MIDDLETOWN, CT – A three-run seventh inning for the Wesleyan University Cardinals lifted them over the Williams College Ephs in a 4-1 contest, the first of a three-game series.
With the win, Wesleyan improves to 16-5 overall and 4-0 in the NESCAC West, while the Ephs fall to 7-8 overall and 4-3 in the NESCAC West.
Williams struck first with a run by Marco Hernandez in the second inning. After drawing a walk, Hernandez stole second base and was then knocked in by a double to center by Nathan Michalski, putting the Ephs up 1-0. Kelso Stevens popped out to second base to end the inning, leaving Michalski stranded on second base.
The score remained 1-0 until the seventh inning, with the Ephs defense holding firm behind pitcher Steve Marino. Marino allowed only one hit in his first six innings, despite only recording one strikeout in the same span.
In the seventh, Cardinals Donnie Cimino and Sam Goodwin-Boyd opened the bottom of the inning with back-to-back singles through the left side. Guy Davidson then executed a sacrifice bunt which succeeded in moving the runners to second and third. Jonathan Dennett then hit a grounder to shortstop, but Eph SS Matt Kastner couldn't get a handle on it and allowed Cimino to tie the game up at 1 apiece.
The next batter, Robby Harbison, smacked a hit to right field which cleared the bases, but Harbison himself was thrown out at third. After Nick Miceli struck out, the inning ended with the score 3-1.
The Ephs were unable to do much on offense in the top of the eighth, and pitcher Eddie Kelly replaced Steve Marino in the bottom half. Eric Jones and Andrew Yin led off for the Cardinals with another pair of back-to-back singles, and a base hit by Ellis Schaefer allowed Jones to come home, extending the Cardinal lead to 4-1.
Andrew Yin was caught stealing third for the first out of the inning, but Schaefer advanced to second on the throw. Kelly then walked Donnie Cimino, and Sam Goodwin-Boyd singled to center, loading the bases. Kelly survived, though, striking out Guy Davidson and forcing a ground-out to shortstop from Jonathan Dennett.
Williams was unable to score in the ninth inning, and the game ended with score 4-1. Cardinal pitcher Nick Cooney (4-1) registered the win, while Ephs pitcher Steve Marino (1-2) was saddled with the loss. Cooney pitched a complete game, striking out nine batters and allowing four hits and five walks.
Sam Goodwin-Boyd went 2-4 for the Cardinals, and Robby Harbison notched two RBIs on one hit. For the Ephs, Nathan Michalski registered the lone RBI.
After the game, Eph head coach Bill Barrale praised his starting pitcher, saying, "Steve Marino really pitched a great game. We only allowed 4 hits, which is great, and it's a shame we couldn't come up with the win. We've just to get out there and execute next time."
The two teams will continue the series tomorrow with a doubleheader (1:00 and 3:30) at Williams.