Middlebury took both ends of a doubleheader at Hamilton on Saturday, giving the Panthers a three-game sweep in their NESCAC West series. Middlebury started the day with a 9-3 victory, capped with a 10-3 triumph in the nightcap. Middlebury (13-13, 5-4) was slated to play two games against Trinity on Sunday, but those games have been cancelled, putting the team's next contest Tuesday at home against Union. The sweep extended Middlebury's winning streak to seven games.
In the opening game, the Panthers opened the scoring in the top of the third innings, as Hayden Smith got on base with a walk and later touched home plate on a Hamilton error. The visitors made it a 3-0 lead in the fourth, with RBI singles off the bats of Henry Strmecki and Smith.
After the Continentals (15-17, 3-8) made it a 3-1 contest with a run in the fourth inning, Middlebury broke the game open with six in the fifth. Sam Graf scored the first run of the inning on a wild pitch, while Strmecki hit a two-run double down the line in left field for a 6-1 lead. Strmecki and Phil Bernstein scored two batters later, as Smith tripled to center field. Smith trotted home with the inning's final run on a base hit to center by Brooks Carroll.
Hamilton trimmed two runs off the margin in the sixth, but it wasn't enough as the visitors won the opener 9-3.
Robert Erickson (3-2) earned the win on mound for the Panthers, yielding three runs on four hits in six innings of work. Andrew Martinson tossed a scoreless seventh for Middlebury. At the plate, Smith went 2-4 with two runs and three RBI, while Strmecki also had two hits in four plate appearances and drove in three.
For Hamilton, Graham McOsker went 2-3, while Gavin Schaefer-Hood (4-4) took the loss on the mound in four innings of work.
In the final game of the series, the Panthers got off to a fast start with three runs in the top of the first. Justin Han and Smith both scored on an infield error, making it a 2-0 game. Another Continental miscue allowed Alan Guild to touch the plate, as Middlebury posted two unearned runs in the frame.
The visitors tacked on four more runs in the third, taking advantage of a couple of timely hits. Grant Elgarten drove in Carroll with an RBI triple down the right-field line and scored one batter later when Graf homered. The Panthers made it 7-0 on a bunt single by Han, scoring Strmecki.
Strmecki extended the lead to eight runs in the fifth, hitting a triple to right-center field to score Sebastian Sanchez from first base.
Hamilton made a late push with single runs in the seventh and eighth innings, but Middlebury answered with a pair in the ninth on a two-run single by Smith. The hosts added one final tally in the bottom half of the frame when Matt Carney delivered an RBI single.
Strmecki went 3-4 for the Panthers at the plate, while Smith was 3-6 with two RBI. George Goldstein (2-0) made the most of his first career start, throwing five scoreless innings to collect the victory.
For Hamilton, Tom Riley (1-4) gave up seven runs (three earned) in three innings of work and suffered the loss. Jarrett Lee finished 3-4, while Dean Rosenberg and Ethan Wallis each picked up two hits apiece.