Middlebury Opens Hamilton Series With Victory

Colby Morris tossed a complete game to earn the win over Hamilton on Friday.
Colby Morris tossed a complete game to earn the win over Hamilton on Friday.

Middlebury received a complete-game pitching performance from Colby Morris, as the Panthers (11-13, 3-4) overcame a 2-0 deficit for a 5-3 triumph Friday at Hamilton in NESCAC West action. The teams conclude their three-game weekend series Saturday in New York with a doubleheader at 11:00 a.m.

The game was scoreless through the first three innings with the hosts plating a pair of runs in the bottom half of the fourth. Jarrett Lee lined a two-run double down the right-field line, giving the Continentals (15-15, 3-6) the lead.

Middlebury tied the game in its next at bat, as Alan Guild collected a two-base hit to right field to score Sebastian Sanchez and Sam Graf. Sanchez opened the inning with a walk and Graf followed with a base hit through the left side, before moving into scoring position on a single by Hayden Smith.

Hamilton reclaimed the lead in the latter half of the frame, but the visitors tied the contest at 3-3 an inning later. Justin Han lofted a sacrifice fly to left field, bringing in Andrew Hennings, who reached base on an error.

The Panthers took their first lead of the game in the seventh inning when they manufactured a run. Brooks Carroll singled, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch, before scoring on a ground out by Grant Elgarten. Middlebury added an insurance run an inning later when Sanchez beat a throw to the plate on a single by Smith.   

That was enough for Morris (4-4), as the Panther retired the final eight batters he faced for the victory. He allowed three runs (one earned) on six hits with six strikeouts. With Friday's start, Morris tied Tyler Conrad ('99-'02) for the most starts in program history, while jumping up to fourth in career innings pitched with 176.0.

Smith and Carroll each picked up a pair of hits for Middlebury, while Hennings had a double.

For Hamilton, Brian Lawson got the start and allowed two runs over five innings, while Chris Keane (4-1) suffered his first setback of the spring, allowing two runs in two innings of work. At the plate, Ethan Wallis went 2-3 with a run scored and Gavin Schaefer-Hood finished 2-4 and scored once.