Panther Baseball Drops Pair of Games at Trinity

By Andrew Rigas

The Middlebury baseball team won twice and lost twice last week , defeating St. Michael’s and St. Joseph 7-2 and 4-2 respectively before falling to Trinity in a doubleheader 4-2 and 8-0 on Saturday, April 25. The 2-2 record on the week brings the Panthers to 3-19 on the season.

In the first home game of the week on Tuesday, April 21, Middlebury fell behind to St. Michael’s 1-0 in the first inning, but erupted for a seven run second inning on five hits and three Purple Knight errors that would prove to be more than enough to earn the win.

After falling behind 1-0 in the first, Joe MacDonald ’16 led off the second with a double to centerfield. A St. Mike’s error put runners on first and third, and Raj Palekar ’18 did his job to tie the game with a sacrifice fly. Brendan Donohue ’18 drove in another run on a single to center, and two more defensive miscues gave the Panthers a three run lead. Dylan Sinnickson ’15 kept the inning going by continuing to do what he has done all year by driving in two more on a double into the left center gap. MacDonald made it a 7-1 game in his second at bat of the inning with an RBI single down the left field line.

With a six run cushion, Truss seemed to settle into a groove, shutting down St. Mike’s over his final five innings to amass an impressive stat line of six innings, six hits, one run, no walks, and four strikeouts. Cooper Byrne ’15 took over in the seventh and enjoyed similar success. Byrne shut the door to preserve the 7-2 win and record his first save of the year.

Dylan Takamori ’17 took the hill at home against St. Joseph on Thursday, April 23. Takamori answered his coach’s call with his most complete pitching effort of the season to earn his first win of the season.

Once again, the Panthers fell behind 1-0, but they were not easily discouraged and came right back in the bottom of the second with three runs of their own. Sticking with trends, MacDonald sparked the rally for the second straight game with a leadoff single. Jason Lock ’17 and Palekar followed up with singles of their own to tie the game at one, and Johnny Read  ’17 knocked in another on a groundout to the shortstop. Donohue added on with a single of his own to make it a 3-1 in favor of Middlebury after two.

The Fighting Saints cut the lead to one in the fourth with a double in the right center gap followed by a single to center. Takamori exited after surrendering two runs on five hits while striking out four. Smith smartly employed his bullpen over the last four innings.

“I love coming in and giving everything I have for 1-3 innings,” Byrne said, “it has made me a much more aggressive and confident pitcher.”

Tucker Meredith ’17, Eddie DeArias ’15 and Byrne shut the Saints out over the last four innings. Byrne earned his second save in as many games after Sinnickson provided him some insurance with an RBI double in the eighth as Middlebury won its second in a row, 4-2.

The Panthers were not able to replicate their success as they reentered NESCAC play at NESCAC East foe Trinity as their bats failed them in both games on Saturday, April 25.

In the first game, Middlebury reverse roles, striking immediately with two runs in the top of the first. Sinnickson and Max Araya ’16 led off with back-to-back walks and John Luke ’16 plated them with a double. The Middlebury boat started to flood in the fourth when Adam Moossmann smacked a home run to give Trinity a 3-2 lead. The Bantams tacked on an insurance run in the sixth, and Middlebury couldn’t muster any more runs after the first to suffer a 4-2 defeat.

It was much of the same in the second game of the day as Trinity outmatched the Panthers in every facet of the game on the way to an 8-0 win. The Bantams tallied four in the bottom of the second, three more in the fourth and one in the fifth. Defensive miscues continued to cost Smith’s squad as four of Trinity’s runs were unearned.

With their final six games coming in a six-day span this week, the Panthers hope to end their season on a good note as three wins will mark an improvement upon last year’s record of 5-24.