Baseball’s Struggles Continue, Losing 5 of 6 Games

It was a hard week for Amherst baseball. Despite jumping out to multiple early leads, they dropped five of the six games they played.

Baseball’s Struggles Continue, Losing 5 of 6 Games
Daniel Qin '22 focuses during his at-bat. Amherst's season has been disappointing so far. Photo courtesy of Clarus Studios.

Coming off a week in which they lost three straight games, the baseball team’s losses continue to pile up, as they dropped five out of six games over the past week. The Mammoths fell in a devastating 11-10 defeat against Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) on Wednesday, March 30. They then opened NESCAC play against Little Three rival Wesleyan, losing the series two games to one, before dropping their Monday contest with Rhode Island College and Tuesday contest against Westfield State University.

The Mammoths’ first four games of the week were characterized by strong starts and poor finishes. No game better exemplifies this than their result against WPI.

The Mammoths’ offense erupted for a nine-run top of the first inning, batting around the lineup and registering six total hits, with seven different players registering an RBI. They looked to be on cruise control through the first half of the contest, as starting pitcher Sam Robin ’23 allowed just three runs on seven hits and one walk through his six innings on the mound. Robin exited the game with a comfortable 9-3 lead heading into the seventh inning.

But the Engineers would not go down quietly, plating four runs in the bottom of the seventh to cut the Mammoth’s lead to two. The Mammoths added one back in their half of the eighth, but the Engineers responded with a two-run homer in the bottom of the inning to make the score 10-9 entering the final frame.

In the top of the ninth, the Mammoths went down in order on three consecutive groundouts. Then, after tying the game on an RBI double, the Engineers singled with the bases loaded to walk it off against the Mammoths 11-10. Ian Donahue ’24 was credited with the loss, his first of the season.

The Mammoths then turned to their first three-game series in NESCAC play against Wesleyan. In their first game on Friday, April 1, the Mammoths fell 6-5. They jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the second inning, but the Cardinals countered with four runs of their own in the top of the third inning, capped off by a two-run single with two outs in the frame. Jackson Reydel ’23 hit his team-leading third home run of the year, a solo shot in the third inning, to cut the Cardinals’ lead down to just one. The Mammoths then seized the lead in the fifth after getting two runs off a Daniel Qin ’22 RBI single and a Reydel sacrifice fly. The Cardinals struck again in the sixth inning, however, with a two-run home run to take a 6-5 lead. This would prove to be the final score, as the Mammoths only managed one baserunner in the final four innings of the contest.

Sachin Nambiar ’22 was tagged with the loss. He pitched six innings, allowing six runs on five hits — though only three were earned runs — and tallying five strikeouts. Tyson Luna ’25 was dominant in relief, allowing no hits and adding four strikeouts in the final three innings of play.

In the second game of the series on Saturday, April 2, which was the first of two seven-inning games, the Mammoths once again exploded in the early portion of the contest, this time pushing across seven runs on eight hits in the top of the second inning. Their lead dwindled as the game progressed — with the Cardinals scoring six consecutive runs — but the Mammoths shut the door in the final inning for a 7-6 victory. Nick Giattino ’24 tallied his second victory of the year, allowing five runs, all unearned, on five hits and adding five strikeouts through five innings of play. Alan Dai ’24 recorded his second save of the year, allowing one run on one hit and registering two strikeouts through the final two innings.

In the game-three rubber match, the Mammoths kept with their theme, scoring four runs on four straight RBI singles in the top of the first inning to jump out to an early lead. The Cardinals responded immediately, however, scoring five runs without recording a single hit in their half of the opening frame. The Mammoths added one run back on a Chris Murphy ’22 RBI single in the second inning, his second of the game and his fifth hit in seven at bats on the day, but this would be all the Mammoths could muster offensively, as the Cardinals went on to score 15 — yes, 15 — unanswered runs to defeat the Mammoths 20-5. Luna, making his second appearance in the series, was tagged with the loss, bringing his record to 1-2.

The Mammoths then took on Rhode Island College in a weekday away game on Monday, April 4. The Mammoths fell behind early, allowing six runs in the first two innings, and ultimately fell 14-1. Their lone run of the game came on a solo homer from Christian Limon ’25 in the seventh inning. Caden McClure ’24 received the loss, his first of the season.

A busy week continued yesterday, April 5, as the Mammoths hosted Westfield State University at Memorial Field. Robin got the start on the mound for the Mammoths, his second of the year. In contrast to their fast starts earlier in the week, the Mammoths fell behind early against the Owls. Westfield kicked things off with a two-run homer in the top half of the first inning, and they tagged on another via a solo shot in the second. No further runs were scored across the next three and a half innings, as strong pitching and fielding dominated. After three-straight outs on defense in the top half of the sixth, the Mammoths finally put a run on the board in the bottom-half: Reydel sent a solo shot to left.

It was three-up-three-down for both squads in the seventh. The Owls then stretched the lead out three runs in the eighth with an RBI single. The Mammoths began to claw the game back in the bottom of the inning. A Luke Padian ’24 single brought in Reydel, who had reached base on a walk. Despite this spark of life from the Mammoths, though, the Owls put the game to bed in the ninth. A wild pitch allowed Westfield State to score their fifth run; an Owl was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, sending home the sixth; a second wild pitch scored the seventh, and final, Owl run.

The Mammoths, carrying a record of 5-10, look to bounce back with another NESCAC series, this time against Hamilton, on Friday, April 8, and Saturday, April 9. All three games will be played at home. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 4 p.m., and game one of Saturday’s doubleheader is scheduled to begin at noon. The Mammoths will then travel to Newport, Rhode Island, on Monday, April 11, to play out of conference opponent Salve Regina University.