and Kevin Woodring stroked RBI singles, Bernstein picked up an RBI, and Lock and Carroll poked two hits apiece. 

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