Zaffino '21 extends hit steak to 13 games in baseball loss

Matt Zaffino '21 (Bryan Klabik photo)
Matt Zaffino '21 (Bryan Klabik photo)

The Utica College Pioneers scored three runs in the third inning and two more in the fourth and went on to post a 7-2 non-conference win against the Hamilton College Continentals at Hamilton's Loop Road Baseball/Softball Complex on Tuesday.

The Continentals (10-10 overall) had won their first six home games this spring. Hamilton finished with two runs on eight hits and didn't commit any errors. 

Matt Zaffino '21, Craig Sandford '19 and Sam Rowley '20 collected two hits each for the Continentals. Zaffino extended his hitting streak to 13 games, and Rowley hammered his first career triple. Sandford reached base three times as he also drew a walk.

Hamilton threw seven pitchers with none going more than two innings. Ev Johnson '21 started on the mound and took the loss after he allowed three runs on three hits and three walks in two innings. Spencer Vogelbach '18 and Carter King '19 retired all three batters they faced in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively.

Ryan Palmer led the Pioneers' offense with three hits and four runs batted in, and Tom Carrigan and Adam Nell added two hits apiece. Six Utica pitchers combined to allow two unearned runs. Alex Rocci pitched the second inning and improved his record to 3-1 with the victory.

The Continentals grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Hamilton loaded the bases on two singles and an infield error before Ethan Wallis '21 drove in Dean Rosenberg '18 with a fielder's choice ground ball to the shortstop.

The Pioneers (10-7) took the lead for good with three runs in the third inning. Palmer plated two runs with a single and Zachary Schellenger scored Carrigan with a base hit. Utica extended its advantage to 5-1 in the fourth. Jake Ryan hit a one-out triple and scored when Palmer grounded out to second base. A single to center field by Nell drove in the second run of the inning.

The Continentals cut their deficit to 5-2 in the bottom of the fifth. Zaffino reached base on an infield single and crossed home plate on Rosenberg's two-out double to center.

The Pioneers added single runs in the eighth and ninth innings. Palmer made it 6-2 with a two-out single that scored Matthew Leviton, and Nell accounted for the final margin when Ben Julian grounded out to second base and scored Nell from third.

Hamilton hosts Wesleyan University for the opener of their NESCAC West Division weekend series on Friday, April 13 at 4 p.m.