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Middlebury College baseball battered in the early going

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Posted on March 31, 2016 |
By Addison Independent



TUCSON, Ariz. — After the Middlebury College baseball team won the opening game of its spring trip to Arizona, the Panthers dropped five straight, including a couple heartbreakers, to stand at 2-6 heading into a Wednesday game vs. Gustavus Adolphus.

The Panthers will also take on NESCAC West foe Williams in a three-game set in Tucson this Friday and Saturday before returning to Vermont, where they are scheduled to host Norwich on Tuesday at 4 p.m.

On this past Saturday, the Panthers opened their trip with a split of two seven-inning games against Oberlin.

The Panthers won the opener, 8-4. They scored three times in the bottom of the first inning. Jake Turtel singled and Max Araya was hit by a pitch. Jason Lock doubled the runners home, and Joe MacDonald singled Lock in. In the second, the Panthers tacked on a run on an Alex Deutsch double and a Sam Graf single.

The Yeomen scored twice in the fifth off winning pitcher Colby Morris, and then Middlebury added four runs on three hits and two Oberlin errors in the home half of the fifth. Johnny Read led off with a double to left center, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Graf and scored on a throwing error. Graf moved to second on a bunt and scored on an Araya double. After Lock walked and John Luke reached on an error, two more runs scored on a MacDonald single and a walk to Lock.

The Yeomen scored twice off reliever Jake Stalcup to open the sixth, but Dylan Takamori pitched a scoreless 1.2 innings for the save. Morris earned his first win for Middlebury, allowing two runs on eight hits with three walks and a strikeout in five innings.

Oberlin won the nightcap, 5-3, after taking a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second. The Panthers scored a run in the third on an error and singles by Araya and Lock. The Panthers scored twice in the fifth on singles by Read, Turtel and Araya and a MacDonald sacrifice fly. John Bunting went the distance for Middlebury, giving up five runs, four earned, on seven hits with six strikeouts and three walks.

CARTHAGE WINS

On Sunday, the Panthers pounded 16 hits, but fell to Carthage, 13-8.

Spencer Tonies led Middlebury with four hits and two RBIs. Luke drove in a game-high three runs with a double and two singles, while Araya singled twice, walked and scored twice. Turtel doubled, and John Tipps and Lock had RBI hits.

Robert Erickson took the loss despite not allowing an earned run, while MacDonald in relief allowed one run on three hits in three innings of work.

On Tuesday, Middlebury’s pitching was roughed up two losses, 29-8 to Westminster and 10-9 to Gustavus Adolphus.

Westminster pounded out 23 hits, including three homers, in its 29-8 victory. For Middlebury, MacDonald had three hits, a run and an RBI; Phil Bernstein drove in three runs with three hits; Brendan Donahue doubled, singled twice and scored twice; and Tipps doubled singled and drove in a pair. Read took the loss, allowing six runs on one hit with four walks over 1.1 innings. Mark Dickerson and Ben Karlin threw in relief for the Panthers.

In game two, the Gusties snapped a 9-9 tie in the bottom of the ninth after the Panthers had rallied from 8-3 and 9-8 deficits to knot the score.

Araya poked three hits, scored once and drove in a pair, while Tonies had two hits, scored once and drove in two. Lock, Graf, Ryan Rizzo and Sebastian Sanchez all had two hits, one run, and one RBI.

Bunting (0-2) took the loss in 2.1 innings of relief, after 2.1 innings of scoreless pitching from Morris.

On Tuesday, the Panthers lost a 14-8 lead when Westminster erupted for seven runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to win, 15-14.

The Panthers rallied from a 6-5 deficit with a four-run sixth keyed by a Drew Coash double and Graf’s three-run homer. Luke drilled a solo shot in the seventh to make it 10-6.

After Westminster scored twice in the bottom of the seventh, Middlebury scored four times in the top of the eighth. Araya tripled to plate two runs, MacDonald singled in Araya, and Turtel doubled MacDonald home to make it 14-8.

But the Blue Jays struck for seven runs in the eighth after opening the frame with five straight singles. Conor Himstead (0-1) took the loss in relief, while Brendan Donohue started and Takamori also saw action.

Five Panthers had a multiple-hit games: Luke, Tonies, MacDonald, Turtel and Coash.

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