Panther nine opens with twin bill sweep

TROY, N.Y. — The Middlebury College baseball team opened its season by sweeping a March 11 doubleheader from host Rensselaer.

The Panthers were set to visit Bard on Tuesday, a game that Independent columnist and hardball guru Karl Lindholm planned to attend.

Next up for Middlebury is the team’s annual weeklong Florida trip to Orlando, which will kick off with a Saturday doubleheader vs. Muhlenberg.

On March 11 the Panthers took two seven-innings games from host RPI, 8-5 and 11-0. The Engineers dropped to 4-3.

Middlebury fell behind 3-0 after three innings in the opening contest, but took the lead with a four-run fourth. Chris Borter singled in Sammy Smith and scored on an Andrew Ashley single, and both runners scored on a Sawyer Duarte double.

Middlebury erupted for another four runs in the top of the sixth. Duarte plated a run with a fielder’s choice and later scored on an error. John Collins later singled in Zip Malley and scored on Jack Stolper’s infield hit.

The Engineers added two runs in the seventh on a two-run double by Joe Curci to close the gap to 8-5, but Jackson Atwood recorded the final out for the save.

Collins, Stolper, Smith and Ashley each had two hits. Alex Price got the win on the mound, going five innings and giving up three runs on three hits with six strikeouts.

In the second game eleven Panthers knocked out hits. Malley led with three hits and an RBI; Collins homered, singled and drove in a pair of runs; Smith belted a two-run homer; Nathan Samii drilled a solo shot; Borter picked up a pair of hits and an RBI; and Stolper and Mitchell Schroeder drove in runs.

Alex Rosario earned the pitching win, allowing one hit over five innings with five strikeouts. Justin Lessing and Kunal Handa each threw a perfect inning.

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