Sam Goodwin-Boyd '15 & Jon Dennett '15 Trigger Offense, Donnie Cimino '15 Shines on D as Baseball Takes NESCAC Opener, 8-6
In a game dominated by unearned runs, Wesleyan scored six unearned runs with Sam Goodwin-Boyd '15 delivering a three-run double and Jon Dennett '15 (#12, photo lower right) pounding a two-run homer all after the third out should have been recorded in the 3rd inning, helping Wesleyan to an 8-6 first-round NESCAC tournament victory over Bowdoin Fri., May 10. Wesleyan advances to a winner's bracket game against Amherst, an 8-5 winner over Trinity, Sat., May 11 at 10:30 a.m. at Wesleyan. Bowdoin and Trinity go at it in an elimination game at Beehive Field in New Britain, also at 10:30. The winner of the elimination game takes on the loser of the winner's game in another elimination game at Wesleyan Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The tournament concludes on Sunday. All games at Wesleyan will be webcast and have LiveStats.
After a pair of infield errors allowed the Cardinals to load the bases with one out in the 3rd, Goodwin-Boyd unloaded the bases with a hard liner into the left-center field gap, making it a 4-1 game. One batter earlier, Donnie Cimino '15 (#11, left side photo) had singled into right field to score Wesleyan's first run, countering the Bowdoin run in the top of the 1st which scored on a wild pitch. Wesleyan added two more runs in the 3rd when Dennett launched just the second homer by a Cardinal this season over the left-field fence, putting the Cardinals ahead, 6-1.
Bowdoin narrowed the difference to 6-3 with a pair of run in the 4th inning. Wesleyan retaliated with single runs in the 4th and 5th to regain a five-run edge, 8-3. Dennett got his third RBI of the game with a deep liner to left for a sacrifice fly, scoring Chris Bonti '13. Bonti then hit a fielder's choice grounder in the 5th to score a run, the only earned run by Wesleyan in the game.
Sam Elias '15, who pitched two innings and got credit for the win for Wesleyan, gave up three unearned runs in the 7th as Bowdoin pulled within a pair, 8-6. Elias spelled Nick Cooney '15, who went 4-2/3 innings and left with a 7-3 lead. Elias was relieved by Jimmy Hill '14 (#1, photo upper right), who got the final out of the 7th, then finished the game without allowing a hit for his first save of the year.
Wesleyan got three amazing defensive outs in center field from Cimino, the last coming in the top of the 9th when Cimino laid out for a deep fly ball while running full speed toward the fence. There was a runner at first and one out at the time. Had the ball fallen, the score would have been 8-7 with the tying run in scoring position for Bowdoin.
The win was the first by Wesleyan on opening day of a NESCAC tournament as Wesleyan was 0-4 on its previous opening-day games in NESCAC playoff action, last qualifying in 2010. Bowdoin, playing in its fourth straight NESCAC tournament, had won on opening day in both 2012 and 2011.