Baseball Drops Two Saturday to Wesleyan

April 5, 2014

The Middlebury baseball team dropped both ends of a NESCAC West doubleheader on Saturday to Wesleyan. In the opener, the Panther bats were held in check in a 1-0 seven-inning loss. During the nightcap, the Cardinals manufactured a run in the bottom of the ninth for a 4-3 win. The Panthers hope to return to the diamond on Tuesday when they travel north for a twinbill against St. Michaels.

In game one, Wesleyan’s Jeff Blout out-dueled Middlebury’s Cooper Byrne on the mound.   

Blout scattered five hits and worked out of two problematic innings to post his first win of the season. Middlebury (2-11, 0-6 NESCAC) had two runners on with one out in both the fifth and seventh innings, but Blout got the final two outs each time and preserved the shutout. 

Wesleyan's (14-5, 3-0 NESCAC) lone run came in the fifth when a leadoff walk was followed by a pair of bunt singles. Both bunts were intended to be sacrifices by Andrew Yin and Ellis Schaefer that eventually loaded the bases.  After a fielder's choice out at home, Sam Goodwin-Boyd lofted a sacrifice fly into center, bringing home Yin with the winner. Wesleyan managed just four hits off Byrne, who struck out two and walked four. Blout had six strikeouts and surrendered just one walk.

In the second game, Wesleyan got its first three runs with single tallies in the second, sixth and seventh innings. Middlebury produced its first run in the fourth on an RBI double off the bat of Charlie Boardman, scoring Joe MacDonald, who laced a one-out single to center.   

Wesleyan took a 3-1 lead into the eighth inning before Middlebury rallied for a pair of runs to even the count. An RBI single by Alex Kelly plated Ryan Rizzo, who had singled earlier in the inning, and made it 3-2. When he advanced to second on the throw home, an errant throw to second base allowed Joe MacDonald to score from third, who reached base on a fielder's choice and went to third on Kelly's hit.

In the home half of the ninth, Wesleyan loaded the bases with one out on a walk to Guy Davidson, a single by Jon Dennett and an intentional walk to Robby Harbison. Miceli bunted the first pitch back toward the mound as Davidson raced home with the winning run.

At the plate, Ellis Schaefer went 2-4 and Davidson was 2-3 with two runs scored for Wesleyan. MacDonald, Jason Lock and Johnny Read were all 2-5, while MacDonald touched home twice for Middlebury.

Both starting pitchers had strong efforts but didn't factor into the decision. Gavin Pittore went 6.0 innings for the Cardinals, allowing six hits and one run with six strikeouts. Middlebury’s Logan Mobley also went 6.0 innings, yielding just four hits and one earned run for the Panthers. Jimmy Hill picked up the win for Wesleyan, getting the last four outs with one hit and two Ks, while Dylan Kane took the loss for the Panthers.