Middlebury scored in six different innings Thursday against Northern Vermont-Lyndon en route to a 12-2 victory over the Hornets (7-16) on Forbes Field. The Panthers (14-6) return to action on Friday when they open a three-game NESCAC West series at Williams beginning at 4:00 p.m., while NVU-Lyndon hosts Maine-Farmington on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.
Trailing 1-0, Middlebury took the lead in the second inning when Ryan Hanrahan and Alec Ritch both singled, before a double to left center that rolled all the way to the wall from Andrew Gough brought both home.
After the Hornets tied the score at 2-2 in the top of the third, the home team struck with three runs in the home half of the frame to go up for good. Justin Han led off with a single through the left side, stole second and scored on a base hit down the left-field line from Sam Graf. Kevin Woodring walked and stole second, as both Graf and Woodring scampered home on a two-run single from Gough to left.
Middlebury scored twice in the fourth when Rory Bordiuk was hit by a pitch to start the rally. He moved to third on a double to left center by Han, scoring on a sacrifice fly from Graf. The throw into the infield got away from the Hornets, allowing Han to race home for a 9-2 lead.
The Panthers added two in the fifth when Hamilton Evans singled through the left side and scored on a Bordiuk base hit through the right side. Bordiuk later touched home plate on a single down the left-field line by Han.
Middlebury tacked on a single tally in the sixth via a Gough single, scoring Ritch, who was hit by a pitch, while Henry Strmecki capped the offensive Panther output in the seventh with his team-leading fifth home run over the left-center field wall for the final 12-2 score.
Sam Grace (2-0) picked up the win, allowing just one hit with one strikeout in his inning of work. Jackson Atwood went the first four innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits with four strikeouts. Evan Stewart and John Tipps each threw a pair of innings, as Stewart struck out two and Tipps had five punchouts.
Gough finished the day going 3-5 with a double and a career-high five RBI, while Han was 3-4 with a double, two runs scored and two stolen bases. With his two stolen bases, Han has 39 in his career, moving him into third place in program history. Hanrahan went 2-4 with a walk and a run scored.
Cameron Flinn (0-3) suffered the loss, giving up seven runs (six earned) on seven hits with five strikeouts over four innings of work. Five different players had a hit for the Hornets, including a double from Zak Johnson
With five stolen bases against NVU-Lyndon, Middlebury has now stolen 74 in 20 games, five shy of last year's school record.