The Middlebury baseball team scored a season-high 15 runs in the second game of a doubleheader against Trinity to earn a split Saturday on Forbes Field. The visitors won the first game 13-8, while the Panthers responded with a 15-7 triumph in the nightcap. The Panthers (11-17) return to the diamond on Tuesday when they travel to Union for a 4:00 p.m. game while Trinity (15-15) hosts Brandeis for a doubleheader tomorrow at 12:00 p.m.
Middlebury jumped on the Bantams for three runs in the opening inning of game one. Garrett Werner led off with a bunt single down the first-base line, moved to second when Jake Turtel walked, stole third and scored when the throw to third went into left field. Joe MacDonald drove in the other two runs with a deep two-run homer to left center, making it a 3-0 score.
Trinity got one of the runs back in the second frame when Cooper Mooney doubled down the left-field line, plating Scott Cullinane. The Bantams tied the game (3-3) an inning later on a RBI triple by Johnny Samatis and a sacrifice fly to right field from Daniel Pidgeon.
The Panthers scored four times their half of the inning, regaining the lead at 7-3. Sam Graf drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly to right and Brendan Donohue made it 5-3 with a base hit to score MacDonald. The final runs came on a two-run base hit by Phil Bernstein.
The Bantams scored three times to pull within a run (7-6) in the top of the sixth, while the Panthers got one of those tallies back in their turn at the plate.
Trinity used a seven-run seventh to take its first lead of the game. Pidgeon played a key role in the inning, driving in a run with double and during his second at-bat of the frame. He plated two more with a single to make it a 13-8 margin.
Pidgeon closed out the win on the mound in the opener, allowing one runner in Middlebury's final turn at the plate.
For the Panthers, Bernstein went 2-3 with two RBI and a run scored, while MacDonald was 2-4 with a home run and two RBI. Werner chipped in with two hits, including a double, and Turtel reached base twice with a pair of walks.
Starting pitcher Colby Morris worked into the sixth inning for the Panthers, giving up six runs on seven hits with three strikeouts, while Brendan Donohue (0-1) took the loss in relief going only a third of an inning.
For the Bantams, Nick Pezzella and Mooney each recorded three hits, while Samatis was 2-3 with a pair of triples. Pidgeon (1-1) was 2-4 with four RBI and picked up the win in relief, throwing two scoreless innings.
In the bottom of the frame, the Panthers erupted for seven runs on four hits. MacDonald tied the game at 1-1, dropping a single in right field to score Werner. Max Araya walked with the bases loaded and Graf followed with an RBI single, making it a 3-1 lead. Middlebury added two more runs on wild pitches, Bernstein was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, while the final run came on a ground out by Johnny Read for a 7-1 cushion.
The Bantams responded with five runs in the fourth, with the first coming on a solo home run to left by Nick DiBenedetto. Mooney added a two-run single, Ben Reinisch drove in another with a double and Matthew Toth made it a 7-6 game with a pinch-hit RBI single.
Middlebury pushed the margin to four runs (10-6) in its half of the fourth on a RBI ground out by Luke and a two-run homer to left field by Drew Coash.
The teams traded runs in the fifth, changing the score to 11-7, before the hosts added four more in the sixth to complete the scoring. Graf, Read and Turtel each brought drove in runs with hits, while Read crossed home plate on a balk to close out the scoring.
Dylan Takamori (2-0) earned the victory in relief for Middlebury, giving up one unearned run in 3.1 innings with a pair of strikeouts.
Graf had a perfect 3-3 performance in the game with two RBI and three runs scored, while Coash was 2-3, including his first home run of the season. He also scored three times, while driving in a pair of runs, while Turtel and Luke also added two hits each.
Mooney had another solid outing at the plate, going 2-3 with a pair of RBI, while Steckel and Chris Vultaggio both had two base hits.
McLane Hill (1-3) suffered the loss for the Bantams without recording an out.