Baseball edged in NESCAC opener
Wesleyan University’s Nick Cooney struck out eight and allowed one run on six hits in seven innings, and the Cardinals opened NESCAC West Division play with a 5-1 win over Hamilton College at Wesleyan’s Dresser Diamond on March 29.
Chris Bonti and Donnie Cimino recorded two hits apiece, including a double, for the Cardinals. Bonti also drove in a run and scored twice. Matt Sorkin had two hits and Sam Goodwin-Boyd finished with a double and an RBI.
Nick Taylor '15 led the Continentals with two hits, two stolen bases and one run. Lukas Bridenbeck '13 finished with a single and a double in his return to the lineup after missing the last 10 games, and Tyler Reinhold '15 also had two hits. Alex Pachella '15 gave up three earned runs in six innings and Tommy Moriarty '14 pitched two perfect innings in his NESCAC-leading 10th appearance.
The Cardinals (9-7 overall, 1-0 NESCAC West) broke out on top with three runs in the bottom of the second inning. Guy Davidson walked and stole second, then moved to third when Steve Moran reached on an error. Bonti lined a single down the left field line to plate Davidson, and after Eric Jones was hit by a pitch that loaded the bases, Sorkin’s sacrifice fly to center gave Wesleyan a 2-0 lead. Andrew Yin extended the inning by reaching on an error, which allowed Bonti to score.
Hamilton (6-8, 0-1) got one run back in the third inning to make it 3-1. The first three batters all reached base as Taylor and Reinhold singled and Brian Ferrell '16 beat out a sacrifice bunt. Joe Jensen '15 hit a sac fly to right that plated Taylor.
Pachella allowed just two hits over the next three innings. In the top of the fourth, the Continentals threatened again. Tim Burke '16 reached first base after he struck out on a wild pitch and Bridenbeck’s double put runners on second and third with only one out. But Cooney struck out the next two batters and kept Hamilton off the scoreboard.
Wesleyan added insurance runs in the sixth and seventh innings. In the sixth, Bonti hit a double to left field and came around to score on Sorkin’s single to right. Back-to-back doubles by Cimino and Goodwin-Boyd that led off the seventh put the Cardinals up 5-1.
The Continentals rallied in the eighth and ninth, but couldn’t capitalize. Sam Elias relieved Cooney in the eighth and retired the first two batters he faced. But Steve LaRochelle '14 singled, Bridenbeck drew a walk and Sam Fuentes '13 loaded the bases with a single. Elias then got Taylor to ground out to third and end the inning. Hamilton's first two batters reached base in the ninth, but Elias set down the next three batters and ended the game.
Both teams meet again for a doubleheader at Wesleyan on Saturday, March 30.