NORTHBOROUGH, Mass – After a victory over Dean College on Thursday, the AMCATS faced off against the 8-3 Eastern Nazarene Lions in a double header on Saturday. Though each game was close with the first game going in to extra innings, ENC took both from Anna Maria, 3-1 in eight innings, and 3-2.
The AMCATS offense had just five hits in this one, with leadoff hitter Adam Twitchell getting two of those five, both singles. Greg Gehring had the only extra base hit in the game for AMC with a double, and drove in the only run, which was scored by Justin Robbins. Jake Crevier and Anthony Checo had the other two hits for the AMCATS offense. Starting Pitcher Colin Pipkin pitched well, completing five innings, allowing just one hit and one run while striking out eight hitters.
Eastern Nazarene's offense was slow in game one as well with five hits to match Anna Maria. Zachary Carmody had two of those hits, both singles, and scored a run. The Lions mustered two extra base hits, both doubles, by Dylan Louviaux and Zach Zaino who each drove in a run as well. Lion's starting pitcher Brent Houle worked five innings, allowing all of the AMCAT hits, the one run, and he struck out 10 hitters.
Needless to say, it was a tough game offensively for both teams but, of the offense there was, Anna Maria broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the second on Gehring's double that scored Robbins.
Eastern Nazarene would tie the game up in the top of the third on Louviaux's double that brought in a runner from second.
After the top of the third, each team would threaten multiple times through the rest of the regulation seven innings but neither team was able to break through to take a lead.
With the game heading to the eighth, the Lions got something going at the plate. With two outs in the inning, Carmody singled which was followed by a Zaino double. Carmody came around from first to score, breaking the tie and giving the Lions a 2-1 advantage. ENC wasn't done as Joshua Bombard singled through the right side, scoring Zaino from second. That would be the end of the Lion's rally but the AMCATS would have no answer in their half of the innings. Anna Maria's first two hitters went down quickly and, down to their final out got a base runner in the form of Mike Tourony who walked in what was his first plate appearance of the season. Greg Gehring subsequently grounded to second, the Lions retired pinch runner Danny Grammel at second and the game was over, 3-1, in favor of Eastern Nazarene.
Much like game one, game two was an offensive struggle for the AMCATS. This time only recording four hits in the game with Adam Twitchell again recording two of those hits, one of which was a double. What was rare about the four hits for AMC is that three of the four were extra base hits. Along with Twitchell's single and double, Jake Crevier, who was one-for-two, hit a triple and walked, Jason Shell homered, his second of the season, in a one-for-three performance. Senior starting pitcher Tanner Jakola threw 5.2 innings, allowed nine hits, three runs and struck out four
Eastern Naz nearly doubled their hit total from game one with nine in game two, all sinlges. Anthony Esposito led the way with three hits in a three-for-three game with an RBI. Matthew Urena also had a multi-hit game, going two-for-three with two RBI. Starting pitcher Alex way only went three innings, allowed three hits, both of the AMCAT runs, and struck out five before being relieved by Briley Seiter who finished the game, allowing one hit and striking out two hitters and receiving the win.
Eastern Nazarene opened the scoring in game two on a Urena single in the second inning, driving in Joshua Bombard. AMC answered in the bottom of the inning. Mike Tourony was hit by a pitch and then pinch run for by Danny Grammel. Greg Gehring bunted Grammel to second. Grammel moved to third on a wild pitch and then home on a second wild pitch to tie the game at one apiece.
The AMCATS took their first and only lead of the game in the third on a Shell home run over the right field fence.
Neither team scored in the middle innings but, in the sixth, the Lions tied the game back up at two when Urena singled to short scoring Zachary Carmody and moving Zach Zaino to third. Zaino would score on the next play on an Esposito single.
Anna Maria would get one base runner in the sixth by way of a walk and otherwise go down in order in both the sixth and seventh falling in game two, 3-2, to the Lions.
The AMCATS will be back in action on Wednesday night, March 21st, at 7pm hosting Pine Manor College at the New England Baseball Complex in Northborough, Mass.