LORAIN — In baseball, setting the table, finding ways to score and keeping your opponent off the board guarantee success.
Amherst did just that Saturday in sweeping Lorain in a non-conference doubleheader at The Pipe Yard. The Comets shut out the Titans 7-0 and 6-0 to improve to 9-2. Lorain fell to 5-4.
“I just try to get on base as much as I can,” said Amherst leadoff hitter Rees Rua, who had three hits, five stolen bases and scored three runs. “I do what I can for the team. I just try to make contact, hit the ball square and as soon as I hit it, take off.”
“Rees has been great all year,” Amherst coach Matt Rositano said. “Last year we didn’t really have a lead-off-type hitter. It’s nice to have Rees hit from both sides of the plate. He’s fast, he can lay down a bunt. It seems like he’s always on base.”
Rua got Amherst off and flying as the Comets scored twice in the first inning of both games. It set the stage for the sweep. Amherst stole seven bases in the first game and eight in the second.
Alex Walts and Joe Masters each drove in a pair of runs in the opener and Masters came right back to slap a two-run single in the second game as well.
“I thought this morning, right off the bat, we came out flat,” Lorain coach Brad Ternes said. “We didn’t have the intensity we needed to play against a good team like Amherst and they capitalized. When you make a mistake and you give an extra out, they’re going to take advantage.”
Anytime Lorain got something started, a double play or strikeout would stop any rally before it materialized. Two double plays took the Titans out of scoring chances in the fourth and fifth innings of the second game.
“We never got a key hit,” Ternes said. “We had a couple opportunities where we got guys on base but we couldn’t capitalize. They made the plays when they needed to.”
Amherst’s pitchers limited Lorain to only five hits in the two games. As a staff, the Comets struck out 16 and walked only one.
Shane Derricotte and Nick DeJesus each picked up their second wins of the year. Derricotte fanned four in three innings in the first game while DeJesus racked up five strikeouts over the first three innings of the second.
Masters, Casey McConihe, Andrew Woods, Carl Haberstro and Justin Mott all saw action out of the bullpen and kept the shutouts intact. Masters struck out five in two innings.
“That’s kind of what we’ve been looking for the whole year,” Rositano said.
“Our pitchers are going to throw strikes. We’re not really high strikeout guys and we have to play good defense behind them. It was nice to see because the past couple years, we haven’t really played well at The Pipe Yard.”
Contact Tim Gebhardt at 329-7135 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.