Amherst wasted no time getting on the board, posting three runs in the bottom of the first inning. After sophomore second baseman Mark Mazzone and junior first baseman Dave Levinson reached base on consecutive singles, senior left fielder Dave Powers was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Junior shortstop Zach Schonberger delivered for the Jeffs, ripping a double to left-center field that drove in three runs.
The Jeffs increased their lead to 5-0 in the fourth inning on a two-RBI single by Levinson. The five-run margin lasted until the bottom of the sixth inning when Schonberger provided a two-run double for insurance.
Schonberger finished the game with five RBIs as a result of his two doubles, while Levinson finished 2-3 and delivered a pair of RBIs of his own. Sophomore right fielder Jared Banner notched a pair of hits and a stolen base for Amherst as well.
Meanwhile, junior lead-off batter and center fielder Andrew Green dominated offensively, going 3-4 with a double and two runs scored. Green is now batting an astounding .727 (10-22) and has hit safely in all seven games in which he has appeared.
“Our hitters took great swings and hit a lot of balls hard,” said junior pitcher Joe Vladeck. “It was definitely reassuring when we jumped out to the early lead, and it made our pitchers’ jobs much easier knowing that we were going to score a bunch of runs, and we didn’t have to be perfect.”
Westfield managed just four hits against the Jeffs’ dominating pitching staff. Sophomore Brian Donahue (1-1) drew the start for Amherst. He hurled two perfect innings and struck out a trio of batters in his first victory. Classmate Nick Kehoe took over in the third inning and delivered his own pair of shutout innings before giving way to Vladeck. Vladeck was named the ECAC Div. III Pitcher of the Week on March 23, and claims a 0.00 earned run average (ERA). He kept the shutout going for two innings, maintaining his perfect ERA, before junior Rob Anderson, senior Ed Imperatore and rookie Chris Edgar each tossed a scoreless inning to close the game.
Amherst was slated to take on Little Three rival Wesleyan University in a trio of games on Saturday and Sunday, but the games were postponed due to saturated field conditions. The games are now tentatively scheduled as a single contest at Wesleyan on May 6, followed by a doubleheader back at Amherst the following day.
“Obviously because of the weather it had been a while since we’d been on the field, but I thought we were pretty sharp,” said Vladeck of the team’s preparation. “The games are going to come eventually, and we’ve got to be ready, whether we’ve been on the field or not.”
The Lord Jeffs travel to Willimantic, Conn., today to take on perennial Div. III powerhouse Eastern Connecticut State University. Amherst will open its NESCAC schedule this weekend when the team plays host to Middlebury College on Friday afternoon before a doubleheader on Saturday.