MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The Wesleyan University baseball team was facing a 4-2 deficit heading into the bottom of the eighth in the series finale against Amherst on Saturday, but the Cardinals dug deep and came up with seven runs in the inning to earn a 9-6 win in the second game of a doubleheader at Dresser Diamond.
During Game 1, the Mammoths (16-8, 6-2 NESCAC West Division) built a 7-0 advantage, and then withstood a late four-run rally in the ninth by the Cardinals (17-10, 5-4 NESCAC West Division) during a 7-4 win in Middletown, Conn.
GAME 2 HIGHLIGHTS (Wesleyan 9, Amherst 6):
- Wesleyan raced out to an early 2-0 lead with a run in the first and second. In the opening inning, sophomore Andrew Kauf (3-for-5, double, three RBIs, run) tallied an RBI single to third base with two down, and then in the second, junior Danny Rose plated sophomore Alex Cappitelli (3-for-4, two doubles, three runs, RBI) with a single to left.
- Amherst fired back with four unanswered runs, which started with an RBI double by junior Chase Henley in the fifth. In the sixth, Amherst took a 3-2 lead on a one-out, two-run single by junior Nick Nardone, and then the squad added an insurance run one at-bat later with an RBI single to left coming off the bat of senior Harry Roberson (2-for-3, double, RBI, run).
- In the eighth, Wesleyan was clicking on all cylinders, putting a seven spot on the scoreboard in left, highlighted by an RBI single by sophomore Tanner Fulkerson, an RBI double by Cappitelli, an RBI walk by senior Matt Jeye and a two-run single by Kauf.
- In the ninth, the Mammoths were able to come to within 9-6 on unearned runs by senior Sam Ellinwood and freshman Joseph Palmo, but Cappitelli was able to throw out a Mammoths player at second from left field to end the game.
- Junior Ryan Earle (2-0) earned the win in a relief role for the Cardinals, allowing only one earned run on six hits to a highly-talented Amherst lineup in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out three batters and did not walk a single hitter. Freshman Kelvin Sosa pitched well in a starting role for Wesleyan, not allowing a single hit through four innings, while tallying 1-2-3 innings in the first, third and fourth. The Bronx, N.Y. native ended up being charged with three earned runs on four hits in 5 1/3 innings.
- Senior left-handed pitcher Sam Schneider was strong for the visitors in a starting role, going 6 1/3 innings, and giving up a pair of earned runs on six hits. The San Diego, Calif. native retired the side in order during the third, fourth and fifth.
- The Cardinals held an 11-10 edge in hits, while the Cardinals made two errors and Amherst was charged with one.
GAME 1 HIGHLIGHTS (Amherst 7, Wesleyan 4):
- Amherst built an early 3-0 advantage behind an RBI single to right in the first by senior Ariel Kenney (2-for-4, double, RBI), and a pair of unearned runs by Ellinwood and sophomore Severino Simeone following an error by the shortstop in the second.
- The Mammoths added two more runs during the sixth off a two-run single up the middle with two down by senior Max Steinhorn, which scored Roberson and sophomore William Murphy.
- In the seventh, Nardone and Murphy scored on a throwing error by the catcher, as the visitors developed a 7-0 advantage.
- The Cardinals showed a great deal of fight in the bottom of the seventh, scoring four runs. Sophomore Chase Pratt started off the push, as he tallied an RBI when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, and then Rose belted a two-run single to center, pulling the unit within 7-3. Kauf, who hails from Boonton Township, N.J., scored Pratt on a one-run single to left, but then with the bases juiced and the tying run on first and the winning run at the plate, Mammoths junior relief pitcher Mike Dow recorded the final out by forcing a pop out to shortstop.
- Dow earned his fourth save of the season for the Mammoths, and junior starting pitcher Davis Brown (5-1) earned the win on the mound, relinquishing two earned runs on two hits in 6 1/3 innings. Junior Mike McCaffrey (2-3) was tagged with the loss for the hosts, but he pitched well through 5 2/3 innings, allowing only a pair of earned runs on seven hits. He struck out four batters and walked five.
- The Cardinals will travel to Norton, Mass., for a 4 p.m. non-conference game against Wheaton on Tuesday.