Baseball Sputters Against Trinity in Final Doubleheader of Season
With NESCAC West play already completed and the playoff picture fully in focus, the Wesleyan baseball team knew it was on the outside looking in. The Cardinals had finished in third place in the West with a 6-6 record, which meant missing out on the postseason and made the last weekend of games merely a formality. But with a home doubleheader against Trinity, the formidable NESCAC East champs who tore through their division with a 10-2 record en route to a 29-9 record overall, the Cardinals had to fight on for one more day. However, Trinity proved to be too much for Wesleyan to handle, as the visiting Bantams used their postseason tune-up on Dresser Diamond to beat the Cardinals in both games.
The Cardinals found themselves behind immediately against visiting Trinity, as a throwing error by Sam Goodwin-Boyd ’15 led to two unearned runs in the top of the first, and tri-captain Mike Barsotti ’12 let up a homer and a triple, which put Wesleyan in an early 4-0 hole. Andrew Yin ’15 was able to manufacture a run in the bottom half of the third inning by reaching first base on a bunt and moving up to second on a groundout before coming around to score on a base hit to right by tri-captain Joe Giaimo GRAD. This marked Giaimo’s 51st RBI of the season, and he leads all Cardinals in that category by a double-digit margin.
Wesleyan threatened again in the fourth by loading the bases with two outs on three straight singles by Ben Hoynes ’15, Stephen Moran ’13, and Kyle Weiss ’12, but a grounder into a fielder’s choice off the bat of tri-captain Alex Meadow ’12 extinguished that rally. Over the next five innings, the Cardinals were only able to muster a Giaimo single and a Goodwin-Boyd walk in the fifth inning before being completely shut down by the Bantam pitching staff. Trinity tagged Barsotti for another run and two more off Brett Yarusi ’12 to deal the hosts a 7-1 defeat. The loss dropped Barsotti to 4-4 on the year in his final appearance on the mound as a Cardinal.
Things only got worse for the Cardinals during Saturday’s second game, as starter Nick Cooney ’15 was driven from the game after recording only one out in the first inning and allowing three Trinity runs. Derek Lukin ’13 came in to stop the bleeding, but he loaded the bases and walked in a run before getting pulled after just 0.1 innings. The Cardinals got out of their mess with the help of Jimmy Hill ’14, who recorded the final out of the inning, but not before allowing another run to score. Once again, Wesleyan was down by multiple runs early on, this time facing a 5-0 deficit before even coming to bat.
Trinity’s pitching on the day continued to stymie the Cardinals efforts, who found their way onto the scoreboard when Weiss crossed home on an error in the third, but they had not yet recorded a base hit in the game. The no-hitter was broken up in the fourth on a Meadow single, and Wesleyan was able to put another run on the board in the bottom of the seventh, as Noah Feingold ’12 was hit by a pitch and came around to score when one got away from Trinity’s Ben Goldberg on the mound. However, the previous 5-1 margin had ballooned to 8-1 after the Bantams touched up Hill for three more runs in the sixth. Chris Law ’14 and Goodwin-Boyd were charged with the final four Trinity runs in the eighth and ninth innings, as Wesleyan fell 12-2 to end the season. The loss for Cooney was the first of his collegiate career and dropped his record to 2-1 in his first season of play.
With the 2012 season in the books for Wesleyan, the Cardinals must now bid a bitter farewell to their graduating seniors, many of whom have left permanent marks on the team’s record books. Barsotti leaves as Wesleyan’s all-time leader in strikeouts, with 233, while Meadow moved into sole possession of second place in hits, with his two base knocks in Saturday’s second game bringing his career total to 182. Joining Meadow on that accomplished hit list are Giaimo, whose 172 hits put him in fifth place, and Weiss, who is in tenth with 153 hits.
Though Wesleyan does bid farewell to Barsotti, Meadow, Giaimo, and Weiss, along with fellow seniors Yarusi, Feingold, David Skura, and Tom Miceli, the Cardinals have plenty of bright spots on their roster going forward. Donnie Cimino ’15 started in centerfield for the Cardinals from the first game back in Arizona over spring break and batting an even .400 on the season as he looks to be in contention for NESCAC Rookie of the Year honors.
With freshmen Goodwin-Boyd and Yin starting on the infield for Wesleyan and no one else in the Cardinal pitching staff older than a rising junior, there is a strong core still intact for Wesleyan baseball—hopefully it will push the team over the hump and into the postseason in 2013.