MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – The Wesleyan baseball team (14-15, 4-5) dropped a pair of close games at Middlebury on Sunday afternoon. The Panthers (20-9, 5-4) triumphed 5-2 in game one, and despite a strong comeback in the second contest, the Cardinals fell 6-4.
GAME 1 HIGHLIGHTS:
- Middlebury jumped out to a 2-0 early lead in its first at-bat. With no outs and the bases loaded, Henry Strmecki walked to score Justin Han, before Andrew Hennings later touched home when Sam Graf was hit by a pitch. The Panthers looked to extend the lead on the next play, but Wesleyan recorded two-straight outs to end the inning with minimal damage.
- The hosts increased the lead in the bottom of the second after Alec Ritch walked, before stealing second and third and later crossing home plate on a single by Kevin Woodring. Strmecki doubled down the left field line to drive in Han, making it 4-0.
- In the fifth, Middlebury's Brooks Carroll touched home on a single to center by Hayden Smith, extending the advantage to 5-0.
- Wesleyan got back two runs in its half of the inning, cutting the deficit to 5-2. Jake Alonzo led-off with a single to right field, Andrew Kauf walked and Adam Geibel was hit by a pitch to load the bases, before Jonny Corning doubled down the left line to drive in a pair of runs.
- The Cardinals looked to get things going in the top of the seventh, but Middlebury capitalized on a double play to end the inning and secure the win.
GAME 1 – INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Mike McCaffrey suffered the loss for Wesleyan, allowing two runs on one hit.
- Corning went 2-3 with a double and two RBI's, while Alonzo was 1-2 and Earle went 1-1 pinch-hitting.
- Middlebury's Alex Price earned the victory on the mound, allowing two runs on five hits, while striking out four over six innings of work. George Goldstein recorded the save in relief for the Panthers.
- Woodring went 2-3 with an RBI, while Strmecki had a double and two RBI's for the Panthers.
GAME 2 HIGHLIGHTS:
- Middlebury wasted little time getting on the board, scoring a pair of unearned runs in its first at-bat. The Panthers took advantage of a Wesleyan miscue to situate runners on first and second, before Carroll hit a triple to center to drive in Hennings and Strmecki for the 2-0 advantage.
- Wesleyan answered in the second when Andrew Keith walked, stole second and later crossed home on a single by Corning to cut the deficit to one (2-1).
- The Cardinals looked to knot the game in the top of the third when Nolan Webb walked, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch, but the Panthers threw Webb out at home to record the final out of the inning and deny Wesleyan of a tally.
- The visitors knotted the game 2-2 in their next at-bat. Keith led-off with a single, stole second, reached third on a sacrifice bunt by Geibel, before eventually touching home to even the score.
- The Panthers responded in their half of the inning when Graf doubled up the middle, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and crossed home on a sacrifice fly for the 3-2 edge.
- Middlebury's Woodring led-off the fifth with a double to left field, before advancing to third on a wild pitch, but the Panthers left him stranded.
- Wesleyan scored a pair of runs in the sixth to take its first lead of the game. The tying run came when Keith touched home on a double to right center by Danny Rose. Later, Rose scored when Corning doubled to center field, giving the Cardinals a 4-3 advantage.
- The Panthers responded in their half of the inning. Ritch doubled to center, before advancing to third on a wild pitch and later crossing home plate on a single by Smith, knotting the game 4-4.
- Middlebury increased the lead in the bottom of the seventh when Graf doubled to drive in Strmecki, before later touching home on a wild pitch to make it 6-4.
- In the eighth, Panther Alan Guild homered, before Strmecki scored an unearned run for the 8-4 final.
GAME 2 – INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Alonzo suffered the loss on the mound, allowing four runs on two hits over two innings of work.
- Corning went 2-4 with a double and three RBI, while Keith went 2-3 and Rose recorded a double and an RBI.
- Andrew Martinson earned the win for Middlebury, pitching two innings of scoreless relief.
- Guild went 1-1 pinch hitting with a homer and an RBI, Graf went 2-4 with two doubles and an RBI, while Carroll recorded two RBI's.
- The Cardinals host St. Joseph's (N.Y.) on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m., before entertaining Western Connecticut State on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m.