Baseball Winless in Return to New England

Returning home from their spring break trip, the baseball team lost their first three games played in Massachusetts, dropping their home opener to Wheaton College and losing both games of a doubleheader against Brandeis University.

Chris Murphy '22 tracks down a popup. Amherst has struggled in their return from their spring break trip. Photo courtesy of Clarus Studios.

Following their six-game spring break trip to Florida, the baseball team played three games back in New England over the weekend. After a rather successful start to the season in the warm Florida sunshine, the team went completely cold in their first games in Massachusetts, losing all three and getting outscored by a combined margin of 31-5.

In their home opener at Memorial Field on Friday, March 25, the Mammoths faced off against the Wheaton College Lyons and were utterly embarrassed in a 16-1 defeat. The Lyons outhit the Mammoths 16-2, with the only Mammoth hits coming from a lead-off single by Ryan McIntyre ’25 in the first inning and a pinch-hit single by Jimin Kang ’23 in the seventh. The Mammoths’ lone run came on a sacrifice fly from Daniel Qin ’22 in the sixth inning with runners on second and third. The two runners reached base following a slew of errors by the Lyons and were on base with no outs and the top of the order up to bat. Despite the favorable situation, the Mammoths could only manage to get the one run across.

Jacob Ribitzki ’24 got the start for the Mammoths and went five innings against the Lyons, allowing 10 hits and six runs, though only four were earned. He was credited with the loss. The Lyons scored the majority of their runs in bunches, plating five in the second — including a three-run home run — and adding seven in the seventh. Including Ribitzki, six different Mammoths pitched in the game. In addition to allowing 16 hits, the Mammoths issued 10 walks throughout the contest, which did not help limit the damage.

The Mammoths traveled to Waltham, Massachusetts, the next day for a Saturday-morning doubleheader against the Brandeis University Judges. The verdict: two more losses for the Mammoths, as they dropped the first game 8-0 and were defeated 7-4 in the second.

Nick Giattino ’24 started on the mound and got the loss in the first seven-inning game, going 5.0 innings and allowing seven earned runs, though he held the Judges hitless through the first three innings. The Judges eventually broke through with three runs in the fourth inning off an RBI double and a two-RBI single, before adding another two runs in the fifth off a two-run home run and three additional insurance runs in the sixth. The Mammoths strung together eight total hits, but the Judges’ starting pitcher — in just his second collegiate start — went a full seven innings, needing only 79 pitches to do so and notching seven strikeouts along the way. Only one Mammoth base runner made it past second base in the entire game, and the Mammoths did not have any extra-base hits.

In game two, the Mammoths took a lead for first time all weekend, scoring three runs in the fourth inning off of a Luke Padian ’24 sacrifice fly and a Jackson Reydel ’23 two-run home run to go up 3-0. That lead was short lived, however, as the Judges struck back with a solo homer of their own in the third and a three-run home run in the fifth, both of which were hit by the same player, to take a 4-3 lead. Reydel tied the score at four apiece with his second homer of the contest in the sixth inning, a towering blast to center field, but the Judges struck back in their half of the sixth inning with three runs of their own, including another multi-run home run, to take a 7-4 lead that they would not relinquish. The Mammoths failed to get a runner on base in the final frame, and the game ended with the Mammoths losing by three.

Sachin Nambiar ’22 started on the bump for the Mammoths and allowed just one run through the first four innings, but he was pulled in the fifth after allowing three runs and giving up the lead. Nambiar allowed five hits and tallied six strikeouts. Tyson Luna ’25 came on in relief in the bottom of the fifth inning and was credited with the loss, giving up two hits and three earned runs in 1.1 innings of work. As a whole, the Mammoths were snakebitten by the long ball, as six of the Judges’ seven runs in the second game came via the home run.

The Mammoths play an away game against Worcester Polytechnic Institute on Wednesday, March 30, before opening NESCAC play with a three-game series against Wesleyan on Friday, April 1, and Saturday, April 2. Friday’s game is home, with first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m., while the Saturday doubleheader will be played on Wesleyan’s campus in Middletown, Connecticut. The Mammoths will travel to Rhode Island College for a game on Monday, April 4, and then play a home game against Westfield State University on Tuesday, April 5.