Cards Beat Coast Guard in N.E. Opener Behind Brice Kelly '10 Hitting, Mike Cifuentes '10 Pitching
Brice Kelly '10 (#13, main photo) doubled in a pair of runs in the 3rd inning to put Wesleyan ahead for good, 3-2, as he finished the game with a single, two doubles, a triple and five RBI to pace the Cardinals past host Coast Guard Thurs, March 25, 9-2. It was the first game for the team since returning from its trip to the West Coast.
Michael Cifuentes '10 (#10, photo insert lower right) got the start on the mound and made the most of his opportunity as he threw eight strong innings, allowing just five hits and two earned run, those coming on a two-run homer in the 2nd. He recorded five strikeouts and allowed only two walks. Joe Giaimo '11 tossed the 9th, logging a pair of Ks, a groundout and a walk.
Joining Kelly with solid days at the plate were Derek Dettorre '11, who went 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBI ; Kyle Weiss '12, who had two hits including a double ; and Jon Sheehan '11, who lashed a pair of hits. Julian Sonnenfeld '11 connected for a 3rd-inning double, his 13th two-bagger of the season and the 100th hit of his career. He is now the 40th Cardinal to reach the 100-hit milestone.
The win was Wesleyan's 16th straight over Coast Guard, improving the team's all-time mark vs. the Bears to 80-24. The last Coast Guard victory over Wesleyan came in 1992.
Up next for the squad was the first of three NESCAC West games vs, Little Three rival Amherst. In a single game at Amherst Fri., March 26, the Cardinals trailed 3-0 early, but rallied for a pair of unearned runs as Brandyn Cooper '12 doubled and scored on an error in the 5th while Chris Bonti '13 smacked a two-bagger in the 7th and also scored on an error. The Cardinals got their only earned run to tie the game in the 8th on consecutive singles by Sonnenfeld, Dettorre and Kelly for the RBI.
But Amherst, which had been limited to three hits over five innings by pitcher Mike Barsotti '12 since getting its three runs on three hits in the 2nd, picked up two more hits in the 8th and scored the go-ahead run on a fielder's choice as the Cardinals tried to nail a Lord Jeffs runner at home on a grounder to third base. The runner beat the throw and Amherst added a two-run single before the inning ended for the 6-3 final score.
The teams will close out the NESCAC weekend with a double-header in Middletown Sat., March 27.