William and Mary’s big bats came alive over the weekend to propel the Tribe to a three-game sweep of Siena over the weekend at Plumeri Park and to jump to 4-3 this season.
If tremendous pitching was the story of last year’s squad, tremendous hitting looks to be the story of this year’s. The Tribe scored 26 runs over the three-game weekend series against Siena (1-5) to inflate its season average to nearly six runs per game. The College won Friday’s contest 9-3, Saturday 4-2, and Sunday 13-2.
Sophomore third baseman Michael Katz, junior second baseman Ryan Lindemuth and senior first baseman Kevin Nutter, all of whom are batting .400 or better, continued their blazing start to the season by each notching at least one hit per game.
Although the batting statistics may be more eye-catching, the Tribe’s pitching against Siena was just as brilliant, surrendering just seven runs over 27 innings.
Senior pitcher Brett Koehler earned his first win of the season in Saturday’s game, giving up three runs over seven-and-one-third innings, and striking out five Siena batters, increasing his season strikeout total to eight.
The fifth inning of Friday’s contest provided the blueprint for the rest of the series. The Tribe batted through the order, racking up six runs on five hits. Senior right fielder Derek Lowe ignited the run, earning a walk to set up senior center fielder Ryan Brown’s RBI single two batters later.
Koehler let the Saints pop back into the game the next inning, giving up three runs on two homers to put the Tribe’s lead within striking distance. However, the College’s bullpen ended the Saints’ run, providing two scoreless innings to solidify Koehler’s 9-3 win.
The first part of Sunday’s doubleheader proved to be the weekend’s toughest test for the Tribe. The College’s batters lacked their usual fire, but senior starting pitcher John Farrell picked up the slack, only allowing two runs in a complete game to solidify the 4-2 win.
The Tribe scored all of its four runs in the first two innings against Siena pitcher Matt Gage, giving the game the early makings of a blowout. But the College’s bats fell silent, notching just four hits and zero runs over the final six innings, the quietest period in the series.
Farrell kept the Siena batters from overcoming the four run deficit despite the Saints’ small comeback in the waning innings of the game, narrowing it to a 4-2 ballgame with one out left in the ninth and a man on second. Head coach Jamie Pinzino let Farrell pitch himself out of the jam, showing his faith in his star senior pitcher. And Farrell delivered, striking out the final Siena batter, stranding the runner on second, and adding an exclamation point to his 4-2 complete game victory.
The second game of the doubleheader heard the return of cracking balls as the Tribe bats battered the Siena pitching staff to the tune of 13 runs. Sophomore pitcher Jason Inghram provided some consistency, producing more solid starting pitching
Nutter started off the game in style, singling up the middle then stealing second base. Three runs quickly scored with no outs. Siena pulled its starting pitcher Jake Werdesheim before he could retire a single Tribe batter, but the irreversible momentum had already begun. Siena would eventually employ 10 pitchers against the Tribe, but none would prove effective.
The College held a 13-0 lead at the end of the fifth inning, which prompted Pinzino to pull several of his starters for some much-deserved rest. Inghram was taken out after pitching six one-run innings and claimed his first victory of the season. The eventual 13-2 final score demonstrated the dominance of the Tribe in their weekend sweep of Siena.
The College will look to capitalize on this newfound momentum when it hosts Penn.