Baseball Falls to Stevens in 10-Inning Game

By Isabella Marcus

After rallying for a comeback in the ninth inning, the Middlebury College baseball team (0-1, 0-0) sent its first non-conference game of the season versus the Stevens Institute Ducks (2-4, 0-0) to extra innings. The Panthers ultimately lost 5-4 last Saturday at Stevens.

The Panthers scored in the top of the first on an infield single by sophomore infielder Ryan Hanrahan, who was later driven in by senior right fielder Sam Graf on a sacrifice fly. The Ducks responded with a two run inning, setting the score to 1-2, and then with another run in the seventh inning to increase their lead, 1-3. Middlebury then went scoreless until the ninth inning.

According to senior catcher Phil Bernstein, having the mentality to get on base is key for the Panthers. 

“Ultimately, it comes down to our approach at the plate,” Bernstein said. “We simply struck out way too much and didn’t put any pressure on their defense and for us to be successful we need to put the ball in play and make their fielders actually feel the ball cleanly and make the play. We gave their pitcher too much credit by not changing our approach with two strikes and forcing them to earn the out.”

Senior pitcher Colby Morris started on the mound for the Panthers, adding four strikeouts on six innings. Stevens sophomore pitcher Joseph Deitz received the win for the Ducks, after pitching the final 1.2 innings and striking out one batter.

The Panthers’ ninth inning comeback started with a center field single by Hanrahan, which drove home junior shortstop Brooks Carroll. Carroll hit .500 for Middlebury, with one run and one RBI. Sophomore center fielder Henry Strmecki scored on a sacrifice fly by junior catcher Gray Goolsby to put Middlebury in the lead. 

The Ducks then responded with two runs in the bottom of the 10th inning, scoring on a Panther fielding error. 

The Panthers return to the field at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (2-3, 0-0) at 4 p.m. this Thursday, followed by a three-game series against Emory University (6-4, 0-0) starting at 12 p.m.  this Saturday in Atlanta.

 “The loss left a bad taste in our mouth and we’re excited to get back in competing again against RPI,” Bernstein said. “It’ll be a chance for us to flush the loss and get our minds right before we head to down to Atlanta to take on Emory. We open our season competing against high level competition who have been playing games outside for weeks now and our only experience since the fall has been indoors in the field house. In the past we’ve made that an excuse and this year we’re using it as a crutch in order to prove we belong in the conversation with those teams down south. This week is going to be super important for understanding who we are and how we handle adversity and respond to it.”

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