HARTFORD, Conn. – The Wesleyan University baseball team rallied from a two-run deficit heading into the final inning during a 6-5 triumph over Trinity in seven innings during Game 1 of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon, and then during the second game, the Bantams rallied from a two-run deficit in the eighth during a 7-6 victory in Hartford, Conn.
GAME 1 HIGHLIGHTS (Wesleyan 6, Trinity 5 – 7 innings):
- With the game knotted at 5-5 with two outs in the top of the seventh, junior Danny Rose belted the game-winning single, and sophomore Andrew Kauf scored the winning run. Wesleyan (21-14, 8-4 NESCAC West Division) entered the seventh, staring at a 5-3 deficit, and sophomore Tanner Fulkerson started the rally with a single, and then scored one at-bat later on an RBI triple by sophomore Jesse Levy-Rubinett. Rubinett scored the tying run three batters later on a fielder's choice RBI by Kauf.
- The Bantams (18-15, 7-5 East Division) opened the scoring in the second with an unearned run by senior Brendan Pierce. The Hingham, Mass. native led off with a walk, stole second, stole third and scored on an error by the catcher.
- The hosts added two more runs to their total in the third, as the rally started with a double by senior Matt Toth and a walk by junior Tyler Buckley. Then, the squad generated RBI singles off the bats of sophomore Matt Koperniak and senior Cooper Mooney.
- The lead grew to 4-0 for Trinity in the fourth, with senior Christian Orsini tallying a one-out double, and scoring on at-bat later on an RBI single by sophomore Alex Rodriguez.
- In the fifth, Wesleyan found its way onto the scoreboard with a pair of runs. Sophomore Jake Alonzo led off with a single, and ended up scoring on a wild pitch. The Cardinals cut the deficit down to 4-2 on an RBI ground out by sophomore Kevin Walek, allowing Fulkerson to cross home.
- Koperniak extended the Bantams' lead to 5-2 in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the fifth, slamming a home run in a leadoff role. Wesleyan chipped away in the sixth as a result of a two-out RBI single by junior Ryan Earle, setting the stage for the late-game heroics for the Cardinals.
- Kauf (2-for-4, double, two runs, RBI), Earle (2-for-3, RBI) and Fulkerson (2-for-2, two runs) all recorded multi-hit games for Wesleyan, and junior Pat Clare (3-2) earned the win in a relief role for the visitors, giving up no runs in his two innings of work in the fifth and sixth.
- Koperniak (2-for-4, home run, two RBIs, run) led the way in Trinity's lineup, while senior pitcher McLane Hill took the loss, as he was on the hill in the seventh for Rose's game-winning hit.
GAME 2 HIGHLIGHTS (Trinity 7, Wesleyan 6):
- Trinity reversed the script in Game 2, rallying from a 6-4 deficit with a three-run spurt in the eighth. Mooney started the inning with a double, Pierce was hit by a pitch, and junior Johnny Stamatis drew a walk, loading the bases with no outs. Mooney scored on a passed ball, and then Pierce scored on an RBI ground out to second by Orsini, knotting the game at 5-5. Senior Ryan Vultaggio connected with the game-winning sacrifice fly to right, as Stamatis tagged up and scored from third.
- The Cardinals opened the scoring in the top half of the third on a two-out RBI single by senior Matt Jeye, plating sophomore Alex Cappitelli from second. The visitors grew their lead to 2-0 in the fourth as a result of an RBI ground out to third by Fulkerson.
- Trinity took its first lead of the game with a three-run effort in the fifth. Vultaggio led off with a walk, and scored two at-bats later on a wild pitch. Senior Tyler Forgione plated Rodriguez with a sacrifice fly to right, and Toth scored an unearned run on an error by the shortstop.
- Fulkerson equalized the score in the sixth with a one-out, RBI double, and then with two down, the Cardinals went up 4-3 by way of an RBI single coming off the bat of Kauf, which scored Fulkerson from third.
- After the Bantams evened the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the sixth, Wesleyan regained the lead at 6-4 in the eighth on a two-run ground out to short by Walek, which scored sophomore Chase Pratt and Fulkerson. Pratt led off the inning with a double, and then Fulkerson showed his good eye at the plate, drawing a walk during the next at-bat.
- The Cardinals were led by Kauf (2-for-4, triple, RBI) and Jeye (2-for-3, RBI), while the Bantams received strong efforts from Vultaggio (2-for-2, two runs, RBI) and Rodriguez (2-for-4, run).
- Earle (3-1) suffered his first loss of the season, as he was on the mound for all three runs in the eighth, but none of them were charged to him as he inherited all three base runners. Senior Dan Marini (2-2) earned the win, giving up one run on no hits and one walk in the final two innings.
- The Cardinals will compete in the double-elimination NESCAC Tournament on Friday-Sunday at Trinity College.