Wesleyan rallied from an early 4-0 deficit in the opening game of its NESCAC West double-header with Amherst Sat., March 27 to come away an 8-6 winner, then moved out to a 6-0 lead in the 6th inning of the nightcap, only to hold off the Lord Jeffs for a 6-3 win and a sweep on the twin-bill.
Wesleyan got a complete game from Brett Yarusi '12 (#26, photo insert lower right) in the opener as he yielded just four hits over seven innings. Two of the four runs allowed in the first frame were unearned due to a Wesleyan error. Wesleyan came right back to grab the lead in the bottom of the 1st, collecting six runs on just three hits, but each of those safeties brought in a pair of runs as Brice Kelly '10 (#13, main photo) hit a two-run double as did Kyle Weiss '12 while Ryan Coffey '11, who came in as a pinch-hitter, delivered a bases-loaded, two-run single to left. Kelly, who went 8-for-17 on the week, including a 4-for-5 effort in the 9-2 win at Coast Guard, and collected nine RBI was named the NESCAC Player of the Week for his efforts.
Amherst scored single runs in both the 3rd and 4th innings to tie the game at 6-6. Again, Wesleyan responded to the Amherst runs by retaking the lead on a booming RBI double by Julian Sonnenfeld '11 to the base of the right-field fence, followed by an RBI single by Kelly to give him three RBI in the contest. The double was the 14th of the year for Sonnenfeld, who is just two shy of the Wesleyan seasonal record for two-baggers just halfway into the season.
Yarusi did the rest over the final three innings, holding Amherst to no hits and one base runner in closing out the victory, his third of the year against one loss.
In the second game, Wesleyan broke a 0-0 tie in the 5th with three runs, all with two outs. Weiss brought in the first run with a single and Alex Meadow '12, who had three hits in the game, unloaded a triple to left-center to chase home a pair. In the 6th, Chris Bonti '13 (#6, photo insert upper left) launched his first career home run, a three-run shot to left to make it 6-0.
Amherst finally got to starter Derek Lukin '13 (#4, photo insert upper right), who had given up just two hits through six innings. In the 7th, the Lord Jeffs rallied for four hits and three runs to make it 6-3.
Wesleyan found itself in trouble again in the 9th after Lukin, who allowed seven hits and three earned runs in eight innings, had been lifted to begin the stanza. Amherst got a pair of singles with one out, which brought Bonti in from his shortstop spot to pitch. After an infield single loaded the bases, Bonti induced the game-ending double-play ball to secure the triumph. Lukin upped his record to 3-0 with the win while Bonti posted his first save.
Wesleyan returns to action Friday, April 2, hosting Middlebury in the first of three games in a NESCAC West series.