California road trip: Panther baseball gets fast start in NESCAC

CALIFORNIA — The Middlebury College baseball team took two of three games from NESCAC rival Williams this past weekend to open its league campaign. Games were played at two sites in California as the Panthers wrapped up their spring break trip at 6-9. At 2-1 in the league they are in second in NESCAC West behind Amherst (2-0).
On this past Friday Middlebury earned a 20-1 victory over Williams (2-10). Middlebury scored six times in the first inning, an outburst highlighted by Kevin Woodring’s RBI single and two-run doubles by Phil Bernstein and Grant Elgarten.
Andrew Hennings doubled in a run in the third and scored on an error, and the Panthers scored three times in the fifth on consecutive RBI singles by Hayden Smith, Justin Han and Woodring. In a four-run sixth Carroll, Han and Corcoran poked RBI hits, and Middlebury added more runs in the late innings. Colby Morris hurled seven innings of four-hit ball to earn the win.
The Panthers split two games on Saturday, winning the seven-inning opener, 6-1, before the Ephs rallied to win the nine-inning nightcap, 5-3.
In the first game, the Ephs took a lead on a first-inning wild pitch in game one, but that was all starter Will Oppenheim allow: He picked up his first collegiate victory, throwing 5.1 innings and allowing one run on five hits. George Goldstein went 1.2 innings for his second save.
Middlebury took the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning with a two-out rally: Smith, Alan Guild doubled him home, and Sam Graf singled in Guild.
Middlebury tacked on four runs in the sixth. Graf and Hennings were each hit by pitches with the bases loaded, and Henry Strmecki drilled a two-run single.
In the nightcap, Middlebury took a 3-0 lead after two innings. In the first, Carroll walked and scored on a Guild grounder. In the second Corcoran and Smith plated runs with sacrifice flies.
The Ephs tied the game with a three-run third inning, with the runs coming on a passed ball and a Jack Roberts a two-run double. Williams added the go-ahead runs in the seventh on RBI singles by Mike Stamas and Eric Pappas.
Colin Waters got the start for Middlebury and went five innings, while Robert Erickson took the loss, giving up two runs (one earned) in 2.2 innings. Conor Himstead tossed 1.1 scoreless innings.
Williams’s starter George Carroll went seven innings for the win, giving up three runs (two earned) on seven hits. Bryan Woolley earned the two-inning save.

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