April 7, 2011

Lander sets all-time home run record as AMCATS sweep Cadet

PAXTON, Mass. (04.07.11) - Left fielder Jeff Lander (Glaucester, Mass.) broke Anna Maria College's all-time record for career home runs with a three-run blast in game one, while sophomore Mike Guarnieri (Wallingford, Conn.) led all players with five hits and six runs batted in as the AMCATS swept Norwich University in a non-conference doubleheader at Quinsigamond Community College on Thursday. The AMCATS have now won four straight contests, as well as five of their last six, to improve to 13-9 (6-4 TCCC) on the season. The pair of losses drop the Cadets to 0-13 overall on the year as they prepare to start conference play this weekend.

Lander hit his historic home run in the third inning of game one, launching a three-run shot over the left center field fence to surpass Andy Mathieu as Anna Maria's all-time home run king. Lander finished the day with four runs scored and four runs batted in while reaching base five times. Guarnieri finished the double-dip 5-for-8 adding four runs scored to his six RBI's, while senior Mike Galvin (Rutland, Mass.) went 4-for-5 with a home run, three runs scored, and three runs driven in during game two alone. Other notable offensive performances included senior James McNamara's (Worcester, Mass.) five runs batted in on the day, senior Andy Fallon (Worcester, Mass.) leading all players with six runs scored while going 4-for-7 at the dish, and freshman John Sullivan (Southbury, Conn.) blasting his first collegiate home run while going 2-for-5 in game two. On the mound, junior Dean Diamantopoulos (Shrewsbury, Mass.) was dominant in game one, going five shutout innings while allowing just one hit and striking out five batters to improve to a perfect 3-0 on the season. Freshman Mike Curley (Linwood, Mass.) came in to pitch the final two frames to close out the one-hitter for AMC. In game two, sophomore Justin Hyland (Spencer, Mass.) improved to 2-0 by spinning 4 1/3 innings of two-run ball, striking out four batters in the process, before junior Joe McNeil (Sutton, Mass.) and sophomore Shawn Secondini (Stoneham, Mass.) combined to finish the 16-2 victory.

The Cadets were led by sophomore Dustin Shimkus (Collinsville, Ill.) who had a team-high three hits and two runs batted in on the day, including a solo home run in game two. Freshman Jordan Patton (Chandler, Ariz.) went 1-for-3 with a run scored in game two, while freshman Kyle Gidari (Deering, N.H.) and junior Sean Kennedy (Madison, N.J.) each walked and scored a run in game one.

The AMCATS jumped on the board with two runs in the first inning of game one. Fallon got things started with a one-out double to deep right center and eventually came around to score on a sac fly by Guarnieri. McNamara drove in the second run on an RBI-single to center, knocking home Lander who reached base on a walk before moving into scoring position on a stolen base.

Anna Maria opened things up a bit by putting up a four-spot in the bottom of the third. Lander delivered the big blow with his record-setting three-run bomb to left, driving home both Fallon and Galvin. The AMCATS added another run when Hyland hit a grounder to the right side to score Guarnieri, putting AMC ahead, 6-0.

After the AMCATS expanded their lead to 8-0 on a sac fly by McNamara and an RBI-single by Jean Batista (Worcester, Mass.) in the fifth, the Cadets answered back with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth.

Happy to see Diamantopoulos out of the game after tossing five scoreless frames, Norwich took advantage of some miscues in the field by the AMCATS, and scored both of their runs without recording a hit or a walk in the inning. Gidari scored the first run on a misplayed fly to right, while Shimkus drove home Kennedy with the second run on a sac fly.

The AMCATS tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth, as Guarnieri knocked in Fallon on a single to left, and went on to seal the 9-2 victory.

Anna Maria struck early in game two as well, scoring four runs in the first two innings of play, including an RBI-single by McNamara in the first and a run scoring double down the right field line by freshman Andrew Dupre (Northbridge, Mass.) in the second.

After Shimkus cut the AMC lead down to 4-1 with a deep home run to left center in the top of the fourth, the AMCATS answered with five runs in the bottom half of the frame. Sullivan delivered the biggest hit of the inning, connecting on his first collegiate home run with a two-run shot to right center.

Junior David Maxfield (Randolph, Vt.) helped the Cadets fight back in the sixth, knocking home a run with a fielder's choice to cut the lead to 9-2.

However, the AMCATS responded to score seven runs over the next two innings of play, including a two-run single from Guarnieri and a three-run homer by Galvin to secure the 16-2 win.

Both teams will be back in action this Saturday when the Cadets host Lasell College at 1:00 pm, and the AMCATS travel to battle Eastern Nazarene in a The Commonwealth Coast Conference doubleheader beginning at noon. 

Photo Courtesy of David Sheridan for AMC Sports Information