Baseball Sweeps Bates behind Timely Hitting of Steve Moran '13, Solid Relief Pitching of Nick Cooney '15 & Kai Kirk '16 - Cards Then Drop Games to MIT & USCGA
Wesleyan rallied from a 3-0 deficit with three runs in the bottom of the 8th to take a 5-4 win in the opener, then scored five runs in the 1st inning of the nightcap to take control and go on for a 7-2 victory to sweep visiting Bates in cross-over NESCAC non-conference baseball action Sun., April 14. It was the first meeting between Wesleyan and Bates on the diamond since 2009 as the Cardinals improved their lead in the overall series to 22-8.
Steve Moran '13 (#2, main photo) drove in the tying and go-ahead runs for Wesleyan in the bottom of the 8th with a slicing liner to right field with the bases loaded and one out. The first run of the inning scored on a bases-loaded wild pitch. Then after an intentional walk and a fielder's choice out at home, Moran delivered what proved to be the game-winning hit. Pitcher Nick Cooney '15 (#21, photo insert upper right), who came in to start the 6th inning for Wesleyan, got the win in relief, going four innings while allowing just one hit with five strikeouts. He raised his record for the year to 4-0. He did have a wild streak in the 9th inning, walking the bases loaded with one out, but a line drive double play to second base ended the game.
Six of the nine hits by Bates in the game went for extra bases. Two of them came during a three-run 3rd inning as an RBI triple made it 1-0, then a double made it 2-0. An RBI single up the middle closed out the scoring in the stanza. Wesleyan cut the difference to 3-2 when Jon Dennett '15 and Moran both got RBI singles in the 4th. Bates made it 4-2 in the 5th on a pair of doubles. Moran and Guy Davidson '16 both had a pair of hits for Wesleyan to lead the offense.
Wesleyan sent 10 men to the plate in the 1st inning of game two to plate five runs. Donnie Cimino '15 started things off with a two-run double to give the Cardinals the lead for good. Davidson, Moran and Ben Hoynes '15 all added RBI singles in the frame to complete the scoring. Bates got no closer than four runs at 6-2 before Wesleyan got the game's final run in the 6th. Moran had another two-hit game along with Dennett.
Kai Kirk '16 (#22, photo insert upper left) got the win in relief for Wesleyan , throwing 4-1/3 innings of two-hit ball, yielding just one unearned run, as he upped his seasonal record to 3-1.
Wesleyan was back in action Tues., April 16, hosting MIT in non-conference play. MIT jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the 1st inning and never lost the advantage en route to a 7-5 win. Wesleyan holds a 24-8 lead in the overall series but the Beavers have won four of the five contests played this century between the infrequent rivals.
A Dennett sacrifice fly in the 1st gave Wesleyan its initial run, but MIT tacked on three more in the 2nd for a 6-1 margin. Only two of the six MIT runs were earned due to two Cardinal miscues.
Wesleyan narrowed the difference to a lone run by scoring two on a Cimino hit in the 2nd to make it 6-3 and adding two in the 6th on a double steal as Moran scored before Yin got his second hit of the game, as he improved his hitting streak this season to 21 games, to drive in the fifth Cardinal run.
A triple and a groundout in the 7th accounted for MIT's final run. Jimmy Hill '14 took the loss for Wesleyan, dropping his record to 2-1.
Wesleyan ventured to Coast Guard Wed., April 17 for another non-conference game vs. a NEWMAC squad. Once again, Wesleyan fell behid early and couldn't recover, losing an 8-4 outcome. Coast Guard led 5-0 after two innings. The Cardinals got three runs back in the top of the fourth on an RBI single by Hoynes, a sacrifice fly by Stefan Sundseth '13 and an RBI single by Yin, which upped his hitting streak to 22 games. As they did with MIT, the Cardinals nudged the deficit to a lone run in the 7th with Yin scoring after his bunt single, a double by Cimino and a sacrifice fly by Dennett. Wesleyan left two men on in the inning. Cimino finished the game with a 4-for-5 effort. He now has 99 career hits as he looks to become the first Cardinal sophomore to reach 100 hits. All-time hits leader Jeff Maier had 91 safeties at the end of his sophomore year on his way to 189 career hits. Cimino will be the 45th Cardinals to reach the 100-hit plateau. Coast Guard tacked on three runs in the bottom of the 7th for the final margin.
Cimino, as well as Yin, who has 88 career hits, will be looking for Wesleyan immortality this weekend as Wesleyan embarks upon a pivotal three-game NESCAC West series at Middlebury starting Fri., April 19 with a single game.