Baseball Falls to No. 25 Amherst in Regular Season Finale

Mike Duclos

Northboro, MA --- Amherst's Anthony Spina (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Yanni Thanopoulos (Highland, CA) each batted 3-for-5 and combined for five RBI and four runs scored in a 15-6 win over host WPI in a non-conference baseball game Wednesday at the New England Baseball Complex.

The Purple and White, who are No. 25 in the Collegiate Baseball Division III Coaches Poll and receiving votes in the Top 25, improved to 20-8 while the Engineers end the regular season with a 25-11 ledger.

WPI plated the first five runs with two outs in the bottom of the first. DJ Ouellette (Watertown, CT) connected on 1-1 single to center to drive in the first two Engineers while Steven Gallagher (Coventry, RI) quickly followed with a three-run blast to right field.

Amherst's Conner Gunn (Kingsport, TN) opened the second with a double to left. He then advanced home on back-to-back hits by Spina and Max Steinhorn (Bethesda, MD). With the bases loaded, Ariel Kenney (Chula Vista, CA) raised a sacrifice fly to center to make it a 5-2 game. Spina struck again in the third with a 2-RBI double to center before Steinhorn's sacrifice fly evened it up. Thanopoulos continued the frame with a 2-RBI single. The margin continued to increase following a pitching change as Dave Cunningham (Arlington, MA) sent a two-out 2-RBI single to center field. Cunning then gave himself up on a delayed double steal to allow Harry Roberson (Arlington, MA) to cross home plate for the 10-5 advantage.

Gallagher pulled a run back with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the stanza.

Steinhorn used a productive out in the top of the fourth to plate Gunn, who drew a leadoff walk and was on third thanks to Spina's second double of the afternoon. The next 17 batters from both sides went down in order until Steinhorn cranked a 2-0 double to left center in the top of the seventh.

Amherst tacked on two more in the eighth and again in the ninth.

John Mulready (Rockland, MA) and Gallagher's hits were for extra bases while Gallagher and Ouellette accounted for the Engineers six RBI. WPI sent six men to the mound, including scoreless frames by Doug Rives (Bethany, CT) and Mike Duclos (Greenfield, MA). Duclos enjoyed a 1-2-3 inning with two punchouts.

Gunn and Steinhorn also had multiple hits for Amherst. The guests also had four pitchers work an inning of no-hit relief down the stretch.

The second-seeded Engineers will once again host third-seeded Wheaton Saturday in the best-of-three NEWMAC Baseball Championship semifinal series. Saturday features a doubleheader which is set for a noon start at Clark. Should a third game be necessary the teams will meet again at 1pm Sunday, also at Granger Field.  The Purple and White open a NESCAC weekend series at home versus Wesleyan Friday at 4pm.