School records fall in baseball sweep of SUNY Polytechnic

School records fall in baseball sweep of SUNY Polytechnic

The Hamilton College baseball team swept a non-conference doubleheader from visiting SUNY Polytechnic Sunday at the Loop Road Baseball/Softball Complex. The Continentals, who've won four of their last five, were 6-2 winners in game one and rallied for a 9-8 victory in the nightcap.

Hamilton improved to 10-9 overall with the sweep. The Continentals pounded out 21 hits in the two seven-inning games, including five triples. Brett Mele '17 went five for seven with a double and two triples. He drove in six runs, including the game-winner in game two after the Wildcats had tied the score in the sixth inning.

Mele raised his career total to seven triples, breaking the school record shared by six Continentals. Five of his triples have come this spring, tying the program mark set by Russ Christ in 1988. As a team, Hamilton has already set a school record with 12 triples this spring.

SUNY Polytechnic scored three times in both the fifth and sixth to forge an 8-8 tie after the hosts had jumped out to an 8-2 lead after three innings. The Continentals needed just two batters in the bottom of the sixth to plate the winning run. Chris Collins '17 led off with a triple to the wall in right center and Mele followed with a full-count single to center.

The Continentals scored eight runs over the second and third in game two. Nate Goodman '20 and David Braverman '19 both tripled and scored in the second. Justin Schirmacher '20 and Ryan Wolfsberg '17 added RBI singles in the second

An inning later Kenny Collins '17 singled off the pitcher's glove, then stole second and scored on a Goodman single to left. Braverman walked and Schirmacher reached on a bunt to lead the bases. Mele unloaded them with a three-run triple.

Mele had three hits with Goodman and Wolfsberg contributing two apiece. Goodman, Braverman and Chris Collins each scored twice.

The Wildcats (2-18) started their rally with three two-out runs in the fifth. Tyler Vyce singled in a run and two batters later Dean Natalizio doubled down the line to plate two more runs.

In the sixth a pinch-hit double by Joseph Cascella and a run-scoring single off the bat of Dante Rose pulled SUNY Polytechnic to within 8-6 with two outs. Hamilton nearly escaped the inning with its lead intact when Max Jones '19 fanned Connor Manderson, but Manderson reached first when the third strike was mishandled and Vyce followed with a run-scoring single that made it a one-run game. With runners on first and second, Raymond Smith doubled to right center; Manderson scored the tying run but the relay from Kenny Collins to Chris Collins cut down the go-ahead run with Mele tagging Vyce out at the plate.

In the opener, Finlay O'Hara '17 improved to 2-1 with six innings of six-hit/one-run pitching. He struck out five Wildcats and didn't allow a walk a batter.

Hamilton scored in each of the first four innings to build a 5-0 advantage. Chris Collins singled and scored on a groundout in the first and Kenny Collins singled and came around on an RBI single by Robert Morris '17 an inning later. Mele led off the third with a double and Andrew Haser '17 gave the hosts a 3-0 lead with a single to left. Mele's fourth-inning triple – which tied the school's career record – and a double by Wolfsberg added two more runs.

Chris Collins closed out the scoring in the sixth, drawing a leadoff walk and stealing second before scoring on an infield grounder.

Cascella had three of SUNY Polytechnic's seven hits. He scored the Wildcats' first run and drove in their second with a seventh-inning sacrifice fly.

Hamilton returns to NESCAC West Division play this weekend, playing a three-game weekend series at Middlebury College. The Continentals and Panthers are slated to play a 4 p.m. single game Friday and a noon doubleheader Saturday.