Baseball Sweeps Double-Header vs. Mayville as Jon Sheehan '11 Drives in Game-Winner in Both Contests, Followed by Split with Macalester, Loss to Concordia (WI)

Wesleyan avenged a pair of setbacks to Mayville St. the previous day by getting timely hitting from Jon Sheehan '11 (photo) to sweep a double-header in Arizona Mon., March 14, by scores of 10-9 in eight innings and 7-5.  The Cardinals improved to 8-5 on the year and have a couple of days off before facing Macalester in a twin bill Thurs., March 17, then finishing up against Concordia (Wisc.) with a single game Fri., March 18.

Batting with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 8th in the first game vs. Mayville, Sheehan chopped a single over third base against a pulled-in infield to drive in David Skura '12 with the winning run.  Skura had walked after a Joe Giaimo '11 double, and Ryan Coffey '11 followed with an infield hit to fill the sacks.  Mayville cut down Giaimo at home on a fielder's choice grounder but Sheehan delivered the winner, as Wesleyan rallied from an 8-5 deficit heading into the bottom of the 6th.  The Cardinals scored four runs in the frame to snag a 9-8 lead as Julian Sonnenfeld '11 and Skura had RBI grounders, sandwiching a two-run single by Alex Meadow '12.  Mayville tied the game in the top of the 7th with its only run off reliever Jimmy Hill '14, who got the win by giving up just five hits and one unearned run in six innings of work with five Ks. 

In the nightcap, the teams were tied 5-5 heading into the top of the 6th.  Sheehan pounded a one-out double to plate Mike Barsotti '12 with an unearned run for a 6-5 lead, then scored the seventh run, also unearned, on the second error of the inning by the Comets.  Reliever Jeff Blout '14 finished off his 3.2 innings of hitless pitching by striking out five of the last seven batters he faced in picking up the victory.

Over the double-header, Giaimo connected for five hits in nine at-bats while Kyle Weiss '12 went 4-for-6 at the plate, accouting for nine of the Cardinals' 22 hits on the day.  Wesleyan is now hitting .385 as a team whole averaging 10 runs a contest.  Chris Bonti '13 (.500), Weiss (.471), Giaimo (.458) and Justin Freres '11 (.405) all hit better than the team's average.  Hill leads the pitching staff with his 2.92 ERA and 2-0 record while Blout paces the staff with 16 strikeouts in 10 innings of work.

Splitting the double-header with Macalster, Wesleyan rolled to a 13-1 victory in the opener behind the pitching of Brett Yarusi '12, as he allowed just five hits and one earned run over seven inings in the complete-game effort.  He improved to 2-0 with a 3.75 ERA.  Wesleyan struck for eight runs in the 1st inning and never looked back.  Big hits in the frame were a two-run single by Giaimo and a bases-loaded triple by Weiss.  Weiss went 3-for-4 in the contest as did Sonnenfeld.  Five of the Cardinals' 13 hits were for extra bases.  Wesleyan fell in the second game, 16-3.  The Cards cut a 5-0 deficit to 5-3 in the 3rd with three unearned runs.  Giaimo was a key to the rally with a run-scoring double and he scored himself from third on a throw to second in an attempt to nail Bonti on a stolen-base attempt.  But Macalester racked up 14 hits off four Cardinal hurlers and wrapped up the triumph with a seven-run 6th inning while getting a complete game from its starter.  Giaimo, Bonti and Terence Farina '14 were good for two hits each in the game.

During the final game of the excursion, the Cardinals found themselves down, 5-0, before coming to bat for the first time.  Wesleyan scored seven of the next eight runs to seize a 7-6 lead in the bottom of the 4th.  Meadow drove in the go-ahead run with a groundout.  Meadow and Freres had run-scoring singles during a four-run 3rd inning which was capped by a two-run double by Jake Skinner '14, making his first start at DH.  But Concordia evened the score in the top of the 5th and after three scoreless innings by each side, took the lead for good with an unearned run in the top of the 9th.  It held up for an 8-7 decision.

Cumulative stats for the 16-game trip show Bonti leading the way with a .510 batting average, followed by Giaimo with a .455 mark.  Weiss is right behind, swinging at a .452 clip.  Sonnenfeld, with a pair of doubles in the final game, has a .390 average and team-leading .712 slugging percentage among the regulars.  Seven Cardinals have double-digit RBI, paced by Giaimo with 20.

Wesleyan was to open the northern slate Thurs., March 24, hosting Coast Guard in their annual battle.  Unplayable field conditions forced the contest to be postponed with the makeup date TBA.  As a result, Wesleyan will begin its northern play Sat., March 26 in a double-header at Rutgers-Newark.