Williams Halts Baseball’s Streak
After entering this past weekend undefeated in the NESCAC West and with a 13-9 record overall, the Wesleyan baseball team came back down to earth this weekend after a three-game sweep at the hands of Little Three rival Williams. The Ephs took both games of a Saturday doubleheader in Williamstown, Mass. before coming down to Dresser Diamond on Sunday for the third game of the weekend, building momentum over the Cardinals as the weekend progressed.
While the rest of Wesleyan was enjoying the festivities of the past weekend, baseball traveled up north for two games against a team struggling in conference play; prior to this past weekend’s play, Williams’ record stood at a subpar 6-14 and just 1-5 in the NESCAC West. However, the host Ephs stepped their game up against their longtime rivals, with Eph starter Harry Marino holding Wesleyan to just one run over seven innings while Williams tagged Brett Yarusi ’12 for seven runs to provide the difference in Wesleyan’s 7-1 defeat. The Cardinals were limited to just four hits, with Kyle Weiss ’12 and Steve Moran ’13 tacking on two hits apiece and Donnie Cimino ’15 knocking in the lone Wesleyan run on a sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth inning.
Looking to bounce back in the second leg of the doubleheader, Wesleyan jumped on top of Williams in the top of the first. Joe Giaimo ’11, who went 4-for-5 at the plate, singled home Weiss to get the scoring started for the Cardinals. A second run crossed home when Chris Bonti ’13 grounded into a fielder’s choice in the next at-bat. Alex Meadow ’12 drove home a third run before getting gunned down when trying to stretch his single to a double. Wesleyan held a 3-0 lead before the Ephs even came to bat. The Cardinals were able to hold off Williams’ assault for five innings with the pitching of Mike Barsotti ’12, but he gave up four runs on six hits over the next three innings which eliminated Wesleyan’s lead. After Jimmy Hill ’14 gave up one more run in relief, Wesleyan found itself down by a 5-3 margin, and Williams’ bullpen held their opponents to just two hits over the last four innings to seal the Cardinal defeat.
When Wesleyan returned home on Sunday in hopes of revenge on its home field, Williams had other plans, walloping the Cardinals 14-4 to cap off the streak. Once again, Wesleyan jumped up on top over the Ephs, this time with a steal of home by Meadow on a failed pickoff attempt to give Wesleyan a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Williams quickly snuffed out that brief glimmer of hope, as Cardinal pitchers Jeff Blout ’14, Chris Law ’14, and Nick Cooney ’15 surrendered 12 runs in just 4.2 innings to put Wesleyan in an insurmountable 12-1 hole. While Cimino tacked on a run with a sacrifice fly, which Bonti tripled in two more, that was as close as Wesleyan would get, as Williams poured it on with two more runs to secure the double-digit victory for the Ephs.
The defeats brought an end to a five-game winning streak of the Cardinals, who dropped to 13-12 on the year and 3-3 in the NESCAC West, in which they now trail behind undefeated Amherst for first place in the division. Wesleyan will next take the field on the road against MIT on Tuesday and at home versus Coast Guard on Wednesday.