Baseball Gets 3 Great Pitching Efforts for Sweep of Williams, Nick Cooney '15 is NESCAC Pitcher of Week, Robby Harbison '17 is Player of Week
Nick Cooney '15 (#21, main right side photo) scattered four Williams hits while going the distance, allowing one run with nine strikeouts, to propel homestanding Wesleyan to a 4-1 NESCAC West and Little Three baseball victory over Williams Fri., April 11. Cooney is now 4-1 on the season with a team-leading 2.79 ERA and .214 opposing batting average, and was namwed NESCAC Pitcher of the Week. The teams completed their three-game series with a double-header in Williamstown, Mass. Sat., April 12. Wesleyan took both ends of the twin-bill, 7-2 and 12-2, to sweep the three-game series for the second year in a row.
Wesleyan had six hits in the opening contest, but five came over the 7th and 8th innings as the Cardinals scored all their runs. Williams starting pitcher had a one-hitter going through six innings but gave up a pair of ground singles through the left side to Donnie Cimino '15 and Sam Goodwin-Boyd '15 to start the 7th. Guy Davidson '16 advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt. With the infield up, Jon Dennett '15 hit a grounder toward shortstop. The ball was misplayed, allowing all runners to move up with Dennett safe at first base. That tied the score at 1-1. Up came Robby Harbison '17 (#34, main left side photo) , who lashed a double deep to right field, scoring both Goodwin-Boyd and Dennett. Harbison was throw out trying to stretch the hit into a triple.
Wesleyan got its fourth run in the 8th when Eric Jones '16 reached on an infield single, went to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a single to left field by Ellis Schaefer '17.
Williams had taken a 1-0 lead in the 2nd inning with a walk, stolen base and single up the middle that was knocked down by Cardinal second baseman Andrew Yin '15. The Williams runner never stopped rounding third and forced a high and wide throw to the plate by Yin.
In pushing their winning streak to 10 as the Cardinals have won each game since returning from their western excursion to Arizona and California, Wesleyan got a six-hitter from Jeff Blout '14 (#7, photo insert lower middle) in the seven-inning first game of the double-header. He struck out six and walked none in picking up his second-straight complete-game NESCAC West victory, making his seasonal record 4-0. The Cardinals batted around in a five-run 3rd inning, picking up five hits. Schaefer drove in a pair of runs in the frame with a single and Goodwin-Boyd hit a fly ball so deep to center that both Yin from third base and Cimino from second base were able to tag up and score on the sacrifice fly. Yin had the other RBI earlier in the inning with a single. Harbison went 3-for-4 in the contest.
Harbison added another 3-for-4 game in the nightcap while scoring twice and knocking in three. For his performance during the week, Harbison was named NESCAC Player of the Week. On the mound, Gavin Pittore '16 (#13, photo insert upper middle) threw a brilliant two-hitter over seven innings, allowing one run with nine strikeouts and three walks. He, too, is 4-0 on the year. The Cardinals took the lead for good in the 3rd inning, scoring four times for a 5-1 lead. Yin drove in the go-ahead run with one of his three hits in the game, bringing in Jones, who led off with a double. Two Williams errors helped three unearned runs to score. A Davidson triple brought in the final run of the stanza. Wesleyan tacked on two more in the 5th, three in the 6th and two more in the 7th to stretch the margin to 12-1. Davidson, Cimino and Jones all had two hits in the game, complementing Harbison and Yin with multi-hit efforts. Wesleyan had 15 safeties as a team.
Over the three games, the Wesleyan pitching staff allowed just 13 hits by Williams, which came into the weekend hitting .350 as a team. The Wesleyan staff limited the Ephs to a .157 average in the series.
Next up for the squad is a trip to Salve Regina Tues., April 15 for non-conference action.