Baseball goes 1-2 in series against Wesleyan

Tri-captain Jack Cloud ’17 was 2-for-3 in Sunday’s win over Wesleyan. Photo courtesy of Sports Information.

Last weekend, baseball (9–4, 4–2 in the NESCAC West) took one out of three games in a series versus Wesleyan. In a double-header at Wesleyan on Saturday, the Cardinals pulled off two unlikely comebacks, but the Ephs rebounded to win at home on Sunday behind a gem from starting pitcher Johnny Lamont ’20.

The Cardinals’ sweep of Saturday’s doubleheader ended an eight-game win streak for the Ephs.

In the first game, the men scored three runs in the top of the fourth. Kellen Hatheway ’19 singled and stole second, Jack Roberts ’18 had a bunt base hit and Doug Schaffer ’18 batted in Hatheway with an infield single. Roberts scored on a groundout by tri-captain Adam Regensburg ’18, and Nate Michalski ’17 singled to bring Schaffer home . 

The men led 4-2 going into the bottom of the seventh and final inning, but pitching missteps cost them the lead. Tri-captain Luke Rodino ’17 was relieved by Jack Bohen ’19, but his two wild pitches allowed Wesleyan to tie the game at 4. 

The Cardinals then walked off in improbable fashion on an infeld single. With Will O’Sullivan on second, No. 3 hitter Ryan Earle pounded a hard ground ball to the first baseman Michalski. Michalski dove to knock it down but did not have time to get Earle at first. O’Sullivan rounded third hard and tried to score. Michalski’s throw to the plate looked to be in time, but catcher Alex Panstares ’19 was unable to get the tag down. O’Sullivan slid in safely to give Wesleyan the 5-4 victory.

Bohen was charged with the loss, his first of the year, and Wesleyan reliever Asher Young evened his season record at one with the win. Rodino left the game after 6 1/3 innings, having allowed seven hits and one walk.

In the nightcap, the Cardinals took a one-run lead in the fourth when Eph starter Sean Hager ’20 walked in a run with the bases loaded. Hager was able to end the inning without further damage, and the Ephs answered when tri-captain Jack Cloud ’17 hit an RBI single to left to score Michalski.

The Ephs seemed to seal the victory with a five-run eighth inning, but the bullpen again would struggle to close the game out.

Hatheway ripped a triple to knock Cloud home, and a Roberts single then scored Hatheway. Regensburg and Michalski also notched RBI singles, and Jackson Parese ’17 executed a squeeze bunt to bring in another run.

Roberts added an insurance home run in the top of the ninth to extend the Eph lead to six. 

Reliever Tyler Duff ’17 pitched a scoreless eighth, but Wesleyan struck again in the bottom of the ninth. Perhaps drawing inspiration from their comeback win earlier in the day, the Cardinals forced the game into extra innings with a six-run outburst. Wesleyan’s Matt Jeye notched two RBIs with a bases-loaded single. Tom Benz ’19 came in to relieve Duff, but the Cardinals bats kept striking.

Jesse Levy-Rubinett, the pinch-hitter who had led off the inning, knocked home the tying run to knot the game at seven. Only when Marcus Colella ’17 came in to pitch could the Ephs end the inning. 

The Ephs took an 8-7 lead in the top of the tenth. In the bottom half, however, the Cardinals rallied once again, and Jeye singled in another run. With two outs and a runner in scoring position, Wesleyan third baseman Ellis Schaefer dribbled a grounder up the third base line, but Colella overthrew first base, allowing Jeye to score, capping a tremendous Wesleyan comeback and a second straight walk-off win. 

The Ephs won Sunday’s home game behind Lamont’s complete game. The southpaw dominated on the mound and kept a shutout for 8 2/3 innings and did not yield an earned run. He struck out 15 of the 33 batters he faced, surrendering just five hits and two walks in his nine innings pitched. 

The Ephs’ four-run third was all the support Lamont needed. Parese started things off with a single and advanced to third on a hit-and-run with Michael Stamas ’20 at the plate. The pair then executed a double steal, with Stamas taking second and Parese coming in to score. Cloud smacked an RBI single and came around to score on a single by Hatheway, and Hatheway scored the fourth run of the inning on a rare balk call. 

The Cardinals’ lone run scored on a fielding error in the top of the ninth. Wesleyan was able to bring the tying run to the plate, but Lamont induced a pop-up with men on first and third to close a 4-1 Eph win.

The men played 10 games in Arizona over spring break, going 8–2. “Our spring break trip was a great experience,” Head Coach Bill Barrale said, “and I am extremely proud of the way we performed.”

They faced Becker yesterday, but the results came in too late to report. They next play at Amherst on Friday at 4 p.m.