Baseball Team Ends Season

May 8, 2005

5/8/05 - Middlebury needed one win in two games to earn a bid to the NESCAC Tournament, but the Panthers came up on the short end of a pair of heartbreaking losses. With the two wins, Wesleyan secured the second playoff spot in the NESCAC West and will play at Amherst in next weekend's NESCAC Tournament.

RBI singles by Wesleyan's Jason Vitko and Middlebury's Noah Walker had game one tied at one after four innings. The Cardinals took a 2-1 lead in the fifth on a single from Alexander Brooks, only to have Ryan Armstrong answer with a run-scoring double for the Panthers in the sixth. The game was tied at three after seven innings, forcing the contest into extra innings. Middlebury did have a chance in the bottom of the seventh, but the Panthers left runners on first and third with one out.

Wesleyan struck for three runs in the ninth, with a bases loaded walk by Vitko and a two-run single from Brooks. Middlebury rallied in the bottom of the inning with a two-run single by Dave Riester to make it a 5-4 game. The Panthers had runners on first and second with two outs, but could not tie the game.

Will Gordon earned the win in relief for Wesleyan, while Russ Budnick took the loss. Walker went 3-5 for the Panthers, while Nick Lefeber was 2-3 with two runs scored. Brooks had a 3-4 game with three RBI for Wesleyan, while Viko went 2-3 with two driven in.

Trailing 1-0 in game two, Middlebury received an RBI single from Sam Timberg and a run scoring double by Ryan Whyte to take a 2-1 lead after two innings. Wesleyan tied the game on an RBI single from Vitko in the third, before a two-run bomb to center by Ryan Armstrong gave the Panthers a 4-2 lead. Adam Gray answered with a three-run shot to center in the top of the fourth before Riester plated Whyte with a single in the bottom of the inning.

Tied at five, Mac Clonan gave the Cardinals a one-run lead with a home run to center in the top of the fifth inning. An infield single by Dom DiDomenico in the sixth tied the game at six. Wesleyan took a 7-6 lead in the seventh when Rob Coughlin doubled in Vitko, who reached on an error to begin the inning. Middlebury rallied in the ninth with a lead-off single from Armstrong and a double from John Lanahan to put runners on second and third with nobody out. Following a groundout to first, Armstrong was thrown out at the plate on a ground ball to third base, with the game ending on a pop out to third base.

Louis Gabel earned the win in relief for Wesleyan, while Jack Britton took the loss for Middlebury. Armstrong ended the day with two hits and two RBI, Whyte had three hits, while Riester and Lanahan each had a pair of hits. Coughlin and Jeff Maier each had three hits for Wesleyan.