Ten-Run Fifth Inning Lifts Baseball Past Hamilton

Joe MacDonald finished 3-6 with four RBI in the win.
Joe MacDonald finished 3-6 with four RBI in the win.

The Middlebury baseball team exploded for 10 runs in the fifth inning on its way to a 14-12 win over Hamilton (11-8, 1-3) in game one of a NESCAC West series in New York. The Panthers (7-11, 4-3) and Continentals will complete the series on Saturday with a pair of games slated for a noon start.

Trailing 7-2 in the top of the fifth, the Panthers struck for 10 runs on seven hits with four Hamilton errors. Joe MacDonald and Max Araya each drove in runs with RBI singles, Drew Coash hit an RBI triple, while John Luke had a pair of RBI singles.

Raj Palekar added to the lead with a solo homer to left in the sixth.

Leading 13-8 in the seventh, a three-run homer by Chris Collins and an RBI single from Cooper Halpern brought the Continentals within a run.

Middlebury added an insurance run in the top of the ninth with a RBI single from MacDonald, driving in Johnny Read, who led off the inning with a bunt single.

McDonald went 3-6 with four RBI and a run scored, Luke finished 3-5 with two RBI and a run scored, while Jake Turtel was 3-5 and scored twice. Coash finished with a double and triple in five plate appearances, scoring twice and driving in a run. Brendan Donohue went 2-5 and pitched a scoreless ninth for Middlebury to earn his first career save.

Conor Himstead (1-1), the second of four Panther pitchers, recorded his first career win, allowing one run in a 2.1-inning stint of one-hit relief. Sam Graf helped preserve the win with a pair of diving catches in right-center field. The game was the 100th of his career for Middlebury catcher Max Araya.

Collins finished 5-5 with two homers, four runs scored and seven RBI to pace Hamilton. Ryan Wolfsberg went 3-6 with two doubles, three runs scored and an RBI. Starting pitcher Spence Vogelbach (2-2) took the loss, allowing 12 runs, five earned over 4.2 innings of work.