MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The Wesleyan University baseball team rallied from a four-run deficit to draw even at 7-7 in the seventh during a non-conference game against Western Connecticut State on Wednesday, but senior Joel Luna hit the game-winning, solo home run in the bottom of the seventh during an 8-7 win for the Colonials in Danbury, Conn.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The Cardinals (20-13, 8-4 NESCAC West Division) were trailing 7-3 heading into the seventh, and the squad put a four spot on the scoreboard behind an RBI double by sophomore Alex Cappitelli, a one-run single by junior Danny Rose, an RBI double by senior Matt Jeye and a one-run single by sophomore Chase Pratt.
- In the bottom of the seventh, Colonials senior Joe Daigle led off by grounding out to third, and then Luna dug into the batter's box, slamming his first homer of the season over the left-field fence, which put Western Connecticut State (14-19, 1-11 Little East Conference) in the lead for good.
- In a back-and-forth game, Wesleyan struck first in the top of the third on a one-out, two-run shot to left by Cappitelli. The North Caldwell, N.J. native now has two home runs on the year, as junior Ryan Earle and Pratt have also gone deep a pair of times. Pratt pushed the lead up to 3-0 with two outs in third on an RBI single to center, scoring sophomore Andrew Kauf from third.
- In the fourth, senior Clete LoRusso and junior Kyle MacLean led off with back-to-back doubles for the hosts, and then the Colonials put two runs on the board with some intelligent base running. LoRusso scored on a throwing error by the catcher, and then with two down, MacLean crossed home as a result of a wild pitch, cutting the deficit to 3-2.
- Western Connecticut State took its first lead with a two-run fifth, as a sacrifice fly by MacLean to center tied the game at 3-3, and then an RBI single to center by sophomore Matt Mancini put the hosts up by one.
- A three-run sixth gave the Colonials a 7-3 advantage, with sophomore Brett Shaw connecting on a one-out, two-run double to right-center, and then with two down, Shaw scored from third on a wild pitch.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Colonials senior relief pitcher Kyle Sanford (1-3) earned the win, giving up no runs in 2/3 innings of work during the seventh and eighth, and then junior Taylor Donofrio collected his seventh save of the season, retiring five consecutive batters to end the game.
- Sophomore Alec Olmstead (4-3) was charged with the loss, giving up the game-winning homer in the seventh. The Palo Alto, Calif. native worked 1 1/3 innings, and gave up one earned run on two hits, while walking two and striking out one.
- Sophomore Tanner Fulkerson (3-for-4, two runs), Cappitelli (2-for-4, double, three RBIs, two runs), Jeye (2-for-5, double, RBI, run) and Pratt (2-for-5, two RBIs) starred for the visitors.
- LoRusso (3-for-5, two doubles, two runs), Shaw (2-for-5, double, two RBIs, run), MacLean (2-for-3, double, RBI, run) and senior Stanly Rijo (2-for-3, run) all played well for the hosts.
- Wesleyan held a narrow 13-12 edge in hits, while the Cardinals made three errors, and the Colonials were not charged with any.
- The Cardinals hold a 7-2-1 record in the all-time series against Western Connecticut State, as the Colonials picked up their first win in the rivalry since the 2013 season. Prior to today's game, Wesleyan was riding a three-game winning streak, including a 10-0 triumph at Dresser Diamond on May 3, 2017.
- The Cardinals will close out their regular-season schedule on Saturday with a doubleheader against Trinity, starting at 1 p.m. in Hartford, Conn.