Baseball Splits Four Games; Han Becomes Program’s Career Stolen Base Leader

Justin Han became the program's career stolen base leader on Saturday.
Justin Han became the program's career stolen base leader on Saturday.

The Middlebury baseball team split four games last week. On Thursday at home against Northern Vermont-Lyndon, the Panthers scored in six different innings for a 12-2 victory over the Hornets. On Friday in NESCAC West play at Williams, the Ephs plated a pair of early runs and made them stand during a 2-1 win. The next day, Middlebury won the opening seven-inning game 10-0, before falling 5-4 on a walk-off hit in the 10th inning of the nightcap. With his two steals on Saturday, junior Justin Han (Vienna, Va.) became the school's all-time leader in stolen bases with 42, surpassing Erich Enns' total of 40 from 2007-10. Classmate Brooks Carroll (Davidson, N.C.) also currently has 40 career steals.

  • Trailing 1-0 against Northern Vermont-Lyndon, the Panthers scored a pair in the home half of the second inning on a two-run double to left center from rookie Andrew Gough (Lake Forest, Ill.).
  • After the Hornets tied it at 2-2 in the third, Middlebury tallied three runs in the third, two in both the fourth and fifth, one in the sixth and two more in the seventh for the 12-2 final score.
  • Gough had a two-run single in the third and run-scoring base hit in the sixth, while sophomore Henry Strmecki (Wilton, Conn.) blasted a two-run home run to left center in the seventh to cap the scoring.  
  • Gough went 3-5 with a double and a career-high five RBI, while Han was 3-4 with a double, two runs scored and two stolen bases. Sophomore Ryan Hanrahan (Bronxville, N.Y.) was 2-4 with a walk and a run scored. Rookie Sam Grace (Chesterfield, Mo.) picked up the win, allowing just one hit with one strikeout in his inning of work.
  • As a staff, the Panthers recorded 12 strikeouts in the victory.
  • Down 2-0 in Friday’s NESCAC West series opener at Williams, Middlebury got on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth inning. Strmecki led off with a double, followed by a walk from junior Andrew Hennings (Oak Park, Ill.). After a successful bunt by junior Hayden Smith (Charlotte, N.C.) to advance the runners up a base, Strmecki scored on a sacrifice fly to center field by junior Kevin Woodring (Norwalk, Conn.).
  • Senior Colby Morris (Del Mar, Calif.), who tied Scooter Scott ('08-'11) most career appearances by a Panther pitcher with 42, suffered his first loss, allowing one earned run in six innings with a season-high eight strikeouts. Strmecki went 1-3 with a double and a walk.
  • In Saturday’s opener at Williams, the Panthers scored twice in the third and tacked on five runs in the fifth, including a two-run homer by Woodring. The visitors added three more in the sixth for the 10-0 score.
  • Rookie Alec Ritch (Kentfield, Calif.) was 2-4 with a walk and two runs scored, while Carroll was 2-5 with an RBI. Strmecki went 1-3 with two runs scored, while Woodring was also 1-3 with a homer, two RBI, two walks and scored twice. Rookie Alex Price (Ridgefield, Conn.) earned the win for the Panthers, going the final 6.0 innings and allowing just one base hit with two strikeouts and no walks. Sophomore Michael Farinelli (New York, N.Y.) pitched the first inning with two strikeouts, as the Panther duo faced the minimum 21 batters.
  • Trailing 3-0 in the third inning of the nightcap, the Panthers scored twice on just two hits, with an RBI double from Han and a run-scoring single by Carroll.
  • The Panthers took a 4-3 lead in the next inning when Graf had a sacrifice fly to left, while Han ripped an RBI double to right, before Williams came right back to tie the game in the bottom of the inning.
  • The score remained that way until the 10th when Williams manufactured a run for the final 5-4 score.
  • Junior Gray Goolsby (Austin, Texas) was 3-5 with three stolen bases and a run scored for the Panthers, while Han went 2-5 with a pair of doubles, two stolen bases and two RBI. Sophomore Bobby Sullivan (Ridgewood, N.J.) suffered the loss, going the final 2.1 innings with an unearned run on three hits and three strikeouts.
  • The Panthers stole a season-best nine bases as a team in Saturday's second game, giving them 90 this season, a new record.
  • Han also surpassed the 100-career hit plateau on Saturday with 101.

• Baseball record: 15-8
• Up Next: 4/16 at Dartmouth – 4:00 p.m., 4/17 vs. Plattsburgh State – 3:30 p.m., 4/19 at Amherst – 4:00 p.m., 4/20 at Amherst – 12:00 p.m. (DH)