Chris Bonti '13 (#6, main photo), making his debut in the catcher's spot after spending most of his Wesleyan career at shortstop, unleashed his power in the opening game of a double-header vs. Pitt-Bradford Fri., March 11 in Arizona. Bonti launched a pair of home runs, both three-run shots, and had an RBI single in the 1st inning as Wesleyan captured the opener, 15-8, behind a 16-hit attack. Pitt came back to build a 9-4 lead after three inning in the nightcap and hang on for a 9-7 victory to gain a split.
The Cardinals overcame an early 2-0 deficit with five runs in the bottom of the 1st as Alex Meadow '12 hit the first of four homers by Wesleyan in the game, a three-run blast, to spark the frame. Bonti's three-run bombs were the key elements in a four-run 4th inning and a six-run 5th inning. Joe Giaimo '11 (#9, photo insert lower right) went 4-for-4 at the plate with three runs and an RBI. Brett Yarusi '12 made his first appearance of the season, going five innings with nine strikeouts to gain the win.
While Giaimo and Kyle Weiss '12 both went 2-for-4 in the second game, making Giaimo 6-for-8 on the day and Weiss 4-for-8, it was an uphil battle fot the squad as Pitt picked up three runs in each of the first three innings in fashioning a five-run lead. The Cards got a pair back in the 4th and a solo run in the 5th to make it 9-7, but went quietly in the 6th and 7th, retired one-two-three in each of the final two stanzas.
Wesleyan continues to shine at the plate sporting a team .417 average and a .583 slugging percentage. Tops on the squad is Justin Freres '11 with a .520 mark (13-for-25) while Bonti is right behind at .516 (16-for-31) and a team-high 17 RBI.
Wesleyan had the first of a pair of double-headers with NAIA Mayville St. Sun., March 13, and Mayville took both games, 8-6 and 5-3. Wesleyan rallied for five runs with two outs in the bottom of the 7th in game one, but trailed 8-1 entering the frame. A ground-rule double by Julian Sonnenfeld '11, who eventually scored as well, was the big blow in the inning. Wesleyan got the tying run to the plate, but Mayville recorded the final out on a grounder.
Game two was even more dramatic as the Cardinals again staged a last-inning surge. Wesleyan held a 3-0 lead after three innings as Bonti had a RBI single in the 2nd while Sonnenfeld added an RBI double in the 3rd along with an RBI groundout by Giaimo. Mike Barsotti '12, who went the distance in the mound and allowed just two earned runs, allowed only two hits in the first three frames but was touched for two runs on three hits in the 4th. Three Wesleyan miscues in the 5th opened the door for three more Mayville runs. Wesleyan then proceeded to load the bases in the top of the 7th as singles by Jon Sheehan '11 and Weiss were followed by Sonnenfeld being hit by a pitch. But again, Mayville averted trouble by getting a grounder to end the game.
The teams finish their back-to-back double-header battle Mon., March 14.