Cards Stand 1-3 After Four Close Games to Start 12-Game Western Swing in Arizona & California
Playing both Swarthmore and Pitt-Bradford in the first of four games vs. each team in Arizona Sun., March 8, the Cardinals rallied for five runs in the bottom of the ninth to upend Swarthmore, 10-9, but fell to Pitt-Bradford, 8-6.
The teams met again Mon., March 9 with Swarthmore turning the table by recovering from an 8-1 deficit to capture a 15-12 win and Pitt again posting a three-run rally late in the contest to pull out a two-run decision, 5-3.
Over the first two games, the Cardinals hit a solid .351 as both Drew Dominguez '09 (#2, photo courtesy of D3sports.com) and Julian Sonnenfeld '11 rapped out five hits. Dominguez drove in a run during the big ninth inning vs. Swarthmore with his fourth hit of the game and then scored the winning run on a fielder's choice grounder by Garrett Lamborn '09. Michael Cifuentes '10 got the win in relief by throwing the ninth inning. Wesleyan trailed by a 6-1 count after three innings and went into the bottom of the ninth down 9-5. Using only two hits, the Cards took advantage of three walks, a hit batter and two wild pitches to forge their five runs.
Dominguez started on the mound in the second game of the day, going five innings with six strikeouts against Pitt. Over the first two games, Wesleyan's pitchers combined for 21 strikeouts. Brett Yarusi '12 threw four solid innings of relief despite taking the loss as he yielded just four hits and one earned run with six Ks. Derek Dettorre '11, Nick Gonsalves '10 and Sonnenfeld all had a pair of safeties in the game.
The second time Wesleyan met Pitt, the Cardinals scored three runs in the first inning on an RBI single by Gonsalves and a two-run home run by Lamborn. With Dusty Mones '09 on the mound, the Cards took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the eighth but Pitt tied the game on a sacrifice fly and took the lead for good on a two-run, two-out pinch-hit double for the 5-3 conquest.
Against Swarthmore the second time, the Cardinals lashed three home runs in the opening five innings, including a three-run blast on the first career at-bat by Tom Miceli '12 and the second homer of the day by Lamborn. While Wesleyan let its 8-1 lead get cut to 8-6 in the bottom of the sixth, the Cardinals added three runs in the seventh for an 11-6 edge. Five runs by the Garnet in the bottom of the seventh tied the count at 11-11 and Swarthmore completed a 14-run, 15-hit effort over its final three innings at the plate by scoring four more runs in the eighth for a 15-11 lead. Wesleyan got one back in the ninth for the 15-12 final.
Sonnenfeld has a team-leading 10 hits after four games and a .526 average. Dominguez has eight safeties while Lamborn has seven and a team-high seven RBI.
The Cardinals close out the Arizona portion of their trip with a double-header vs. Swarthmore Thurs., March 12 and a twin-bill with Pitt-Bradford Fri., March 13.