Amherst baseball completed a three-game sweep of rival Williams College this past weekend, winning 4-0, 5-1 and 5-2 and improving their record to 7-2 overall. With their wins this weekend, the Mammoths have clinched the title of Little Three Champions for the third time in the last four seasons.
Victories against Williams always taste slightly sweeter on the baseball diamond considering that Amherst and Williams participated in the first ever collegiate baseball game in 1859 — a slugfest where Amherst emerged victorious by a score of 73-32 in 25 innings. While baseball in the 19th century looked incredibly different from the modern game, there was one obvious similarity between that first game and the series this past weekend: Amherst dominated Williams.
Stellar starting pitching was the top story for the current Amherst team over the weekend. Amherst pitchers gave up just three combined runs in all three games, only one of which was earned. Building off his dominant collegiate debut in which he combined to throw the fourth no-hitter for Amherst in the past 50 years, Nick Giattino ’24 put together another strong performance in the first game of the Saturday doubleheader. Giattino went 6.2 innings, adding nine strikeouts and allowing only two hits before Alan Dai ’24 entered in relief to retire the final out and secure the shutout. Only six combined hits were recorded in the heavily-defensive pitchers’ duel, but the Mammoths got on the board early in the first inning after Chris Murphy ’22 drew a bases loaded walk. Daniel Qin ’22, who went three for four at the plate and was awarded NESCAC co-player of the week, added to the lead with RBI doubles in the fifth and sixth innings, and Michael Perales ’24 drove in a run on a fielder’s choice in the sixth inning.
Jacob Ribitzki ’24 followed up Giattino’s performance with a forceful outing of his own in game two of the doubleheader. Ribitzki pitched a complete game, striking out six batters and only allowing a single earned run for his second win of the year. The Mammoths once again jumped out to an early lead in the first inning when Luke Padian ’24, who holds this season’s team-high of nine RBIs, roped a single to left field that scored Qin from second, who had reached base after recording a two-out double. Jackson Reydel ’23 had a big day at the plate, adding three RBIs including a two-run double in the fourth inning which gave Amherst a 2-1 lead. Tyler Marshall ’21 also added an RBI single in the fifth, going two for three in the game.
Sachin Nambiar ’22 started game three for the Mammoths on Sunday, pitching seven innings without allowing an earned run and registering 10 strikeouts to earn his second win of the season. The Mammoths started the game hot once more, plating four runs in the first inning on an RBI triple from Joe Palmo ’21 and RBI singles from Padian, Murphy and Dai. The Mammoths have now scored in the first inning in four consecutive games. Williams put a run on the board in the second inning, but the Mammoths extended their lead in the fourth with another RBI single from Dai. After Ian Donahue ’24 pitched the eighth inning, giving up an unearned run on one hit, the Mammoths once again called on Dai to shut the door in the final frame. Dai ran into some trouble, loading the bases on a walk and two hit batters that brought the tying run to the plate, but he finished the game with an emphatic exclamation point, striking out the final three batters to complete the series sweep for the Mammoths.
The Mammoths have now won their last five games and have claimed all three series wins against their opponents in the NESCAC West Division. They will finish the regular season this coming weekend with a doubleheader against Middlebury College. First pitch is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 1 at Memorial Field.