TUCSON, Ariz. – Sophomore Jonny Corning drilled the game-winning single in the bottom of the 10th for the Wesleyan University baseball team on Wednesday evening in Tucson, Ariz., as the Cardinals defeated Salem State, 2-1, to remain perfect at 4-0 on the season.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- In the bottom of the third, the Cardinals placed runners on first and second with one out on singles by junior Nick Valicenti and sophomore Alex Cappitelli. Corning, who grew up in Land O' Lakes, Fla., then drove an RBI single, as Cappitelli crossed home and gave Wesleyan a 1-0 advantage.
- Cardinals junior right-handed pitcher Peter DeLalio kept the Vikings (6-3) off the scoreboard through five frames, but in the sixth, senior Alex Toomey led off with a triple, and then two batters later, senior Jose Cedano hit an infield ground ball, which scored Toomey, and evened the game at 1-1.
- The Vikings tried to generate the go-ahead run in the ninth, and they put themselves in a good position with a leadoff double by junior Zac Duval, but Cardinals' pitchers Stephen Howard and Pat Clare were able to get out of the jam. Howard forced senior RJ Warnock to hit a ground in the infield, and Wesleyan's defense made an intelligent move by throwing Duval out at third, as Warnock reached on a fielder's choice. Clare came in and forced a fly out to right field, and then put an exclamation point on the frame, by tallying a big-time strikeout.
- Clare then put the Vikings down in order during the top of the 10th, and Wesleyan did all its damage with two outs in the bottom of the frame. Cappitelli started the rally with a double, and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Corning then hit a sharp ground ball to shortstop, and Cappitelli was able to sprint home with the game-winning run.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- The Cardinals have been outstanding in high-intensity situations this year, emerging victorious in three straight one-run games.
- Cappitelli went an astounding 4-for-4 in the batter's box, while Corning posted a 2-for-4 effort with two RBIs.
- Toomey (2-for-5, triple, double, one run scored) and Duval (2-for-4, double) starred for Salem State.
- Clare (1-0) earned the win in relief for the Cardinals, giving up no hits in 1 2/3 innings, and striking out a pair. Howard threw three scoreless innings in relief, and DeLalio whiffed three batters, while giving up only one run in 5 1/3 innings.
- Senior pitcher Steve Leavitt (1-1) went the distance for the Vikings, striking out five batters and giving up two runs on nine hits in 9 2/3 innings of work.
- Wesleyan held a 9-8 edge in hits. Salem State left nine runners on the base path, and the Cardinals stranded five.
- The Cardinals will compete against Buena Vista on Thursday in Tucson, Ariz., as the game will start at 6 p.m. on the East Coast.