TUCSON, Ariz. – The Wesleyan University baseball team hit the ground running with four runnings in the first inning on Sunday evening during its season opener, as the Cardinals defeated Dubuque, 5-2, in Tucson, Ariz.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- After going down 1-0 in the top of the first, the Cardinals (1-0) answered with a four-run effort in the bottom of the frame. Sophomore Jonny Corning started the rally with a one-out single, and sophomore Alex Cappitelli was hit by a pitch. With two down in the frame, junior Ryan Earle ripped an RBI single, scoring Corning. Junior Danny Rose then stepped into the batter's box, and drilled a three-run shot, giving Wesleyan a 4-1 cushion.
- The Spartans (2-2) went up 1-0 in the top half of the first on an RBI ground out by senior Tyler Lewan, which allowed senior Tyler Imrich to cross home plate. Imrich led off the inning by connecting on a double.
- Cappitelli touched home with an unearned run in the sixth inning on a wild pitch, extending Wesleyan's lead to 5-1.
- Spartans freshman Kellen Mitchell scored an unearned run in the eighth off an error, as Dubuque trimmed the deficit to 5-2.
- Junior Mike McCaffrey (1-0) earned the win on the hill for Wesleyan, working 4 1/3 innings. He struck out five batters, allowed six hits and relinquished only one run. Junior Chase Kueter (0-1) suffered the loss for Dubuque, but he struck out nine batters in 5 1/3 innings, as he gave up four earned runs and four hits. He retired the side in order during the second, third and fourth innings, including 12 batters in a row, ranging from the first to the fifth.
- Junior Pat Clare was strong in relief for the Cardinals, giving up no earned runs in 3 2/3 innings of action. The Whitehouse Station, N.J. native struck out four batters and walked three, while Earle closed the door with a 1-2-3 ninth inning, earning his first save of the season.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Corning finished with two hits, including a double, and one run scored for Wesleyan, while Rose tallied three RBIs, one homer and one run. Earle filled up the box score with one hit, one run, one RBI and one walk, and sophomore Tanner Fulkerson contributed with a hit.
- Junior Jarad Clevenger led the way for the Spartans, going 3-for-3 at the plate, while Lewan (2-for-3, double, one RBI) and junior Jackson Lasswell (2-for-3, double) also starred.
- Dubuque held a 9-6 advantage in hits and a 3-2 lead in extra-base hits. The Cardinals only left three runners on base, while the Spartans stranded 11.
- The Cardinals will compte in a doubleheader against Greenville University on Monday, with game times set for 7 and 10 p.m., respectively, in Tucson, Ariz.