The Middlebury Panthers men's baseball team fell to 8-10 on the year after losing two of three games last weekend against the Tufts University Jumbos.
The four game series started with a 6-4, nine inning Tufts win in Friday's opener, followed by a 9-4, seven inning win in the night cap for the Jumbos sweep. In the night cap he Jumbos scored six times in their first three at bats to race to an early 6-1 lead, which they increased to 9-1 before the Panthers scored three times in their final trip to the plate.
Freshman second baseman Sam Sager led Tufts offense with three hits in five trips to the plate. He drove in a run and scored twice. His teammate, sophomore shortstop David Leresche had a good day at the plate too. Leresche went two-for-two, drove in three runs, scored twice and was hit by a pitch. The only Panther to collect more than one hit was first baseman Mark Shimrock, who went two-for-two with a walk.
Senior hurler Mike Stefaniak started for Tufts and picked up the win. Stefaniak pitched the first six innings, giving up three earned runs on eight hits, while striking out six and walking just one. After freshman Kevin Gilchrist registered an out in relief, Chris DeGoti came on and finished things off. A freshman too, DeGoti pitched the final two and two thirds innings of hitless baseball, striking out three, while effectively closing the door on Middlebury.
Middlebury starter, and losing pitcher Robert Palladino couldn't record an out in the second inning before he was done for the day. In one plus innings of work Palladino gave up five earned runs on three hits and a walk without the benefit of a strike out. The next two Panther pitchers, Dirk VanDuym and Andrew Somberg struggled against Tufts offense too. The duo combined for six innings of work, giving up four earned runs on seven hits. Scooter Scott finished it out for Middlebury in the losing effort by tossing one inning of scoreless baseball.
On Saturday the two teams hooked up for a double header, with both games lasting just seven innings. In the opener the Panthers won their only game of the four game series by banging out 13 hits to win a slugfest 16-8. Third baseman Donald McKillop and shortstop Danny Seymour came up huge for Middlebury, driving in ten runs between them. McKillop went three-for-five, scored twice and drove in six runs. Three of his RBIs came on a homerun in the third inning, his fourth of year. Seymour belted a bases loaded triple in the Panthers huge sixth inning where they scored a dozen runs. Seymour ended up going two-for-two with four RBIs and he scored twice. Starter Steve Shortle picked up the win for Middlebury by going five and a third innings, giving up five runs, three of which were earned and five. He struck out four and walked four before giving way to Matt Lowes, who pitched the final one and two thirds innings.
Tufts starter Ed Bernstein lasted just two and a third innings and was tagged with the loss. In his brief appearance Bernstein gave up four earned runs on four hits and fell to 1-1 on the year. Freshman Leresche continued to be on fire offensively, going three-for-four with a pair of runs scored and four driven in. One of his three hits was his eighth double of the year, and he stole his sixth base in as many attempts in the losing effort.
Tufts did not lose the final game though thanks to starter Derek Miller. Miller pitched his second complete game in as many starts, holding the Middlebury offense to just one run and four hits over seven innings of work. Miller did struggle a bit with his control walking five, and striking out just two, but that didn't stop him from going the distance and improving t 2-1 on the year. Offensively it was right fielder David Orlowitz's turn to shine. The sophomore had an RBI single in the second and blasted a three run homerun, his first homerun of the year, in the sixth.
Middlebury starter Nick Angstman suffered the loss, working five innings and giving up five earned runs on seven hits. Angstman fell to 1-2 on the year with the loss, and the Panthers stood at 8-10. Tufts improved to 9-14 after the four game series. Middlebury is at Amherst for three games this weekend.