Baseball grabs early leads but drops both ends of doubleheader

Rich Marooney '21 (Josh McKee photo)
Rich Marooney '21 (Josh McKee photo)

The Amherst College Mammoths swept a doubleheader and won the three-game NESCAC West Division series against the Hamilton College Continentals at Hamilton's Loop Road Baseball/Softball Complex on Saturday afternoon.

The Continentals (12-11, 4-5 NESCAC West) had a four-game win streak going into Saturday, but one day after posting 18 runs on 15 hits, Hamilton finished with a total of five runs on 18 hits in the doubleheader. Amherst (14-8, 5-4) won the opener 6-2 and pulled away for a 9-3 victory in Game 2.

The Continentals are back in action on Tuesday, April 16 with a non-conference game at 22-9-1 SUNY Cortland. First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

Game 1: Amherst 6, Hamilton 2

Hamilton led 2-1 after five but the Mammoths scored five runs over the final two innings. Ethan Wallis '21, who has hit safely in the last six games, went 2-for-3 with a walk for the Continentals. Graham McOsker '20 had three hits including a double and Matt Zaffino '21 tripled and walked twice. Kenny Gray '20 (1-2) allowed four runs on just four hits and two walks in 5.1 innings. Gray had a no-hitter going through the first 4.2 innings.

Amherst's Severino Simeone had the big blow -- a three-run homer to the right of the batter's eye wall in center field -- that gave the Mammoths a 4-2 lead in the sixth inning. Simeone finished with four runs batted in. Joseph Palmo and Kevin Schroeder added doubles. Zach Horwitz (3-1) pitched two scoreless innings of relief and Mike Dow didn't allow a run in 1.1 innings and earned his seventh save.

Hamilton took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning. Rich Marooney '21 led off with a walk, Wallis singled up the middle and the duo pulled off a double steal. After Zaffino walked to load the bases, James Nish '19 lofted a fly ball to center that drove in Marooney, and Wallis scored on a wild pitch. Amherst scored one run in the fifth, three in the sixth and two in the seventh.

Game 2: Amherst 9, Hamilton 3

The Continentals grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning but the Mammoths took the lead for good with four in the top of the third and pulled away with one in the fifth, one in the sixth and two in the seventh. Marooney singled, doubled and walked and drove in two runs for Hamilton. Brady Slinger '22 collected two singles and Craig Sandford '19 doubled. Carl Maxwell '22 (0-1) took the loss in his first collegiate start despite not allowing a hit in two-plus innings. Maxwell allowed two runs on four walks.

Simeone went 3-for-3 with two walks, Kai Terada-Herzer had three hits and Joseph Palmo drove in three runs for Amherst. Chase Henley chipped in two hits including a double. Andrew Nagel (4-1) allowed two earned runs on seven hits and one walk and fanned five in 6.1 innings.

Wallis led off the bottom of the first with an infield single to third base and went to third on a throwing error by the third baseman. Wallis scored when the Mammoths caught Jordan Northrup '19 trying to steal second base.

Amherst went up 4-1 in the third but Hamilton got one of those runs back in the bottom of the fourth. Zaffino hit a one-out single through the right side and moved to second on a passed ball. Marooney laced a double down the right-field line and Zaffino made it 4-2.

The Continentals pulled within 6-3 in the sixth inning. Slinger reached on an infield single with one out and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Marooney drove a two-out single to right field that plated Slinger.