On the heels of a record-setting season for Wesleyan Baseball, which included a second-ever excursion to the NCAA Tournament, 2014 has also been a banner year for Wesleyan Baseball in NCAA-sanctioned summer leagues. Seven Cardinals spent time in the prestigious leagues, including four in the Cape Cod League. Gavin Pittore '16 (left in photo) and Nick Cooney '15 (right in photo) have led the way with standout summers in the Cape Cod League. The league features the best college baseball players in the nation and there are 256 current Major League players who played in the Cape. Overall, there are 1,065 all-time major leaguers who spent their summers there.
Wesleyan wrestling will return a veteran squad for the 2014-15 campaign focused on a high level of winning wrestling. The Cardinals have been nationally ranked among the top 30 Division III squads at the end of the season four times in the last five years including a best-ever 11th-place ranking following the 2012-13 season. The 2011-12 squad ranked 29th, as did the 2010-11 team. The 2009-10 Cardinals finished 26th in the national poll. The highly regarded 2012-13 squad, ranked 10th in the country, was invited to compete in the pretigious National Dual Championship in Springfield, Ill. where the team finished sixth among 16 competing teams, nearly all of which were ranked among the top 30 in the country. It was only the second time in the history of the event that a New England squad placed in the top eight.
With Elite 89 Award winner Brianne Wiemann '15 (photo upper middle) as the coxswain and first-team all-NESCAC pick Kayla Could '14 (photo upper right) and second-team all-NESCAC honoree Clare Doyle '14 (photo upper left) comprising 25 percent of the rowing charge, Wesleyan's varsity 8 placed fifth among eight entries at the NCAA Division III Rowing Championships in Indianapolis, Ind. Fri.-Sat., May 30-31. The Cardinals were seeded fifth at the event in the varsity eight affair. Trinity overcame Williams in the closing portion of the race to win the title as well as the team championship. Wesleyan, with its third-place effort in second varsity eight, took fifth (26 points) in the team scoring, just behind Wellesley which took fourth (28 points).
Trailing 3-0 heading into the top of the 8th inning, Wesleyan loaded the bases for Jon Dennett '15 (#12, photo lower right), who delivered a line single to left to drive in a pair of runs and cut the difference to 3-2. The Cardinals then rallied for the tying and go-ahead runs off Susquehanna's ace reliever, all with two outs in the 9th, as Donnie Cimino '15 (#11, photo lower left) sent a hard liner to the corner in left that went for a two-run triple after a single by Robby Harbison '17 and a walk to Andrew Yin '15 (#8, lower head shot). Nick Cooney '15 (#21, photo upper right) came in to throw the 9th inning and promptly struck out the side for his first save of the year in his only relief appearance, preserving the 4-3 victory that propelled Wesleyan into the championship game vs. Baldwin Wallace in the Mid-Atlantic Regional of the NCAA Division III Tournament in Moosic, Pa. Sun., May 18. Though Wesleyan jumped ahead of BWU, 6-1, in the 2nd inning, the Yellow Jackets came back for a 9-7 win to claim the regional crown and a trip to the NCAA Division III World Series May 23-27 in Appleton, Wisc.
Seventh-seeded Wesleyan advanced to the losers bracket final with a 6-1 victory over host and fifth-seeded Misericordia Sat., May 17 in an elimination game of the NCAA Division III Mid-Atlantic Regional. Wesleyan will play Susquehanna University Sun., May 18 at noon for the right to battle Baldwin-Wallace for the regional championship. Logging their 30th win of the season, the Cardinals have tied the program record set by the 1994 NCAA runner-up squad that went 30-8. The Cardinals' starter Gavin Pittore '16 (#13, main photo) improved to 7-1 on the hill. The hard throwing righty allowed no runs and scattered five hits while fanning 10 in seven innings of work. Sam Elias '15 (#25, photo insert upper right) picked up his third save of the season throwing 1.1 innings of scoreless ball to close out the contest. Wesleyan was led offensively by Ellis Schaefer '17 (#2, photo insert middle right) who went 3-for-4 at the plate with a RBI. Andrew Yin '15 (#8, photo insert lower right) went 2-for-4 with two runs scored while Jon Dennett '15 added a hit in two official at-bats and drove in two runs.
After suffering some control issues the day before and facing just four batters before being relieved in Wesleyan's opening NCAA tournament game in Moosic, Pa. during the Mid-Atlantic Regional, Nick Cooney '15 (#21, photo insert lower right) came right back and dominated Keystone with a five-hit, complete-game shutout as Wesleyan averted elimination with a 6-0 victory Thurs., May 15. Wesleyan was to face Haverford in another elimination game Fri., May 16, but bad weather forced games to be postponed until Sat., May 17. When Wesleyan and Haverford squared off the first time since 1924, Wesleyan came away a 6-3 winner. As a result, the Cardinals are among the final four teams in the regional and face host Misericordia at 7:45 p.m. Saturday in another elimination contest. The game will have Livestats and webcast coverage.
With Sierra Livious '14 (main photo) placing in three events, including a second-place effort in the shot put (39-10 1/2), the Cardinals amassed 64 teams points during the annual NESCAC Championships hosted this year by Colby Sat., April 26, Wesleyan took seventh place as a team. Joining Livious as a runner-up was Ellie Martin '16 (photo insert lower left), who ran a soild :57.93 in the 400m and was nipped by just .05 seconds at the tape. She also was part of the Cardinals' second-place 4 x 400m relay, teamed with Melissa Luning '15, Sydney Cogswell '16 and Kimora Brock '15 for a time of 3:57.58.
Finishing fifth of 20 entries in the ECAC Collegiate Championships Sun., May 11 in Worcester, Mass., the Cardinals used the fine showing to impress the NCAA selection committee such that Wesleyan earned its third-ever invitational to the NCAA National Championship to be held in Indianapolis, Ind. Fri.-Sat., May 30-31. The fifth-place effort in the ECAC regatta was the highest finish by Wesleyan since last qualifying for Nationals in 2001. At that time, the Cardinals placed fourth of 18 entries in the ECAC affair. The previous year (2000), the Cardinals placed second in both the New Englands and ECACs en route to their first national qualification. Those two seasons, all divisions were lumped together. This year, Wesleyan is a Division III participant. in 2013, Wesleyan took 10th place in the ECAC regatta, demonstrating solid improvement in a year's time. Wesleyan's opening race for the varsity 8 at the NCAAs will be 8:50 am on Friday.
Wesleyan recovered from a 10-0 loss to the Jumbos in the first potential title game Sun., May 11 at Tufts, to produce a 6-4 victory in the rubber match in the second game Sunday and give Wesleyan its first NESCAC baseball crown and the fourth ever NESCAC tournament title by a Wesleyan squad. Baseball joined 2005 men's soccer, 2009 men's lacrosse and 2010 softball as NESCAC winners. The baseball Cardinals received an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament, making their first appearance in the NCAAs since placing second in 1994. Surprisingly, Wesleyan was shipped to the Mid-Atlantic Regional, hosted by Misericordia U. in Moosic, Pa., as the #7 seed in the eight-team regional and faced #2-seeded Rowan in a first-round game Wed., May 14. Both Tufts and Amherst received at-large bids and were seeded third in the New England and New York Regionals, respectively, despite losing two of three games each to Wesleyan. The Cardinals fell to Rowan, 7-2, and take on Keystone in an elimination game Thurs., May 15. LiveStats and a webcast (without sound) are available.
Wesleyan closed out the spring racing season by facing both Williams and Trinity in a double dual event Sat., April 26 in Pittsfield, Mass. as the Cardinals had an event slated with Trinity that day and made up an earlier event with Williams that had been postponed due to poor conditions, followed by the annual New England Rowing Championships Sat., May 3 and the ECAC Collegiate Championships Sun., May 11, both in Worcester, Mass. Using the same varsity 8 lineup in each of the final three events, that of rowers Peter Cornilie '15, Chris Nanda '16, Colin Mattox '17, Keegan Dufty '14, Ben Record '15, Nick Petrillo '14 (photo), Peter Martin '14 and Ethan Currie '15 with cox Max Dietz '16, Wesleyan came up a scant 1.1 second shy of Trinity and 4.7 second behind Williams in its separate races.