May 4, 2009

The Middlebury College baseball team wrapped up its season last week, playing at Castleton before hosting Wesleyan. The Panthers took the non-league game from Castleton on Tuesday, as they came back from a three-run deficit in the ninth to pick up an 8-7 win on the road.

Castleton's Ken Cook retired the first five batters he faced, sitting down the side in order in the eighth and retiring the first two batters of the ninth, before trouble struck. Cook hit senior Mark Shimrock (Lansdale, Pa.) and rookie Murphy McCurdy (Basking Ridge, N.J.) and allowed a single to senior Andrew Matson (Coventry, R.I.) to load the bases. First-year player Matt Wassel (Rumson, N.J.) then smacked a two-run double and was followed by a Matt LoRusso (Medfield, Mass.) two-run single to take the lead. Cook was able to retire the next batter he faced, but the damage was done.

Billy Manley singled with one out in the bottom of the ninth, but sophomore Nick Angstman (Williston, Vt.) struck out the final two batters to pick up the win. Angstman pitched two innings and struck out three, allowing four hits and one earned.

Castleton trailed 3-2 entering the bottom of the fifth inning, but plated four, including three on a bases-loaded double from Dan Conley that gave Castleton a 6-3 lead. Middlebury got one back on a Shimrock single in the seventh before Castleton made it 7-4 on a David Raczka single in the eighth.

Shimrock went 3-for-4 with three runs batted in and one run scored to lead the 14-15 Panthers. Junior Danny Seymour (Weston, Conn.), senior David Miranowski (St. Paul, Minn.) and sophomore Donald McKillop (Poway, Calif.) each had a pair of hits.

Wesleyan scored four runs in the eighth inning on its way to a 9-6 come-from-behind victory over Middlebury on Forbes Field. The Panthers finish the season with a 14-16 mark, while Wesleyan moves to 18-13.

Middlebury junior Erich Enns (Lansdale, Pa.) set a new single-season record for stolen bases with 18 after two in the game. Enns broke the record in the second inning after singling and taking second on an attempted pick-off throw. He finished the '09 regular season with a perfect 18-18 mark in thefts.

Shimrock ended the season with the second-highest single-season (Ryan Armstrong - .495 in '05) batting average in school history, hitting .487 over 30 games played. He ends his career at the top of several of Middlebury's all-time lists, including: batting average - .391 (4th), at-bats - 409 (3rd), hits - 160 (2nd), RBI - 113 (2nd), doubles - 32 (T2nd), triples - 6 (T4th). He also ends his career with more putouts than any other player in school history (723), while ranking second with a .985 fielding percentage.

Wesleyan struck for three runs in the first inning on four walks and three singles. RBI singles from Brice Kelly and Alex Meadow, along with a bases loaded walk from Jonathan Sheehan drove in the run. Middlebury struck for solo runs in the second and third, to make it a 3-2 game. Enns scored on an RBI single to right by Matson in the second, while McKillop doubled to center and later scored on a double to right by Enns.

The Cardinals scratched across a pair in the fifth on an RBI groundout by Sheehan and an infield single by Brandyn Cooper. Both teams left eight runners on base through five innings of play.

Middlebury battled all the way back in the sixth, scoring four runs on four hits to take a 6-5 lead. A walk by Miranowski and a double down the right field line by senior Tim Dillon (Dracut, Mass.) set up an RBI single to right by Seymour. Brett Yarusi was called in to replace starter Dusty Mones, as McKillop drilled a single to center to score Dillion and make it a 5-4 game. Shimrock later belted an opposite field double to left to plate McKillop and Seymour to give Middlebury its first lead of the game.

Wesleyan rallied in the eighth, scoring four runs on five hits to take a 9-6 advantage. After the bases were loaded, Angstman came on in relief of senior Matt Joseph (Alexandria, Va.) who had pitched the sixth and seventh innings. Kelly greeted Angstman with a single up the middle to plate a pair and give the Cardinals a 7-6 lead. Julian Sonnenfeld later scored on a throwing error after a double steal, as Alex Meadow drove in the ninth run with a single up the middle to plate Kelly.

Yarusi finished the game for the Cardinals to move to 3-3 on the season with the win. He allowed just four hits and no earned runs over 3.2 innings of work. The top seven spots in the Wesleyan order earned 15 of the team's 17 hits on the afternoon, led by three from Phil Rosenblum. Kelly went 2-5 with three RBI, while Meadow was 2-5 with two RBI and two runs scored.

Joseph took the loss in relief for the Panthers, as the Middlebury pounded out 15 hits on the afternoon. Shimrock had a 4-5 day with a double and two RBI, McKillop went 3-5 with a double and two runs scored, while Seymour was 3-5.
. Baseball final record: 14-16