Middlebury dropped game one of a three-game NESCAC West set with Williams (5-8, 1-0) on Friday in Tucson, Arizona at the Kino Sports Complex by a score of 8-2. The two teams will go back to the diamond on Saturday with games two and three of the series. The Panthers fall to 2-8 overall and 0-1 in NESCAC play.
The Ephs jumped on the board first in the top of the opening inning with a trio of runs via a two-run single by Jack Cloud and a run-scoring base hit by Adam Dulsky. The Ephs tacked on two more in their half of the third when Kellen Hatheway scored Williams' fourth run of the game on a wild pitch following a leadoff single to third base. Nathan Michalski made it a 5-0 advantage for the Ephs on a run-scoring single to left field.
Williams scored twice more in the top of the fifth on RBI singles to left by Beau Horan and Adam Regensburg.
Middlebury chipped away with two runs in the bottom of the frame. Jake Turtel led off with a single to center field, and moved to second on a base knock off the bat of Brendan Donohue. After a groundout moved both runners up a base, a single by Johnny Read scored Turtel and a base hit from Sam Graf brought Donohue around to score.
Leading by five at 7-2, the Ephs added a run in the top of the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Cloud. Middlebury had a runner in scoring position in the bottom of the inning on back-to-back singles from Joe MacDonald and John Luke, but Williams got out of trouble with a double-play ball.
The Panthers were unable to get a rally strung together during the final three frames, falling by an 8-2 score.
Cloud was 3-3 with three RBI, a walk and a pair of runs scored, while Michalski produced a 3-4 effort with a double, run scored and an RBI. Regensburg had a 2-5 game with a two-base hit, while Hatheway also had a double as part of a 2-4 game at the plate with three runs scored for the Ephs.
Colby Morris (1-2) took the loss for the Panthers, giving up seven runs, six earned, on 12 hits with three strikeouts and a walk in five innings. Robert Erickson tossed the final four frames in relief, surrendering just one run on three hits with two punchouts and three walks.
Luke Rodino threw all nine innings for the Ephs, allowing two runs on eight hits with eight strikeouts and no walks.