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Chris Simpson '08 Has Five Home Runs in Five Games to Tie Seasonal Record, Team Breaks Mark

Chris Simpson '08 and Brice Kelly '10

Getting two games in of its intended three-game NESCAC West series at Hamilton with a double-header Sun., April 13, Wesleyan rallied to capture the opener 12-6 while Hamilton picked up three runs in the bottom of the 8th to pull out the nightcap, 9-7. Chris Simpson '08 (#33, main photo) sent three out of the park in going 3-for-6 in the two contests. He scored three runs and drove in four, the same number of RBI Dan Poniatowski '08 accounted for with his 4th-inning grand slam in game one. That started a run of 12 straight Cardinal runs after the team trailed 6-0 through three frames. Wesleyan finished the game with four dingers, three of them in a five-run 7th off the bats of Joe Giaimo '11, Simpson and Drew Dominguez '09. In the second game, Wesleyan led on several occasions with the two-run shot by Simpson in the 7th, his second HR of the contest, putting the team up, 7-6. Dominguez added his second homer of the day, giving the Cardinals seven over the two games. The home runs kept coming in the team's next game at home vs. Springfield Wed., April 16. Despite the round-trippers from Simpson, Giaimo and Julian Sonnenfeld '11, which accounted for four runs, the Cards fell to the Pride, 6-5. Springfield moved out to a 5-0 lead after two innings before Wesleyan rallied to make it 5-4, and then 6-5 on the Sonnenfeld dinger in the 5th. But the squad was held off the board the rest of the way. With his 1st-inning double, Dominguez picked up the 100th hit of his career, the 37th Cardinal to achieve the milestone but only the ninth to do it as a junior. Hosting Bowdoin for a double-header Sat., April 19, the Cards rallied for two wins, coming from 10-2 down for a 17-12 win in the first game, and recovering from a 4-0 deficit for a 6-5 triumph in the nightcap. Simpson smashed a three-run homer to become the fourth Wesleyan player to hit eight homers in a season. When Brice Kelly '10 (#7, photo insert lower left) added his own three-run shot during the Cards' eight-run 3rd frame of game one, it was the 26th round-tripper of the year for the team, matching the 1983 squad which holds the record. Kelly added a two-run single during a four-run 4th inning that gave Wesleyan the lead for good. In the second game, Dominguez broke a 5-5 tie in the 6th with a bases-loaded single for the eventual winning run. Wesleyan was back on the diamond for its second straight double-header with M.I.T. as the opponent Sun., April 20. The Cards won game one, 8-5, and dropped the second game, 11-6. Kelly had a homer in each game, giving him four this year and upping the team total to 28, now the record in a season. Garrett Lamborn '09 had a big bases-loaded triple in the 5th inning of the victory to break a 0-0 tie, igniting a six-run burst. Kit Tholen '08 threw six innings of shutout ball, yielding just four hits. MIT got its five runs in the 7th after Tholen departed. The Cards fell behind 5-0 in the second game, fought back to make it 8-6 on Kelly's three-run blast in the 5th but got no closer. The team was at Eastern Conn. for a single game Wed., April 23, dropping a 14-9 decision. Dominguez, Nick Gonsalves '10 and Lamborn, who occupied the top three spots in the lineup, accounted for six hits, six runs and five RBI to pace the offense. Most recently, the squad dropped a double-header at Williams Sat., April 26 by scores of 9-1 and 19-4. The losses knocked the Cardinals out of the NESCAC playoff hunt. The teams conclude their three-game series Sun., April 27 with a game in Middletown.