After a near-perfect relay from the outfield sent Kyle Weiss ’12 scrambling back to third base, Wesleyan’s leadoff hitter could only let out an exasperated cry, with his chance at an electrifying inside-the-park home run reduced to a humdrum triple to lead off the bottom of the second. But on a day where everything went right for the hosts at Dresser Diamond, this was the closest anyone in the Cardinal dugout came to true frustration. Wesleyan had more than three times as many runs as visiting Albertus Magnus had hits as the Cardinals steamrolled their way to a resounding 19-0 victory.
Chris Law ’14 kicked things off for the Cardinals with a three-up-three-down first inning before Wesleyan’s first five batters reached base en route to an early lead. Donnie Cimino ’15 drove in two with an RBI double, then came around to score himself when Joe Giaimo ’11 singled in the very next at bat. The early damage would be over for Albertus Magnus following a sacrifice fly by David Skura ’12, which scored Giaimo, but Wesleyan’s pitching staff would be just fine with the 4-0 lead after one inning.
Albertus Magnus showed some signs of life in the second inning by loading the bases in the top of the second before Law induced a groundout. Following Weiss’s almost four-bagger, Alex Meadow ’12 walked to put runners on the corners for the dangerous freshman Cimino, only for Albertus Magnus to turn the tables with an unassisted double play on a lineout to third. But just when the crisis seemed averted for Albertus Magnus pitcher Jeff Piscitelli, Giaimo drove the ball into the same right-center gap that Weiss did, which brought Meadow home for an inside-the-park homer of his own. That gave the fifth-year Cardinal his first home run of the season, and his four RBIs on the day boosted his total to a team-leading 30 through 22 games.
After Wesleyan manufactured a run in the third inning off a steal of second by Sam Goodwin-Boyd ’15 and a single by Steve Moran ’13, the home team had already built a seemingly insurmountable 7-0 lead, especially since it had not allowed seven runs to an opponent since its spring break Arizona trip. Since the team returned to the Northeast, Middlebury scored the most runs in a game by any Cardinal opponent, with four last Friday. This cushion did not prevent Wesleyan from pouring it on, however, as Meadow and Cimino both reached base to lead off the fourth, and Giaimo delivered with a ground-rule double to score Meadow and chase Piscitelli from the game. Jared Sabanski came into the game in relief for Albertus Magnus; he allowed three hits and issued three walks as Wesleyan scored five more runs. Albertus Magnus was forced to pull Sabanski before he could record a single out, and Zairis Fernandez was greeted with the top of the order for the Cardinals, who had batted around. Fernandez gave up an RBI single to Meadow and a sac fly to Cimino before buckling down, getting Giaimo and Chris Bonti ’13 to record consecutive outs, stranding two runners, and stopping the bleeding. The damage was already done, however, as Wesleyan scored eight runs on six hits and a throwing error in the bottom of the fourth to run away with the game, which now stood at 15-0 with five innings left to play.
With the outcome very surely in hand, Head Coach Mark Woodworth called off the dogs by pulling Law after he completed his fifth scoreless inning and replacing starters Weiss, Meadow, Cimino, Bonti, Skura, and Goodwin-Boyd. Chase Levi ’14 and Nick Cooney ’15 pitched a scoreless sixth and seventh inning, respectively, before the Cardinal bats came alive again in the bottom of the seventh. After loading the bases, Ben Hoynes ’15 knocked one in with an RBI single, and Jake Skinner ’14 drove another home on a sac fly. Andrew Yin ’15 reached on an error at short to load the bases once again, before Noah Feingold ’12 was hit by a pitch, which meant taking one for the team and allowing Tom Miceli ’12 to score from third. With that, Fernandez finally left after 3.1 innings for Albertus Magnus; he inherited the last Cardinal run after an RBI single by Jonathan Dennett ’15 made the score 19-0, which would hold up as the final.
Freshmen Mike DeLalio and Sam Elias each pitched an inning of relief to preserve the shutout for Wesleyan. Law improves to 3-0 on the year after picking up the win and benefiting from his team’s blistering bats. The Cardinals are winners of their last five contests, as well as nine of their last ten, and are undefeated at home. Wesleyan now travels to face Little Three rival Williams on Saturday before hosting the Ephs back on Dresser Diamond the very next day.