WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – The Williams baseball team was swept by Little Three rival Wesleyan, 7-2 and 12-2, in NESCAC West Division action today at Bobby Coombs Field. With the sweep, Wesleyan improves to 18-5 (6-0 NESCAC West), while Williams falls to 7-10 (4-5 NESCAC West).
In game one, the Ephs and Cardinals traded scoreless frames through two. Both starting pitchers— Williams' Thomas Murphy and Wesleyan's Jeff Blout— allowed only a hit early on. Blout worked around a Luke Pierce single in the bottom of the first, and Murphy stranded Sam Goodwin-Boyd after his leadoff double in the second.
Wesleyan, however, broke the game open with a five-run third. The Cardinals' 7-8-9 hitters loaded the bases with no outs, as Jonathan Dennett lined a single to center, Nick Miceli bunted a single to third, and Eric Jones reached on an error charged to Williams' Jack Roberts. Andrew Yin got Wesleyan on the board with a one-hopper through the left side that scored Dennett. With the bases still loaded, freshman Ellis Schaefer pushed the Cardinals' lead to 3-0 on a flare to center that scored Miceli and Jones. With one out, a deep Goodwin-Boyd flyout to center plated two, as Yin from third and Donnie Cimino from second both scored before Williams could get the ball back in. After two and a half, Wesleyan led 5-0.
Williams got one back in the bottom of the fourth, but stranded a pair in scoring position. With one out, senior catcher Marco Hernandez came to the plate with Luke Pierce and Phil McGovern on base. Hernandez went to the opposite field with a hard-hit double over the right fielder to score Pierce and cut the lead to 5-1. However, with men on second and third, Williams was unable to push anything more across.
In the top of the sixth, Wesleyan drove Murphy from the game and extended their lead to 7-1 on RBI from Dennett and Jones. In the home half of the inning, Williams got a run back when Hernandez drove in another. The Ephs stranded a pair again, however, and Wesleyan retired Williams in order in the seventh to win.
Wesleyan's Blout (4-0) was credited with the win. He threw a seven-inning complete game, struck out six, walked none, and gave up two runs (both earned) on six hits. Williams' Murphy (3-1) took his first loss of the season, after he went 5.2 giving up seven runs (six earned) on ten hits. He struck out three and walked none. Fellow junior Jacob Slater threw 1.1 scoreless innings in relief of him.
Offensively, Wesleyan's freshman designated hitter Robby Harbison went 3-4, and Goodwin-Boyd and Schaefer each drove in a pair. For Williams, Marco Hernandez went 3-3 and had both the Ephs' RBI.
In game two, the scoring started with the teams trading runs in the second. Against Williams' freshman starter Luke Rodino, Robby Harbison and Guy Davidson singled to start the inning for the Cardinals. After Dennett bunted them over, Miceli flew out to center, and Harbison tagged up at third to score Wesleyan's first run. The Ephs answered immediately against Wesleyan starter Gavin Pittore in the bottom half. Freshman Jack Cloud lined a double down the left-field line to lead off the inning. After a Tommy Stephens grounder advanced him to third, Nathan Michalski drove Cloud in with a grounder to first to tie the score, 1-1.
As in the first game, however, Wesleyan broke the game open with a big third. RBI singles from Yin and Schaefer put the Cardinals up 3-1. A pair of Eph errors and a Guy Davidson double then saw the Cardinals up 5-1.
Rodino was pulled after three, and the Cardinals added two in fifth, three in the sixth, and two in the seventh against the Ephs' bullpen to take a commanding 12-1 lead. Williams tacked a run back in the ninth. Cloud walked to lead off the frame, and Michalski smoked a high fastball to left for an RBI double, driving in Cloud for the second time in the game. However, the Ephs could get nothing else going and were defeated.
Pittore (4-0) worked seven strong to earn the win, while Rodino (0-1) gave up five runs (two earned) in three innings to take the loss. Seniors Charlie Baxter and Marty Clarke each threw scoreless innings in relief for Williams. Offensively, Harbison stayed hot for the Cardinals, going 3-4 and driving in three. Yin also had three hits for the Wesleyan. For Williams, Kastner reached base three times, Cloud scored both runs, and Michalski drove in both runs.
Asked for his thoughts on the day, Williams head coach Bill Barrale said, "Once you lose that [first] one, it's hard to bounce back and win the next one in 25 minutes. That kind of snowballed on us, and they hit. On the other side, we've been hitting the ball all year, and we didn't score any runs in this three-game series, for whatever reason, whether it was good pitching or bad at-bats. I think everybody thought we were going to score some more runs."
Wesleyan, winners of ten straight, plays next on Tuesday at 4:00 PM, when they head on the road to face Salve Regina. Williams returns to action on Wednesday at 4:00 PM with a road game against Northern Berkshire rival MCLA.