WESTFIELD, Mass. -- Westfield State senior first baseman Aaron Clancy (Catholic Memorial/Quincy, Mass.) scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning, and sophomore reliever Trevor Edwards (Amherst, Mass.) shut the door in the ninth as Westfield State rallied for an 8-7 win over Amherst College at Bud and Jim Hagan Field on Tuesday afternoon.
The Owls trailed 2-0 and 6-4 in the game, and had battled to 7-7 entering the bottom of the eighth. With two out and two strikes, Clancy poked a single to left field. Junior catcher Jake Gibb ( followed with a single to center field. Clancy wheeled around second and when the outfielder misplayed the ball, Owls' veteran third-base coach Fred Perry waved the converted catcher around third and Clancy scored standing up to give the Owls an 8-7 lead.
Edwards got two quick ground-ball outs in the ninth before yielding a solid single up the middle, but then induced a fly ball out to end the game and earn his third save of the year.
Edwards was the Owls seventh pitcher of the day on a planned staff day, with senior Scott Strachan (Braintree, Mass.) working the eighth inning to get his third win of the season.
The two teams circled each other like middleweights, with Amherst grabbing a 2-0 lead on Chris Murphy's (Pleasanton, Calif.) rbi single in the second. The Owls led 3-2 after scoring one in the third and two in the fourth, with Casey Boudreau (Shrewsbury, Mass.) knocking in one with a double.
Amherst grabbed a 6-4 lead in the fifth as Chase Henley (Pleasanton, Calif.) rocketed a no-doubt, 3-run home run over the left field fence.
Westfield (17-8) scratched for a single run in the fifth to stay in contention, and then got a shutdown inning in the top of the sixth from reliever Patrick Jordan. The Owls tallied two runs in the bottom of the sixth on a passed ball and an RBI groundout from Gibb that gave Westfield a 7-6 lead.
The Mammoths tied the game in the top of the seventh as Sevarino Simeone (Weston, Mass.) singled and later scored on an error, but the Owls got out of the inning as a bases-loaded chopper to Brett Dooley (The Gunnery/Cohasset, Mass.) at third turned into a a double play as he fired the ball to Gibb at the plate to force one runner, and Gibb relayed the ball to Clancy at first to escape the jam.
Boudreau and Gibb each rapped out a pair of hits for the Owls. Nick Nardone (Fairfield, Conn.) finished with three hits for Amherst, and Simeone and Joseph Palmo (Austin, Tex.) each had a pair of hits.
Zack Horowitz (3-2) (Chestnut Hill, Mass.) took the loss for Amherst (14-9) while working 2-2/3 innings in relief.
Westfield will be back in action on Thursday with a single-game, 6:00 p.m. start at Mass Maritime to begin a three-game set with the Buccaneers in MASCAC Conference play.