Baseball Falls Against MIT, Rocks Coast Guard
Coming off a disappointing sweep at the hands of division rival Williams, Wesleyan baseball put NESCAC West play on hold for a week for a couple of games out of conference. While the Cardinals were unable to hold off a very good MIT team in Cambridge, Mass., they were able to bounce back on Dresser Diamond by smacking around Coast Guard to keep their record over .500.
Wesleyan’s bats got going early on the road, as the team jumped out to an early lead on the strength of some timely hitting in the top of the first. Donnie Cimino ’15 kept the inning alive with a bases-empty, two-out double to the left, and Joe Giaimo GRAD made it count for the Cardinals with a two-run homer to right-center to give Wesleyan a 2-0 lead before MIT even came to the plate. Giaimo, who leads the Cardinals with 34 RBIs through Wednesday’s game, now has two home runs on the season.
The hosts would not be held in check for long though, as MIT got on the board in the bottom of the second inning. After Chase Levi ’14 allowed two batters to reach with two outs, a bases-clearing triple tied the game 2-2. Going into the top of the fifth, the two teams remained tied at two apiece until Giaimo sparked a Wesleyan rally with a one-out single. Chris Bonti ’13 flew out in the next at-bat, but David Skura ’12 came through for the Cardinals with yet another two-out RBI, doubling home Giaimo to put the Cardinals back on top 3-2.
Unfortunately, Wesleyan’s lead would not last for long, with MIT posting an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth following a throwing error by shortstop Kyle Weiss ’12, and the Cardinals found themselves in danger of falling behind when Levi walked the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh. Chris Law ’14 came out of the bullpen to get Wesleyan out of the jam. While he was able to produce outs from the first two batters he faced to get the Cardinals off the field, Law did allow a sacrifice fly to put MIT up 4-3.
Wesleyan threatened in the bottom of the eighth, only to see pinch runner Luca Cobucci ’15 gunned down at home trying to score from second on a Sam Goodwin-Boyd ’15 single. The Cardinals ultimately could not convert, and MIT escaped with narrow victory. Levi inherited the final MIT run, his third earned run allowed on the day; his record now stands at 2-1 on the year.
Wednesday was a new day for Wesleyan, as the team took to its home field and rounded back into shape against its Coast Guard opponent. With the game scoreless through the top of the second, the Cardinals went to their bread and butter this week and put forth a masterful two-out rally.
With runners on first and second, Andrew Yin ’15 singled home, and Bonti, and Alex Meadow ’12 came around to score on a throwing error from the outfield. Weiss, Cimino, and Giaimo each tacked on RBI singles of their own as Wesleyan batted around in the inning. Bonti came back up to bat for the second time in the frame and promptly delivered an RBI single of his own. A double by Skura drove Bonti home again before Meadow flied out to end the Cardinal onslaught, giving Wesleyan a 7-0 lead.
Coast Guard tacked on five runs dispersed over the next three innings to keep its hosts honest, but the Cardinals scored three of their own to take a 10-5 lead into bottom of the seventh. Yin, Weiss, and Steve Moran ’13 got the rally started with three consecutive base hits to load the bases, and Cimino capitalized with the bases loaded, knocking in his fifth run of the game with a two-RBI single. Bonti continued his timely production as well, driving home another run with yet another single. A wild pitch allowed Giaimo to score from third for Wesleyan’s fourth run of the inning, and Alex Meadow capped off the rally by singling home Bonti.
Two more runs in the top of the ninth cut the Coast Guard deficit to 15-7, but following the early scoring outburst by Wesleyan, the result was never really in question. Derek Lukin ’13 started the game for the Cardinals, but he did not get through enough innings of work to earn the victory. Instead, Mike DeLalio ’15 earned his first win of the year in relief, boosting his record to 1-1.
After splitting these past two games, Wesleyan’s record remains one game over .500, now at 14-13. The Cardinals will return to NESCAC West competition this weekend in a three-game series on the road with the Hamilton Continentals.