MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Sophomore Alex Cappitelli of the Wesleyan University baseball team tallied the game-winning, two-run single with two outs in the eighth on Wednesday, as the Cardinals defeated visiting Coast Guard, 13-12, in non-conference action at Dresser Diamond.
Junior Ryan Earle earned his fourth save on the mound during the 2018 season, striking out the side in the ninth, and he also put the Cardinals (14-6, 3-0 NESCAC West Division) on the scoreboard with a three-run shot down the right-field line in the third. Sophomore Andrew Kauf and junior Nick Valicenti registered their first collegiate home runs, as Kauf sent a three-run shot over the fence in left during the sixth, and Valicenti lined a solo blast to left in the fourth.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The Bears (6-14, 0-9 in NEWMAC) made a strong run late in the game, scoring seven combined runs in the seventh and eighth to take a 12-11 advantage.
- During the bottom of the eighth, sophomore Jesse Levy-Rubinett notched a one-out single up the middle, and then advanced to second with two down on a walk by sophomore Kevin Walek. Cardinals 17th-year head coach Mark Woodworth elected to send sophomore Chase Pratt to the plate in a pinch-hitting role, and the Rye, N.Y. native drew a crucial walk, which loaded the bases. Cappitelli then dug into the batter's box, and lined a two-run single up the middle, navigating its way just past the outstretched glove of the shortstop, as Levy-Rubinett and Walek crossed the plate with the 12th and 13th runs for Wesleyan, respectively.
- Coast Guard took any early 2-0 advantage in the third, as sophomore Jon Pressley tallied an RBI single with two down in the second, and then junior Jeremy Lhotka smashed a two-out RBI single to the pitcher in the third.
- Earle allowed the Cardinals to take a 3-2 lead with one swing of the bat in the bottom of the third, as he drilled a three-run shot down the right-field line, scoring Cappitelli and sophomore Jake Alonzo. Earle, who grew up in Hanover, Mass., now has two home runs on the season and five during the past two years.
- Valicenti, who hails from Braintree, Mass., led off the fourth with a home run, pushing the cushion to 4-2.
- Coast Guard regained the lead in the fifth with a three-run effort, highlighted by a one-out RBI double to left-center by junior Will Stephens and a one-out RBI triple down the right-field line by Lhotka. Junior Luke Thompson then posted an RBI ground out to second, allowing Lhotka to touch home with the visitors' fifth run.
- Wesleyan posted a three-run inning of its own in the bottom half of the fifth, and then tacked on three more in the bottom of the sixth, with all the damage happening with two outs. Sophomore Tanner Fulkerson connected on a double to right-center, Levy-Rubinett drew a walk, and Kauf sent a towering three-run homer to left, as the hosts went up 10-5.
- Thompson tallied a one-out, two-run double in the seventh, cutting the deficit to three, and then during the next at-bat, senior Alex Murdoch sent an RBI single through the right side. With two down, Thompson scored on a wild pitch, and Murdoch crossed home on an RBI double by junior Reed Jenkins, knotting the game at 10-10.
- Valicenti put the Cardinals up 11-10 in the bottom of the seventh, scoring with two down on an error by the pitcher, and then in the top half of the eighth, Coast Guard took a 12-11 advantage. Junior Trey Rittenhouse tied the game at 11-11, racing across home on a passed ball, and then Thompson drove a sacrifice fly to center.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Cappitelli (3-for-5, two RBIs, run), Kauf (2-for-4, homer, four RBIs, two runs), Fulkerson (2-for-5, double, two runs) and Levy-Rubinett (2-for-4, double, three runs) all compiled multi-hit games for Wesleyan.
- Lhotka (3-for-4, triple, three runs, two RBIs) and Stephens (2-for-4, double, three runs, RBI) led the charge for Coast Guard.
- Senior Stephen Howard (1-0) earned the win on the mound for the Cardinals, and sophomore Brett Sullivan was ticketed with the loss for the Bears.
- Wesleyan held a 13-12 advantage in hits, and Coast Guard made three errors, while the Cardinals were ticketed with two. The hosts stranded 10 runners on base, and the visitors left six on the base path.
- The Cardinals are scheduled to open up a three-game NESCAC West Division series against Hamilton on Friday at 4 p.m. in Clinton, N.Y.