Baseball Opens Spring Break Trip in Arizona

Sam Graf went 4-7 with two runs scored and two RBI in the split.
Sam Graf went 4-7 with two runs scored and two RBI in the split.

The Middlebury baseball team dropped game one 12-6, but bounced back to take game two 11-10 in extra innings to earn a split with Allegheny (9-5) during the opening day of its their spring break trip in Tucson, Arizona. The Panthers (2-2) return to action on Sunday when they battle Grinnell and Gustavus Adolphus.

In game one, Allegheny exploded for eight runs on eight hits in the second inning on its their way to the win. The Gators added a pair of runs in the third before the Panthers got on the board in the sixth on a single to right by Drew Coash, plating Grant Elgarten, who had singled.

Allegheny added two in the seventh to go up 12-1, before Middlebury came back strong in the bottom half of the inning with five runs on four hits. Sam Graf and Jason Lock singled before a fielder's choice by Elgarten scored Graf. One batter later, Johnny Read belted a three-run homer to make it a 12-6 final.

Colby Morris (1-1) suffered the loss, allowing 10 runs and 14 hits, while striking out a pair over five innings. John Tipps threw a pair of innings, giving up two runs on two hits. Han, Graf and Elgarten each picked up a pair of hits, with Elgarten scoring twice.

In the nightcap, Middlebury scored four runs in the top of the eighth before holding on for the 11-10 victory.

Graf gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead in the first with a SAC fly to left, driving in Ryan Rizzo, who had singled to left center.

In the second, Brooks Carroll tripled to right center to plate Sebastian Sanchez and Andrew Hennings. Justin Han plated Carroll with a SAC fly before Graf singled in Rizzo, who had tripled for a 4-0 lead.

Allegheny responded with a pair in the third and three in the fourth to tie the game at 5-5. An RBI single up the middle by Rizzo put his team on top in the sixth, before the home team responded with a pair in the bottom half of the inning to go up 7-6.

Needing a run to tie the game in the seventh, Brendan Donohue singled and moved to second on a fielder's choice, before scoring on a two-out double to left center by Sanchez.

After holding the Gators in the bottom of the inning, Middlebury struck with four runs in the eighth to go on top 11-7. Han doubled and Rizzo reached on a bunt single. Graf reached on a strike out following a wild pitch, before Lock doubled to right to plate the pair. Donohue followed with a single to right to drive in Graf, while Raj Palekar made it a four-run game with a base hit to right, driving in Lock.

In the bottom of the eighth, a two-out three-run homer by Ethan Palak brought his team within a run at 11-10. Francis Faiello followed with a triple before Jake Stalcup came on in relief to earn the save with a strikeout of Vincent Carone.

Dylan Takamori (1-0) picked up the win in relief, with Stalcup garnering his first save of the year.

Rizzo went 4-5 with a triple and two runs scored, Graf was 2-3 with two RBI, while Carroll finished 2-5 with a triple and a pair driven in. Han had a single, double and scored two runs, while Donohue singled twice.