Baseball opens weekend NESCAC series with a thrilling win

Ethan Wallis ’21 throws out the Wesleyan runner at home in the 4th inning (Josh McKee photo)
Ethan Wallis ’21 throws out the Wesleyan runner at home in the 4th inning (Josh McKee photo)

Hamilton College scored the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning for a 3-2 NESCAC West Division victory against the Wesleyan University Cardinals at Hamilton's Loop Road Baseball/Softball Complex on Friday.

The score was tied 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth inning and there was one out when Rich Marooney '21 was awarded first base on a catcher's interference call, and he immediately advanced to second on a wild pitch. Two batters later and with two outs, Nate Goodman '20 legged out an infield single and Marooney moved to third. Ethan Wallis '21 then knocked in the winning run with a line drive into right field.

With the top of Wesleyan's lineup due up in the top of the ninth inning, Ian Nish '19 went to work. Hamilton's (11-10 overall, 1-2 NESCAC West) closer threw 19 pitches to strike out the side for his fourth save of the season. Nish leads the pitching staff with a 0.71 earned run average and he averages more than nine strikeouts per nine innings.

The Cardinals (14-7, 3-1) struck first in the top of the fourth inning when Matt Jeye singled up the middle, snapping the no-hitter for Brian Lawson '20, and Chase Pratt followed with a single through the right side of the infield. Tanner Fulkerson put down a bunt to advance the runners, but a Hamilton error allowed Jeye to score as Pratt moved to third and Fulkerson went to second. Pratt scored Wesleyan's second run when Jesse Levy-Rubinett hit a sacrifice fly to left field.

Wesleyan had a chance to add a third run in the inning, but Hamilton's Wallis grabbed a line drive in center field for the second out and threw a dart to home plate for Craig Sandford '19 to apply a swipe tag onto Fulkerson and end the threat.

The Continentals quickly responded with two runs in the bottom half of the fourth. Matt Cappelletti '21 got it started with a two-out walk and Marooney was hit by a pitch to put two runners on. Sandford then blasted a triple down the left field line past the diving attempt by Wesleyan's Alex Cappitelli.

Six Continentals took credit for Hamilton's six hits. Sandford drove in two runs and Wallis added an RBI. Goodman finished 1-for-2 with two walks, and Marooney scored two runs. Lawson started the game and gave up one earned run on three hits and three walks with five strikeouts. Chris Keane '20 allowed four hits and tallied three strikeouts through three shutout innings for his third win of the season.

Danny Rose went 2-for-4 for the Cardinals. Levy-Rubinett had one hit and one run batted in, and Jeye and Pratt scored one run apiece. Mike McCaffrey pitched 5.2 innings before being relieved by Pat Clare in the sixth inning. McCaffrey had six strikeouts while allowing two runs on four hits and six walks. Clare allowed one unearned run on two hits and had one strikeout for the loss.

The Continentals and Cardinals play a doubleheader on Saturday at 11 a.m. to complete the three-game series.