Baseball posts decisive DH sweep against SUNY Poly

Tom Riley '20 (Michael P. Doherty photo)
Tom Riley '20 (Michael P. Doherty photo)

The Hamilton College Continentals received two impressive pitching performances and swept a non-conference doubleheader from SUNY Polytechnic Institute at Hamilton's Loop Road Baseball/Softball Complex on Saturday afternoon.

The Continentals (8-9 overall) improved to 4-0 at home even though they played both games as the visiting team. SUNY Poly was originally scheduled to host the twinbill but the Wildcats' field isn't playable.

Hamilton won the first game 7-1 and took the nightcap 8-0. The Continentals host SUNY Poly again on Sunday, April 8 at noon, followed by another non-conference contest against SUNY Cobleskill at 3:30. Both games are scheduled to go nine innings.

Game 1: Hamilton 7, SUNY Poly 1

Tom Riley '20 evened his record at 1-1 as he allowed just one run on four hits and three walks and fanned four in 6.1 innings for Hamilton. The outing was the longest of Riley's collegiate career. Ian Nish '19, who has allowed one earned run in eight appearances, got the final two outs. James Nish '20 led the offense with two hits and three runs batted in.

Jarrett Lee '21 led off the game with a double to the gap in right center and scored on James Nish's two-out blast over the fence in right field. The homer was the first for Nish in his career with the Continentals.

Hamilton took a commanding 6-0 lead with four runs in the top of the third. Two walks and an infield single loaded the bases with no outs, and James Nish laced a single to right field that plated Lee. Graham McOsker '20 drew a walk that forced in Matt Cappelletti '21 and Craig Sandford '19 cracked a double to right that drove in Nish and Matt Zaffino '21.

The Wildcats (6-9) got one run back in the bottom of the inning. Joshua Rodriguez hit a two-out single to center field and Connor Manderson reached base after he swung at strike three, but the pitch drifted way outside and sailed to the backstop. Nate Palmer's single through the right side of the infield brought Rodriguez all the way around from second base.

The Continentals tacked on one more run in the sixth inning with a two-out rally. Cappelletti reached base and took second on a throwing error by the second baseman. He went to third on a passed ball and scored on Zaffino's infield hit.

Palmer finished with two hits for SUNY Poly. Starter Jeremiah Horton allowed two runs in two innings and took the loss.

Game 2: Hamilton 8, SUNY Poly 0

Brian Lawson '20 (2-2) scattered six hits, walked two and struck out five in seven innings as he recorded his first shutout at Hamilton. Lawson lowered his earned run average to 2.55 in 17.2 innings. Jordan Northrup '19 paced the offense with three hits and three runs batted in. Lee chipped in three hits -- extending his hitting streak to 11 games -- and three runs scored. Cappelletti contributed a pair of hits.

For the second time in as many games, the Continentals grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Singles by Lee, Cappelletti and Zaffino loaded the bases with no outs, and Northrup's base hit to right field with one out drove in two runs.

Hamilton kept its two-run lead until the fourth inning. Northrup doubled down the right field line with one out, Ethan Wallis '21 drew a walk, and Sam Rowley '20 loaded the bases with an infield single. Michael O'Hare '21 followed with a sacrifice fly that drove in Northrup.

The Continentals made it 4-0 in the fifth when Lee led off with a triple that rolled to the wall in right-center field and scored when Cappelletti grounded out to short. Meanwhile, Lawson retired nine straight Wildcats at one point.

Hamilton clinched the victory with four runs on six hits in the top of the seventh. Lee's double down the right field line scored Nate Goodman '20, who had singled. Lee went to third on a base hit by Cappelletti and scored on a sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter David Braverman '19. A single to center by James Nish put runners at the corners and Cappelletti scampered home when Northrup hammered a line drive back at the pitcher that bounced off his glove and rolled over to the first base line. Wallis followed with a single through the right side of the infield that drove in Nish. The Continentals finished the second game with 13 hits.

SUNY Poly singled twice in the bottom of the inning, but Lawson ended the threat by rolling up a game-ending double play. John Andrews had two hits for the Wildcats and starting pitcher John Noone took the loss after he surrendered two runs in two innings.