Pitcher Colby Morris became the school's all-time leader in wins, as Middlebury broke open a 4-2 game with three runs in the seventh inning, on its way to a 7-2 victory over Hamilton (7-7, 0-1). The Panthers (9-4, 1-0) and Continentals will play games two and three of the NESCAC West series on Saturday in Orlando, with the first pitch scheduled for 12:00 p.m.
Trailing 1-0 in the second inning, the Panthers scored a pair of runs on two wild pitches to go on top, 2-1. Hamilton tied the game in the third before an RBI single from Henry Strmecki gave Middlebury a 3-2 lead.
Middlebury added to its lead in the sixth after Strmecki walked and later crossed the plate on a base hit to left by Andrew Gough.
The Panthers gained some breathing room in the seventh with three runs on three hits. Brooks Carroll doubled to left and later scored on a fielding error. Andrew Hennings drove in another run with a single to left, before a sacrifice fly by Strmecki made it a 7-2 final.
Morris moved to 3-0 on the year, allowing just one earned run with six strikeouts over seven innings of work. His 16 wins surpass Jack Britton '08, Tyler Conrad '02 and Jake Pierson '05, who accumulated 15 victories apiece. George Goldstein tossed a scoreless eighth, while Andrew Martinson was perfect in the ninth.
Hennings finished the game 2-3 with a run scored and an RBI, and has now hit safely in all nine games he's played this season with five multiple-hit contests. Strmecki went 2-2 with two runs scored and two RBI, while Gray Goolsby finished the contest 2-4 with a double.
Kenny Gray (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing three runs and four hits over four innings with seven strikeouts. Ethan Wallis led the Continental hitters with a 3-4 day, while Brady Slinger, Nate Goodman and Rich Marooney each had a pair of hits.