After a pair of hard-fought victories against the Bates Bobcats, the Wesleyan baseball team played and lost two tough games at home against non-NESCAC opponents. The Cardinals’ record thus far is 7-1 in conference games. Outside of the ’CAC, they are floundering in comparison, with a 9-8-1 prior to games against Massachusetts Institute of Technology (17-6) and Coast Guard (20-11). The Cardinals continued their record of less fortunate non-conference results, going 0-2 in their games against these proven opponents.
Wes fell behind early at home on Tuesday, April 16, allowing MIT to build a 6-3 lead after the first two innings. Though the Cards struck back with two runs in the bottom of the sixth, MIT put up another run in the very next frame and held on to hand Wesleyan a 7-5 loss on Dresser Diamond. The pitching staff had a hard go of it as starter Jimmy Hill ’14 allowed two earned runs on four hits and three walks in 1.2 innings. Hill didn’t get much help from the guys behind him, though; the Cardinal fielders recorded an error in each of the first two innings, allowing four unearned runs to cross. In the absence of that shaky defense, the offense would have been sufficient to pull out a win. Each of the front seven batters in the lineup reached base at some point during the game, and Donnie Cimino ’15, Andrew Yin ’15, and Steve Moran ’13 each raked two hits.
Wes fared no better when it traveled to Coast Guard on Wednesday, April 17. The Cardinals again relinquished the lead early, falling behind 5-0 after three frames. They grabbed three runs in the fourth and another in the seventh, but the latter half of that inning did not prove kind to the Cardinals. Coast Guard plated another three runs to pull ahead 8-4, and that ended up being the final score of the game. At the plate, Cimino again led the team with a 4-for-5 day, while Guy Davidson ’16 doubled to join Cimino as the only Cardinals with extra-base hits.
Though these recent results are disheartening, Chris Law ’14 and his teammates are not letting them shake their resolve.
“The games we need to win are the NESCAC games,” Law said. “Obviously everyone wants to win all the time, but that isn’t the focus. Our goal remains: to make and win the NESCAC tournament.”
Law and the team’s ambitions are within reach—taking any two games against Middlebury and Amherst will likely be enough to secure a playoff spot.
The Cardinals return to action in a three-game series against Middlebury on Friday, April 19 and Saturday, April 20. Pending a decent result there, the subsequent games against Amherst would determine who will take home both the Little Three and the NESCAC West titles. The games against Middlebury will be played at Middlebury, while the Redbirds will split the games against the Lord Jeffs in a home-and-home series.