Scoring five runs, all with two outs in the bottom of the 6th, Wesleyan took the lead for good against Marian Tues., March 12, and went on for a 15-10 victory in Tucson. The teams did battle once again Fri., March 15, with Marian securing a 9-6 decision. In between, the Cardinals had a day off March 13, then took on St. Ambrose Thurs., March 14, capturing a down-to-the-wire 6-5 triumph.
Wesleyan trailied, 10-9, heading into the bottom of the 6th vs. Marian, but hits by Chris Bonti '13, Ben Hoynes '15, Andrew Yin '15, Jordan Farber '16 and Donnie Cimino '15 (main photo) helped account for five runs. Hoynes had a two-run double while Yin and Cimino had RBI singles. Marian had taken the lead in the top of the inning with a pair of unearned runs off Derek Lukin '14 (photo insert upper right), but Lukin shut the door on the Sabres' scoring over the final three innings for the win, allowing just four hits over his four inning of relief work.
Cimino finished the game with four hits, joined by Stefan Sundseth '13 (photo insert lower right), who was a perfect 4-for-4 with a walk and three RBI. Cimino had three runs scored and an RBI. All nine Cardinal starters had a hit in the game. Bonti, Yin and Sam Goodwin-Boyd '15 had three safeties apiece as Wesleyan totaled 22 on the day, raising the team's batting average through four games to .388. Two of Bonti's hits were doubles as he drove in three runs. Yin and Goodwin-Boyd each had a pair of RBI.
Each team scored runs during its first four at-bats as Wesleyan forged a 9-7 lead. A Marian run in the top of the 5th and the two unearned runs in the 6th gave the Sabres their last lead, followed by Wesleyan's five-run eruption.
Against St. Ambrose, Wesleyan took the lead for good in the 3rd inning, erasing a 2-1 deficit with a three-run uprising despite only one hit. RBIs were recorded by a hit batter and a walk, both with the bases loaded, as well as a fielder's choice grounder. Matt Sorkin '15 (#3, photo lower middle by Rick Dennet P'16) scored two of the first four runs as he also led off the game with a double and scored in the 1st inning. In the 4th inning, Sorkin plated Davidson, who had doubled, with a single, and Wesleyan got its final run in the 7th thanks to Steve Moran's '13 bases-loaded grounder with one out, scoring Yin, who opened the frame with a hit. Kai Kirk '16 got the win with 5.1 innings of starting pitching, allowing six hits and three earned runs with seven strikeouts. Sam Elias '15 picked up a save with two innings of relief work, getting himself out of a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the 9th with a strikeout and a fly ball to end the game. Yin enjoyed a three-hit game while Sorkin and Davidson connected for a pair of safeties.
In the rematch with Marian, the Sabres jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the 1st inning and never looked back. Wesleyan did narrow the gap to three at 7-4 with three hits in the 4th inning. Goodwin-Boyd and Hoynes had RBI in the frame. Marian made it 8-5 in the bottom of the 3rd before a Goodwin-Boyd double in the 5th brought in Cimino to make it 8-5. Goodwin-Boyd and Sorkin each had a pair of safeties in the contest. Marian closed out its scoring with a run in the 6th while a sacrifice fly by Eric Jones '16 brought in Moran with the game's final run in the 8th.
Through six games, Sorkin leads the team with a .412 batting average while Davidson and Moran are both above .400 as well with .409 and .407, respectively. As a team, the Cardinals a swinging at a .347 clip.
Up next for the squad was a game vs. Grand View Sat., March 16. Wesleyan was crusing behind the pitching of Jeff Blout '14 with a 4-2 lead heading into the top of the 7th. A pair of errors opened the door for eight unearned runs as the Vikings took a 10-4 lead and finished with an 11-4 victory. Blout went 6.2 innings, allowing just six hits and two earned runs but absorbed the loss. At the plate, Yin led the way with a 3-for-3 performance. Farber added two hits while Bonti drove in a pair or runs with a triple during a three-run 4th inning.
Wesleyan faces Wisconsin-Superior Sun., March 17 as the trip continues.