Baseball Team Opens In Arizona - Takes Three From Williams

The Middlebury College baseball team went 5-4 on its annual spring break trip to Chandler, Arizona, capping the week with a three-game sweep of Williams in NESCAC West league play. It is the first three-game sweep over the Ephs in the 11 years of the NESCAC three-game series play.

Middlebury opened the week with a split against Oberlin. The Panthers dropped the opener 14-6, as junior Will Baine (Rye, N.Y.) went 2-4 with a triple, two runs scored and two driven in. Senior Joey Liberator (Avon, Conn.) also picked up a pair of hits in the game. Senior Nick Angstman (Williston, Vt.) tossed a seven-inning complete game in the nightcap, as the Panthers picked up a 2-1 win. Angstman allowed just one run on six hits, striking out three. Baine had another two-hit game, while junior Zach Roeder (Keene, N.H.) went 2-3 with an RBI.

Middlebury dropped its next game to Gustavus Adolphus 9-3, before bouncing back with a 12-2 win over Thomas. Sophomore Tyler Buckingham (Montclair, N.J.) tossed the complete game win, allowing two runs over seven innings of work. Sophomore Thomas Rafferty (Chicago, Ill.) went 4-4 in the game with a double, three runs scored and three driven in. Senior Donald McKillop (Poway, Calif.), Roeder and rookie Kyle Finck (New York, N.Y.) each had two hits, with Finck driving in three.

The Panthers played their third game against Oberlin on March 29th, dropping a tight 4-3 game. Rafferty went 2-4, while sophomore Michael Morris (Scarsdale, N.Y.) hit a pair of doubles. Middlebury fell in another one-run game the following day, with Gustavus Adolphus coming away with a 7-6 win. McKillop had three hits in the game, as did senior Andrew Somberg (Florham Park, N.J.), who hit a triple.

In game one of a three-game series with Williams, the Panthers pounded out 18 hits, scoring 10 runs in a 10-3 victory. Angstman tossed seven innings to earn the win for the Panthers, with sophomore John Popkowski (New York, N.Y.) tossing the final two innings. Roeder finished the game 3-5 with two doubles and two RBI, while Rafferty was 3-5. McKillop went 2-4 with two runs scored, while Morris had two hits, including a double.

With the game tied 8-8 in game one of a seven inning contest on Saturday, the Panthers scored nine runs in the eighth to come away with a 17-8 extra inning victory. Sophomore Joseph Conway (Hummelstown, Pa.) had two doubles and three RBI in the game, while Rafferty was 3-5 with a double and two runs scored. McKillop went 2-4 with three RBI, rookie Alex Kelly (Rockville, Md.) was 2-3 with two runs scored, while Baine went 2-4 with a pair scored.

In the final game of the trip, sophomore John Wiet (Morristown, N.J.) tossed a gem, earning a six-hit shutout in a 9-0 victory. Senior Tyler Wark (Burlington, Vt.) went 4-5 with a double and three runs scored, while Baine was 3-5 with two triples and three RBI. Sophomore Thomas Driscoll (New Canaan, Conn.) finished the game 3-4, while Conway went 2-2 with two runs scored.

Rafferty (.459) lead the team at the plate following the opening nine games, followed by Wark (.351), Kelly (.346) and Baine (.343). Angstman is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA, Buckingham is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA, while senior Scooter Scott (Marlboro, Vt.) owns a 2.35 ERA over 7.2 innings.