By Steven Merritt
AUBURNDALE, FL – Powered by an offensive explosion in game one and a shutout in game two, the Vassar College Baseball team completed a 22-7 and 3-0 sweep of Wentworth on Wednesday at the RussMatt Invitational. The Brewers improve to 4-2 overall while the Leopards move to 1-5 on the season.
VC 22- WENT 7
The Brewers got on the board first in the bottom half of the opening frame as sophomore Birch Herring-Jackson singled through the left side followed by a walk from senior Andrew Kanellis and a hit by pitch of junior Jack Silvera to load the bases. Senior Adam Talwalkar knocked in Herring-Jackson with a single to left followed by a two RBI single down the left field line by senior Ezra Caspi to take an early 3-0 lead. Following a sacrifice bunt from sophomore Daniel Laderman, junior Ty Murray knocked in Talwalkar with a sacrifice fly to center to give Vassar a 4-0 lead after one.
Vassar tacked on another run in the second as Talwalkar doubled down the left field line to score Kanellis, who reached on a one-out walk, to extend the Brewers lead to five.
The lead grew once again in the bottom of the third as Laderman reached on a hit by pitch to start the inning before Murray blasted a ground-rule double to left center field to put two runners in scoring position with no outs. Sophomore Bradley Markind lined a single to right field to knock in Laderman followed by senior Alex Warren’s bunt single that Murray scored on to make it 7-0. Kanellis then drove in two with a single to left center to push the Vassar lead to 9-0 after three complete.
The Leopards answered with a six run inning in the top of the fourth as Nolan McManus drove in Matt Robinson with a double after he drew a leadoff walk. Matthew Favazzo and Christian Peruzzi each drove in runs with singles before Brandon Sullivan’s bloop double down the left field line scored three more runs to cut the Vassar lead down to three at 9-6.
After a hit by pitch and a walk to open the sixth, the Leopards added another run on a RBI groundout by Zach Smith but sophomore reliever Jack Blau induced another groundout to limit the damage at one run.
The Brewers broke the game open in the bottom of the inning as Caspi led off with a triple to right field and was knocked in on a single from Laderman. Murray laid down a well-executed bunt single before junior Reid Lapekas delivered a pinch-hit single to drive in a run.
Warren stepped up to the plate next and drilled a double down the left field line to score two and was moved to third by a single by Herring-Jackson. Kanellis doubled home Warren on a laser off the fence in left center and Silvera tacked on two more runs with a double to the left center gap to go ahead 16-7.
Freshman Jensen Bergman collected his first collegiate hit and drove in a run while Warren, Herring-Jackson and freshman Herbert Toler III all drove in a run to cap the 13 run sixth inning for Vassar. Rookie Cade Tereda-Herzer made his first collegiate appearance on the mound with a scoreless inning in the seventh.
Senior Frankie Murphy started on the mound for the Brewers as he went three innings-plus, allowing five hits, four runs, five walks and struck out three. Freshman Danny Wellner picked up the win in relief as he tossed an inning and allowed two hits, two runs, two walks and struck out one. Blau tallied two innings and gave up one hit, one run and one walk.
Clayton Harper took the loss for the Leopards as he lasted 2.1 innings and allowed nine hits, nine runs, and walked one. Matt Ferrara tossed a scoreless inning and struck out three.
Herring-Jackson and Kanellis each had four hits in the game while Kanellis drove in three runs. Warren finished 3-for-5 with four RBI and three runs scored along with Caspi,
Talwalkar and Silvera who all drove in two runs.
Favazzo and Smith both finished with two hits for Wentworth while Sullivan drove in three runs. McManus and Peruzzi also each had a RBI.
VC 3 – WENT 0
The scoring opened in the third inning as Vassar sophomore Marc Milano led off the inning with a walk and sophomore Ricardo Reyna then reached on an error with one out. Silvera drove in Milano with a sacrifice fly followed by Talwalkar’s single to give the Brewers a 2-0 lead.
Vassar added a third run in the fourth as Lapekas hammered a leadoff triple to the right center gap and then scored a few pitches later on a wild pitch.
The Leopards threatened in the bottom of the fifth as three walks loaded the bases with one out before sophomore Collin Donnelly entered from the bullpen and induced an inning ending 4-6-3 double play to keep the 3-0 lead and then completed the shutout with two more shutout innings in relief.
Sophomore Luke Barrientos earned the win on the mound for Vassar as he went four-plus innings and allowed one hit, no runs, walked six and struck out six. Donnelly picked up the save as he tossed three hitless innings while walking two and striking out two.
Connor Whitehead took the loss for Wentowrth as he lasted 3.2 innings and gave up four hits, three runs (one earned), four walks and struck out two. Alec Peruzzi and Jon Campbell combined for 3.1 scoreless innings in relief.
Five different Brewers tallied a hit while Talwalkar and Silvera each tallied a RBI. McManus had the lone hit for the Leopards.