CLINTON, N.Y. – Freshman Ethan Wallis of the Hamilton College baseball team tallied the game-winning, two-out RBI single in the bottom of the eighth on Friday, as the Continentals took Game 1 of a three-game NESCAC West Division series over Wesleyan University by a score of 3-2 in Clinton, N.Y.
Junior Danny Rose led the way for the Cardinals (14-7, 3-1 NESCAC West Division), going 2-for-4 at the plate with a double. Sophomore relief pitcher Chris Keane (3-0) earned the win on the mound for the Continentals (11-10, 1-2 NESCAC West Division), blanking Wesleyan in the sixth, seventh and eighth.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The game was knotted at 2-2 heading into the bottom half of the eighth, and Cardinals junior pitcher Pat Clare was able to get the leadoff batter in freshman Matt Cappelletti to ground out to second base. Freshman Rich Marooney then reached on catcher's interference, and was active on the base path, advancing to second on a wild pitch. Clare was able to record the second out of the inning during the next at-bat, as junior Craig Sandford flied out to left-center, but a single by sophomore Nate Goodman advanced Marooney to third. The next batter was Wallis, and he drove an RBI single single to right, plating Marooney with the game-winning run, which was unearned.
- Cardinals junior starting pitcher Mike McCaffrey and Continentals sophomore starter Brian Lawson were both in a good rhythm through the first three innings, as Lawson retired the first seven batters he faced, and McCaffrey recorded a 1-2-3 first inning.
- Wesleyan struck first in the fourth, as senior Matt Jeye and sophomore Chase Pratt led off with back-to-back singles, and then sophomore Tanner Fulkerson reached on an infield error and advanced to second, while Jeye crossed home plate with the first run. Sophomore Jesse Levy-Rubinett then drove a sacrifice fly to left, allowing Pratt to score the squad's second run.
- Hamilton evened the game at 2-2 in the bottom half of the fourth with a two-run effort of its own, headlined by a two-run, two-out triple by Sandford, which plated Cappelletti and Marooney.
- After the hosts went up 3-2 in the eighth, they turned to junior Ian Nish in the top half of the ninth with a save opportunity. The Cutchogue, N.Y. native struck out the side in order, earning his fourth save of the season.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Clare (2-2) was tagged with the loss on the mound, but he did not allow any earned runs on two hits in 2 1/3 innings of work. McCaffrey, who leads the NESCAC with 43 strikeouts this year, worked 5 2/3 innings, striking out six batters and walking six, while allowing two runs on four hits.
- Lawson threw the first five innings for the hosts, only allowing one earned run on three hits, as he struck out five and walked three.
- Jeye reached base twice for the Cardinals, going 1-for-3 with a single, walk and a run, while both teams received at least one hit from six different players. Wesleyan led the hit category, 7-6, and the hosts made three errors, while Wesleyan was called for two. Each team left 10 runners on base.
- The Cardinals are now scheduled to start their doubleheader against Hamilton at 11 a.m. on Saturday morning in Clinton, N.Y., as the time was pushed forward from noon due to the weather forecast.