WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- The visiting Wesleyan Cardinals got out to an early lead and went on to defeat Williams, 16-7, in NESCAC West Division baseball action. After taking a six-run lead in the fourth inning, Wesleyan did not allow its lead to shrink below three runs. With the win, the Cardinals move to 12-8-1 (3-1 NESCAC West), while Williams falls to 9-9 (2-2 NESCAC West).
After Williams starter Thomas Murphy and Wesleyan starter Nick Cooney traded scoreless frames for the first three innings, Wesleyan started the scoring with six runs in the top of the fourth. Donnie Cimino and Sam Goodwin-Boyd got on base to start the inning, and Guy Davidson doubled in both to give Wesleyan a 2-0 lead. Wesleyan added four more runs on a Jonathan Dennett RBI single, a Williams throwing error, a Matt Sorkin RBI single, and a Cimino RBI fielder's choice. Due to four Williams errors in the inning, only one of the six runs was charged to Murphy.
Williams responded quickly in the bottom of the fourth, scoring three runs to halve Wesleyan's lead at 6-3. With one out and runners on second and third, David Webster reached first on an error charged to Wesleyan shortstop Guy Davidson. The ground ball drove in KC Murphy for the Ephs' first run. The next hitter, Williams right fielder Thomas Stephens, doubled to drive in Marco Hernandez and Webster for the Ephs' second and third runs.
Wesleyan's offense responded immediately off of the Williams bullpen, scoring once in the fifth and three times in the sixth to push their lead to 10-3. The Cardinals' scoring included a two-RBI triple by Wesleyan's Goodwin-Boyd.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Ephs scored four runs to pull within three at 10-7. The bottom of the Eph order loaded the bases with one out, driving Cooney from the game. On the first pitch that reliever Peter Rantz threw, leadoff hitter Taylor Mondshein rocketed a ball that flew over the center field fence to the left of the 400-foot marker for a grand slam.
Thanks to Mondshein's home run, Williams appeared to have the momentum entering the seventh, but Wesleyan added two runs in the seventh and four total in the final two innings to put the game away.
Sophomore starter Nick Cooney (3-0) was credited with the win for Wesleyan. Cooney went 5 1/3 innings, giving up six runs (four earned) on four hits. He walked five and struck out three. Williams starter Thomas Murphy (0-2) took the loss, after giving up six runs (one earned) in four innings. Murphy struck out one.
Offensively, Wesleyan capitalized on eight Williams errors, in addition to pounding out 18 hits, five for extra bases. Each Wesleyan starter had at least one hit, with Sam Goodwin-Boyd and Ben Hoynes leading the way with three each. Center fielder David Webster hit well for Williams. The sophomore went 2-4 with a single and a double, in addition to driving in one run and scoring two. Both hits were sharp line drives to the right-center field gap. Left fielder Darren Hartwell also had two hits, and Mondshein led the Ephs with four RBI from his grand slam.
Commenting on the game, Williams head coach Bill Barrale said, "They hit the ball well, Wesleyan, and they made the plays. I just found out we had eight errors, and it's hard to beat anybody with eight errors. We've got to do a better job fielding the ball. I thought our pitchers pitched okay, but it snowballed on us. Some routine balls should've been outs, and they weren't, and Wesleyan capitalized- that's a good hitting team."
The two teams will next play a doubleheader Saturday, April 6 at Wesleyan's Andrus Field. The first game is scheduled to start at 1:00 PM.