Middlebury College scored the last five runs and the Panthers posted a 7-2 NESCAC West Division win against the Hamilton College Continentals at Polk State College's Bing Tyus Yard in Winter Haven, Florida, on Friday afternoon.
Hamilton (7-7, 0-1 NESCAC West) banged out 12 singles. The teams play a doubleheader on Saturday, March 30 at Chain of Lakes Stadium in Winter Haven. The first pitch of the opener is scheduled for noon.
Ethan Wallis '21 paced the Continentals with three hits. Wallis has six multi-hit games this year and has hit safely in his last five. He leads the team with a .435 batting average, .534 on-base percentage, .609 slugging percentage, 20 hits, 10 walks and seven stolen bases. Brady Slinger '22, Nate Goodman '20 and Rich Marooney '21 chipped in two hits each. Slinger has at least one hit in six of the last seven games. Starting pitcher Kenny Gray '20 (1-1) struck out seven in four innings of work. Jamie Hauswirth '22 and Brett Sandford '19 tossed one scoreless inning apiece.
Colby Morris (3-0) allowed one earned run and fanned six in seven innings for Middlebury (9-4, 1-0). Henry Strmecki went 2-for-2 with a walk and drove in two runs. Gray Goolsby singled and doubled, and Andrew Hennings added two hits.
Hamilton took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second by scoring with two outs. Goodman and Marooney singled to center field and Wallis plated Goodman with a base hit to right. The Panthers went back in front in the bottom half of the second by scoring two runs on wild pitches.
The Continentals tied the score in the third. Slinger led off with a single and went to second when Matt Cappelletti '21 reached on catcher's interference. Cappelletti and Slinger pulled off a double steal and Slinger scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Gavin Schaefer-Hood '21.
Middlebury took the lead for good at 3-2 with a run in the bottom of the third on two walks and an infield single -- all with two outs. The Panthers added an insurance run in the sixth inning and three more in the seventh.