The Middlebury baseball team split a pair of games against Hamilton in Florida on Saturday, falling during the opening seven-inning game 5-1 before winning the nine-inning nightcap, 10-1. The Panthers (10-5, 2-1) take the three-game NESCAC West series, 2-1 and travel to Rensselaer on Wednesday for a single game beginning at 4:00 p.m.
The Continentals (8-8, 1-2) began the opening game with a run in the top of the first inning, as Nate Goodman led off with a single and later scored on a balk.
Middlebury tied the contest in the bottom of the third inning, as Andrew Gough started the frame with a single through the left side and later touched home on a base hit from Brooks Carroll to center field.
Hamilton took the lead with two runs in the top of the fifth on RBI singles by Brady Slinger and Matt Zaffino. The Continentals scored twice more two innings later on a Goodman run-scoring single, while Craig Sandford was hit by a pitch, driving in Slinger, who reached on an infield hit for the final 5-1 score.
Michael Farinelli (1-1) suffered the loss for the Panthers, going 6.0 innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits with four strikeouts. Conor Himstead hurled the seventh, allowing a pair of unearned tallies on two hits with a strikeout.
Slinger and Goodman both finished 2-4 for Hamilton, while Slinger scored twice. Gavin Schaefer-Hood went the distance and improved to 4-0 for the Continentals, allowing one run on five hits with three walks and a pair of strikeouts in the complete-game performance.
Trailing 1-0 in the fourth inning of the nightcap, the Panthers scored three times on just one hit for a 3-1 advantage. Gray Goolsby had a two-run triple down the left-field line, while Andrew Hennings brought in Goolsby with a sacrifice fly to right.
The Panthers tacked on four runs the next inning on just two hits and were aided by a pair of Continental miscues for a 7-1 lead. Sam Graf had an RBI bunt during the rally, while Han lifted a sacrifice fly to right.
Han, Carroll, Strmecki, Smith and Graf each had a pair of hits for the Panthers, while Goolsby drove in two and Carroll and Graf each scored twice. Colin Waters (2-1) picked up the win on the mound for Middlebury and went six innings, giving up just one run on five hits with seven strikeouts and three walks. Alex Price hurled a pair of shutout innings with three strikeouts, while John Tipps pitched a scoreless ninth.
Hamilton starter Brian Lawson (1-2) went three innings, giving up three runs on two hits with four walks and four strikeouts. Four different Continentals pitched the final five innings. Jordan Northrup went 3-4 with an RBI, while Zaffino was 2-4.