Zaffino '21 bashes homer, triple in baseball's DH loss at Amherst

Matt Zaffino '21 (Michael P. Doherty photo)
Matt Zaffino '21 (Michael P. Doherty photo)

The Amherst College Mammoths swept a NESCAC West Division doubleheader against the Hamilton College Continentals at Amherst's Memorial Field on Saturday afternoon.

The Mammoths (9-5, 2-0 NESCAC West) pulled out the opener 5-4 in nine innings and then edged Hamilton 10-9 in the nightcap. The first game was scheduled to go just seven innings. The Continentals (6-9, 0-2) had won six in a row going into the weekend.

Hamilton is scheduled to play a non-conference game at SUNY Cortland on Tuesday, April 3 at 3:30 p.m.

Game 1: Amherst 5, Hamilton 4 (9 inn.)

Amherst's Ariel Kenney led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a double and was replaced by pinch-runner Kai Terada-Herzer. Nick Nardone singled down the right field line and moved Terada-Herzer over to third. Terada-Herzer then scored the game-winning run on a single by designated hitter Joseph Palmo.

Matt Zaffino '21 led Hamilton's offense with two hits, including a home run, and drove in two. Zaffino extended his hitting streak to eight games on Saturday. Tom Riley '20 and Ian Nish '19 combined to pitch 5.1 innings of scoreless relief.

Max Steinhorn, Kenney and Nardone all had two hits for the Mammoths. Andrew Ferrero shut out the Continentals over the final 2.2 innings and earned the victory.

Amherst scored single runs in the first and second innings and went up 4-0 with two runs in the third. Nardone cracked a solo home run with one out in the third inning and Topher Brown plated another run with a two-out triple.

Hamilton roared back to tie the score with four runs in the top of the sixth inning. Nate Goodman '20 drew a one-out walk and went to second on a single between first and second base by Jarrett Lee '21. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a triple to dead center by James Nish '20. Zaffino followed Nish and promptly smashed a two-run homer.

The Continentals' best chance to score in the final three innings came in the eighth when Zaffino reached on an error and eventually made it to third base with two outs. He was stranded there when the next batter took a called third strike.

Game 2: Amherst 10, Hamilton 9

Kenney was the catalyst behind the Mammoths' game-winning run for the second time in this twinbill as he led off the bottom of the sixth with a single. He eventually came around to score on an infield throwing error with one out.

Seven Hamilton players had one hit each. Zaffino went 1-for-1 with two walks and Lee reached base three times and scored three runs. Ian Nish allowed a single in one inning of scoreless relief and has not given up an earned run in his last four appearances covering 4.2 innings.

Steinhorn, Kenney, Nardone and Severino Simeone finished with two hits each for Amherst. Nardone drove in four runs and Kenney scored three times. Ryan Sholtis picked up his first win by getting the final four outs and surrendering just one hit.

The Mammoths led 4-1 after one but the Continentals took the lead with a four-run second inning. Hamilton did all its damage with two outs. Matt Cappelletti '21 drove in two runs with a single to right center, Lee scored on a wild pitch, and Cappelletti made it 5-4 when he scored on an infield error.

Amherst tied the score in the bottom of the inning and went back in front with two runs in the fourth. The Continentals pulled within a run in the fifth when Zaffino led off with a triple and scored on a one-out single to center field by Craig Sandford '19.

The Mammoths responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning for a 9-6 cushion but Hamilton tied things up again with three in the sixth. Goodman, Lee and Zaffino drew walks, and pinch-hitter Graham McOsker '20 cleared the bases with a two-out double.

The Continentals had one last chance in the seventh when Ethan Wallis '21 singled up the middle with two outs, but the next batter lofted a fly ball to center that was caught for the final out.