Middlebury Splits NESCAC Twinbill at Williams; Han Becomes Program’s Career Stolen Base Leader

Justin Han became the program's career stolen base leader on Saturday.
Justin Han became the program's career stolen base leader on Saturday.

The Middlebury baseball team split a pair of games at Williams (16-5, 3-3) on Saturday, winning the opening seven-inning game 10-0, before falling 5-4 on a walk-off hit in the 10th inning of the nightcap. The Panthers (15-8, 3-3) drop the three-game NESCAC West series, 2-1 and travel to Division I Dartmouth on Tuesday for a single game beginning at 4:00 p.m.

Middlebury opened the scoring in the top of the third inning, as Henry Strmecki reached on a fielder's choice and Kevin Woodring walked. Strmecki later touched home on a bunt base hit from Brooks Carroll, while Woodring scored when Hayden Smith was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

The Panthers added five runs in the fifth for a 7-0 lead. Sam Graf had a run-scoring double to left center, scoring Alec Ritch who walked. Graf came around to score one batter later on a single to center from Justin Han. Han stole second and scored on a throwing error on a pickoff attempt, while Woodring made it 7-0 on with a two-run home run to bring in Strmecki, who singled.

Middlebury tacked on three in the sixth, as Smith had an RBI double, Phil Bernstein induced a bases-loaded walk, while Graf had an RBI groundout for the final 10-0 score.

At the plate, Ritch was 2-4 with a walk and two runs scored, while Carroll was 2-5 with an RBI. Strmecki went 1-3 with two runs scored, while Woodring was also 1-3 with a homer, two RBI, two walks and scored twice.

Alex Price (2-2) earned the win for the Panthers, going the final 6.0 innings and allowing just one base hit with two strikeouts and no walks. Michael Farinelli pitched the first inning with two strikeouts, as the Panther duo faced the minimum 21 batters.

Eric Pappas had the lone hit for Williams at the plate, a seventh inning single to left center and was erased on a double play. John Lamont (1-2) suffered the loss for the Ephs, going the first 2.2 innings with two runs on two hits and struck out a pair.

Trailing 3-0 in the third inning of the nightcap, the Panthers scored twice on just two hits to pull to within one. Han doubled to right scoring Graf who reached on an error, while Carroll brought in Han with a single to right.

The Panthers took a 4-3 lead in the next inning when Graf had sacrifice fly to left scoring Ritch who had a leadoff bunt single. Han doubled to right plating Gray Goolsby who had an infield single.

Williams came right back to tie the game in the bottom of the inning with an RBI single through the left side by Kellen Hatheway.

The score remained that way until the 10th when Ryan Young reached on an error. He moved to second via a single and came around to score the winning run on a double to center by Mike Stamas for the final 5-4 score.

Goolsby was 3-5 with three stolen bases and a run scored for the Panthers, while Han went 2-5 with a pair of doubles, two stolen bases and two RBI. Andrew Hennings also had a multi-hit game. Colin Waters went the first six innings, giving up four runs on nine hits with seven strikeouts. Andrew Martinson hurled a scoreless seventh with two strikeouts, while Bobby Sullivan (2-1) suffered the loss, going the final 2.1 innings with an unearned run on three hits and three strikeouts.

Pappas went 5-6 in the nightcap with a run scored, while Hatheway was 2-4 with a double, two RBI and a run scored. Jack Bohen tosses the initial six innings for Williams, surrendering four runs (two earned) on seven hits with four strikeouts and two walks. Charlie Carpenter pitched a pair of shutout frames, while Kyle Dean (1-1) picked up the win, striking out two in his two innings of work.

The Panthers stole a season-best nine bases as a team in Saturday's second game, giving them 90 this season, a new record. With his two steals, Han becomes the school's all-time leader in stolen bases with 42, surpassing Erich Enns' total of 40 from 2007-10. Carroll also currently has 40 career steals. Han also surpassed the 100-career hit plateau on Saturday with 101.