Baseball wins two non-conference games at home

James Nish '20 (Bryan Klabik photo)
James Nish '20 (Bryan Klabik photo)

Hamilton College won both of its games in non-conference action at Hamilton's Loop Road Baseball/Softball Complex on Sunday afternoon. The Continentals posted a 9-5 win over SUNY Polytechnic in their first game to sweep the three-game series against the Wildcats and then recorded an 11-4 victory against SUNY Cobleskill in game two.

Hamilton improves its record to 10-9 with its fourth straight win and is back in action on Tuesday, April 10 for another non-conference game as they host local rival Utica College at 4 p.m.

Game One: Hamilton 9, SUNY Polytechnic 5

The Continentals jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Jarrett Lee '21 and Matt Cappelletti '21 started the inning with back-to-back walks followed by a bunt single by Matt Zaffino '21. On the same play, the second baseman misplayed the throw to first base, Lee scored and Cappelletti advanced to third. Craig Sandford '19 dropped down a bunt and reached first when the Wildcat third baseman failed to throw out Cappelletti crossing home plate. Jordan Northrup '19 followed with another bunt, sacrificing himself to move Zaffino to third and Sandford to second. Zaffino was able to score on a wild pitch before Jacob Han '21 grounded out to third for the final out of the inning.

Hamilton added one run in the third inning, two in the fourth, two in the sixth and one in the seventh.

With two outs in the fourth inning, Zaffino smashed his first triple of the day when he hit the fence in right field, scoring Lee from first base. Zaffino then scored when Sandford singled to right field to give Hamilton a 6-0 edge.

SUNY Poly (6-10) scored two runs in the fifth inning, but Hamilton added two more in the sixth to gain back the six-run advantage. Cappelletti scored Hamilton's seventh run after he singled and came around after Zaffino walked, Sandford singled and Northrup hit a sacrifice fly to right field. Sandford and Zaffino were standing on the corners when Sandford drew a throw down from the Wildcat catcher, and despite being thrown out at second base for the second out of the inning, Zaffino was able to score from third to make it 8-2.

Zaffino and Sandford both had three hits and two runs batted in for the Continentals, and Zaffino scored four runs. Northrup went 1-for-2 with two RBIs, one sacrifice bunt and one sacrifice fly. Cappelletti went 2-for-4 with a walk and one RBI.

Chris Keane '20 had three strikeouts and gave up two runs on eight hits through six innings of work on the mound for Hamilton. Ian Nish '19 ensured the win when he struck out the side in the ninth inning.

Dalton Earl, Nick LaBella and Dean Natalizio each had two hits for the Wildcats. Drew Scharra took the loss after giving up three runs on two walks and one hit in the first inning.

Game Two: Hamilton 11, SUNY Cobleskill 4

The Continentals recorded one run in the second inning, five in the fourth, two in the fifth, two in the sixth and one in the eighth for the win. Hamilton totaled 10 hits during the second game for a total of 20 on the day.

Even though Hamilton had a 1-0 lead after the second inning, Cobleskill (1-14) kept the Continentals hitless until they exploded with five hits and five runs in the fourth. James Nish '20 kicked off the inning when he legged out a single and then advanced on a throwing error by the second basemen. Graham McOsker '20 and Sam Rowley '20 followed with back-to-back bunt singles, and with help from two Cobleskill errors, both Nish and McOsker scored. Two batters later, Ethan Wallis '21 hit a run-scoring single to right field. Michael O'Hare '21 blasted a triple to right field to score Wallis, and O'Hare scored when Lee grounded out to second base.

Gavin Schaefer-Hood '21 racked up a season-best nine strikeouts while allowing two walks and four hits through five shutout innings. Mike Borek 18 maintained the shutout through the seventh inning, but the Fighting Tigers managed to score three of their four runs in the eighth. Charlie Lynn '18 walked to the mound in the ninth and took all three outs for himself as he tallied three strikeouts while giving up one run on two hits.

Nate Goodman '20, James Nish, O'Hare and Zaffino all hit triples, and Goodman added a double as he went 2-for-4 with one RBI. James Nish went 2-for-2 with four RBIs and a walk, and Zaffino went 2-for-4 to increase his hit total to five on the day.

After a successful weekend, Zaffino leads the NESCAC in five offensive categories: triples (4), home runs (3), total bases (44), on-base percentage (.537) and slugging percentage (.863). James Nish joins Zaffino on the leaderboard with four triples as Hamilton paces the conference with 15 so far this season.