Throwing his second seven-inning NESCAC West shutout of the year, Jeff Blout '14 (right side photo) got Wesleyan off to a good start in its ever-important double-header at Middlebury Sat., April 20 with a two-hitter in a 6-0 Cardinal victory. After Wesleyan rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the 1st inning of game two to take a 4-3 lead in the 2nd, Sam Elias '15 (left side photo) entered the game in relief during the bottom of the 2nd and mimicked Blout by going eight innings while yielding just two hits to get the win as Wesleyan vame away with an 8-4 victory and a sweep. Now with a 7-2 NESCAC West record, the Cardinals have locked up their first trip to the NESCAC tournament since 2010. Amherst also has clinched a spot as Wesleyan and Amherst will do battle in a three-game series over the weekend of Fri.-Sat., April 26-27 to determine the seedings. Before that, however, Wesleyan hosted Southern Vermont and eked out a 6-5 win.
Blout, who shut out Williams, 11-0, on five hits earlier this year, struck out nine Middlebury batters while walking just two in controling the Panther bats in game one. Wesleyan was held i check scoring-wise through five innings, nursing a 1-0 lead as the Cardinals scored an unearned run without a hit in the 2nd. But in the 6th, Wesleyan erupted for three runs to pad the lead with Guy Davidson '16 knocking in a run with a single, and Steve Moran '13 following up with a two-run single to make it 4-0. In the 7th, Wesleyan tacked on two more runs as Andrew Yin '15, who extended his hitting streak to 24 games, and recent 100-plus hit man Donnie Cimino '15 both knocked in a run with a double and single, respectively.
In game two, a four-run 2nd inning gave Wesleyan a short-lived 4-3 lead with Moran, who doubled, scoring on a Jake Katofsky '16 single; Yin driving in a run with a bloop to right field that score Eric Jones '16, who walked, despite resulting in a forceout at second; Cimino doubling in Katofsky with Yin also scoring on a fielding error on the play.
After Middlebury got two men on to start the 2nd, in came Elias and despite walking his first batter, got a double-play grounder and a pop up to hold the Panthers to a run, making it a 4-4 contest. He surrendered just two hits the rest of the game in holding the Panthers scoreless.
An RBI single by Jones ignited a three-run 3rd inning for Wesleyan with Katofsky adding an RBI double and later crossing the plate on an error. The final Wesleyan run came in the 6th with Cimino driving in Yin. Yin had singled in his first at-bat of the game to push his phenominal hitting streak to 25 games.
Meeting for just the fourth time, Wesleyan stayed undefeated vs. Southern Vermont by pulling out a 6-5 victory with a pair of runs in the bottom of the 9th after SVC had taken a 5-4 lead in the top of the inning. Yin hit a sacrifice fly to bring in the tying run for Wesleyan, his third RBI of the contest, before Jon Dennett '15 ended the game with a single to left field, plating Chris Bonti '23, who had singled earlier in the frame.
Yin had spotted Wesleyan a 2-0 lead in the 3rd inning with a bases-loaded double to right-center field. He had a bunt single in the 1st inning as he improved his seasonal hitting streak to 26 games. The Mountaineers scored the next four runs to take a 4-2 lead into the 6th inning.
Single runs by Wesleyan in the 6th and 8th tied the contest with Jordan Farber '16 getting both RBI with a single in the 6th and a sacrifice fly in the 8th.
SVC pulled back into the lead in the top of the 9th. That set the stage for the Wesleyan walk-off victory. Pitching the 9th inning, Wilson Flowers '16 got the win for the Cardinals despite allowing a run as Wesleyan used nine pitchers in the contest, basically one per inning.