Baseball now 5-2 at home after walk-off win beats Amherst

Baseball now 5-2 at home after walk-off win beats Amherst

The Hamilton College baseball team rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat the visiting Amherst College Mammoths 5-4 Friday in the opener of a three-game NESCAC West Division series at the Loop Road Baseball/Softball Complex. Brett Mele '17 capped Hamilton's comeback with a walk-off single, plating Kenny Collins '17 with the winning run.

The Continentals (12-12 overall 12-12, 1-5 NESCAC West) held a 3-0 lead before the visiting Mammoths scored four times in their final three at-bats – including two runs in the top of the ninth – to go up 4-3. Hamilton's rally started with one out when Chris Collins '17 reached base on a throwing error by the shortstop and Kenny Collins singled through the right side. After the Collins brothers completed a double steal to put the winning run in scoring position, Amherst intentionally walked Ryan Wolfsberg '17. Chris Collins scored the tying run on a wild pitch and, after an intentional walk to Andrew Haser '17, Mele sent a grounder to the right side that Amherst's second baseman couldn't make a play on.

Three Continentals combined on a nine-inning four-hitter. Starter Dan DePaoli '18 held Amherst hitless into the fifth, finishing with seven strikeouts in 6.2 innings of work. He faced just two batters over the minimum through six. Tom Riley '20 picked up the next four innings before giving way to Finlay O'Hara '17, who improved to 3-1 on the year after Hamilton's winning rally.

Amherst took its only lead in the top of the ninth. A leadoff triple to center field by Ariel Kenney was followed by a misplayed infield grounder that tied the score. Two batters later, Max Steinhorn laced a single to right to bring in pinch-runner Will Murphy with the go-ahead run.

The Continentals took the lead with a second-inning run, scoring without a hit. Mele drew a leadoff walk and moved to second and third on a walk to Jordan Northrup '19 and a wild pitch before scoring on a long sacrifice fly to center by Dean Rosenberg '18.

Three innings later Hamilton tacked on two more runs. Robert Morris '17 led off with a triple and scored on Chris Collins' single up the middle. Two batters later, Haser doubled in Wolfsberg for a 3-0 Continental advantage.

Amherst got on the board in the seventh on a bases-loaded walk to Severino Tocci. An inning later, the visitors pulled to within a run when Yanni Thanopoulos singled home Steinhorn, who'd drawn a leadoff walk.

Mammoth starter Drew Fischer allowed just three hits in his four innings of work.

Chris Collins finished three-for-four with Mele adding a pair of hits.

The two teams conclude their weekend series with a noon doubleheader Saturday.