Middlebury erupted for a season-high 20 runs in its NESCAC West opener Friday against Williams in California, cruising to a 20-1 victory. The Panthers (5-8, 1-0) scored in seven different innings and collected a season-best 19 hits. The teams conclude their three-game series Saturday out west, playing a doubleheader with the first game starting at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time.
The Panthers got off to a fast start, scoring six times in the bottom of the first inning. Kevin Woodring drove in the game's initial run with an RBI single to left field to score Brooks Carroll, who later touched home plate on a fielder's choice for a 2-0 edge. Phil Bernstein doubled the lead with a two-run double to left, while Grant Elgarten drove in a pair with a two-base hit to the gap in left field, extending the advantage to 6-0.
The Ephs (1-9, 0-1) got one run back in the top of the second, as Kellen Hathaway raced home from third on an infield error to make it a 6-1 game.
Middlebury continued to score in bunches during its next turn at the plate, with a four-run sixth. Carroll drove in Graf with a base hit to left field and Bernstein scored on a fielder's choice for a 14-1 cushion. Han and Andrew Corcoran accounted for the final two runs of the inning, with RBI singles.
The Panthers tacked on two more runs in the seventh and another pair in the eighth, making the final 20-1.
Carroll led the Panthers at the plate, going 3-6 with two RBI and a run scored, while Bernstein was 2-4 with three RBI and three runs scored. Woodring, Graf and Henry Strmecki added to the offense with two hits each, while Graf also scored three times.
Panther starting pitcher Colby Morris improved to 2-2 on the season, yielding only one run on four hits in seven innings. Morris has thrown at least six innings in each start this spring. Andrew Martinson and Evan Stewart each threw a scoreless inning of relief.
For Williams, Eric Pappas went 2-4 at the plate. On the mound, starter Charlie Carpenter (1-2) took the loss, allowing eight runs (three earned) in three innings of work.
Middlebury's 20 runs were most scored in a game since a 20-8 victory against Hamilton in the 2010 season.