Baseball drops doubleheader at Middlebury

Baseball drops doubleheader at Middlebury

The Hamilton College baseball team wrapped up a weekend NESCAC West Division series with a doubleheader against the Middlebury Panthers Saturday. The host Panthers swept the two games, winning 6-5 and 7-6.

Hamilton (10-12 overall, 0-5 NESCAC West) held leads in both games before Middlebury rallied for the one-run victories.

In the seven-inning opener, the Panthers (9-10 overall, 5-4 NESCAC West) erased a 4-0 deficit to tie the game in the sixth inning. The Continentals retook the lead an inning later, going up by one, but the hosts pushed across the tying and winning runs in the bottom of the inning.

Ryan Wolfsberg '17 -- who extended his hitting streak to 15 games in the doubleheader -- knocked in the go-ahead run in the top of the seventh. His one-out single to left brought in Kenny Collins '17, who'd led off the inning with a triple.

The Continentals scored four times in the first three innings, picking up a run in the first on an infield grounder that plated Chris Collins '17 (who led off the game with a single). Two innings later Brett Mele '17 doubled home Chris Collins and Andrew Haser '17 followed with a two-run single.

Wolfsberg, Haser and Kenny Collins each had two of Hamilton's nine hits.

Middlebury's winning rally started with a leadoff walk to Sam Graf. A wild pitch and error put him at third and he scored when a ground ball off the bat of Raj Palekar was misplayed. After a sacrifice bunt, Phil Bernstein singled up the middle to give Middlebury the walk-off win.

Palekar's sacrifice fly capped a three-run fifth (which also featured run-scoring singles by Brooks Carroll and Jason Lock) an inning before Carroll tied the score at 4-4 with a fly ball to right field.

Carroll had a game-high three hits.

Reliever Conor Winstead earned the win -- his first this spring -- with a scoreless seventh.

In the second game, Hamilton held leads of 3-1 and 6-2 before the hosts tied the score in the sixth inning and pushed across the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth. The Continentals put the tying run in scoring position with no outs in the ninth, but Hamilton's pinch-runner was thrown out at home and the Panthers retired the next two hitters to complete the sweep.

Dean Rosenberg '18 led off the ninth with a single and, after a stolen base, Jordan Northrup '19 collected his fourth hit of the game with a line drive to center field. Middlebury's Ryan Rizzo threw out the tying run at the plate with Bernstein applying the tag.

Hamilton used two singles, two walks and a pair of Panther errors to score three times in the sixth. Kenny Collins drew a bases-loaded walk and Northrup and Chris Collins scored on errors by Middlebury infielders.

The Continentals had scored single runs in three of the first four innings. Kenny Collins put the visitors on the board in the top of the first; he walked and stole his NESCAC-leading 15th base of the season before coming home on Haser's RBI single. Two innings later Ian Nish '19 drew a bases-loaded walk and Hamilton tacked on a run in the fourth when Northrup scored on a Kenny Collins grounder.

Kenny Collins walked three times in the nightcap, scoring two runs and driving in two others. Haser and Rosenberg had two hits apiece.

The Panthers pulled even in the sixth with a four-run rally. Alex Guild tripled in a pair of runs, then -- after Andrew Corcoran was hit by a pitch and sacrificed to second -- scored on a wild pitch. Carroll followed with a single to plate Corcoran and tie the game.

The winning run scored after Hamilton had retired the first two batters in the bottom of the eighth. Lock was hit by a pitch and Graf followed with a double down the left field line.

Graf's double was his second of the game. He was one of five Panthers with multiple hits.

Hamilton returns to action Tuesday, traveling to SUNY Cortland for a 3:30 p.m. non-league game against the Red Dragons, who are ranked sixth in both national polls.