Sweeping a double-header vs. Swarthmore Thurs., March 12 in Arizona, Wesleyan began the opener with a 10-run first-inning and never looked back in capturing a 13-10 decision. The Cardinals pulled out to a 6-0 lead after two inning in the nightcap and secured a 9-3 victory.
The next day, the Cardinals closed out their visit to Arizona by completing their four-game series vs. Pitt-Bradford, avenging two earlier losses with an 11-8, 6-3 sweep of a twin-bill.
At the plate, Garrett Lamborn '09 (#28, photo) was king as he went 6-for-8 vs. Swarthmore including three doubles and a home run. He drove in three runs in the opener with a bases-loaded double during the first-inning eruption. Drew Dominguez '09 cracked a two-run double and Julian Sonnenfeld '11 capped the frame with a three-run homer.
Pitcher Mike Barsotti '12 cruised through the first five innings, allowing just one unearned run and four hits. He was touched for seven hits and nine runs, five earned, over the last two innings but hung on to log a complete-game win.
Brett Yarusi '12 was in complete control on the mound in game two, yielding just five hits and three runs with 10 strikeouts in going the route for the triumph. Lamborn drove in five of the nine runs with a pair of two-run doubles and a solo home run.
Over the two games, Wesleyan hit .367 as a team with 22 hits, 14 of them for extra-bases. The wins gave the Cardinals three wins in four meetings vs. Swarthmore.
In game one of the double-header vs. Pitt, Lamborn went 4-for-4 as the Cardinals built a 7-1 advantage through five innings. When Pitt rallied for seven runs in the top of the sixth, Wesleyan found itself looking at an 8-7 deficit. The Cardinals produced four runs in the bottom of the frame as Sonnenfeld delivered the two-run triple to put Wesleyan ahead for good and Lamborn and David Skura '12 added RBI hits to make the final three-run margin. On the mound, Michael Cifuentes '10 got the final four outs and picked up the win in relief.
Game two also found Wesleyan pulling ahead, this time 4-0 as Jeff Bizinkauskas '10 and Lamborn both drove in runs with a double while Brandyn Cooper '12 had a sacrifice fly and Sonnenfeld had an RBI single. Pitt tightened the score at 4-3 but pitcher Dominguez clamped down over the last four innings, allowing just three hits and no runs while Derek Dettorre '11 tacked on a pair of runs with a two-run shot over the fence in the top of the seventh.
Wesleyan spent four days (March 14-17) in the Los Angeles area in major practice mode before heading north to the Menlo region where the Cardinals close out their west-coast excursion in a four-game series with Menlo College starting Thurs., March 19.
Menlo captured all four games, winning the first, 8-3. Wesleyan's three runs came via the long ball as Sonnenfeld launched a solo bomb to right center in the 1st inning and Dominguez pounded a two-run shot to left in the 8th. But the Cardinals managed just five hits in the game while yielding 12.
Menlo took game two Fri., March 20, 21-10. Wesleyan built a 10-2 lead heading to the bottom of the 5th as each member of the Cardinals' starting lineup logged a hit. Sonnenberg launched his third home run of the season. But Menlo made it 10-5 in the bottom of the 5th, then erupted for 10 runs in the 6th for a 15-10 advantage. The home squad tacked on six more runs before it was over for a 21-10 final. Alex Meadow '12 rapped three hits for Wesleyan and scored twice.
Menlo swept a double-header Sat., March 21, 7-2 and 5-3. Wesleyan committed two errors in the 4th inning of the opener, leading to four unearned runs. Wesleyan got its two runs courtesy of a Lamborn double, followed by a Skura RBI single in the 7th and Cooper's RBI double in the 8th.
In the nightcap, the Cardinals got another consistent pitching effort from Dominguez and led 3-2 heading into the 5th inning. After Nick Gonsalves '10 and Dettorre knocked in runs in the 1st, Bizinkauskas sent one over the left-field fence for a solo home run in the 2nd. But Menlo got a pair in the 5th and tacked on an insurance run in the 6th of the seven-inning contest.
During Wesleyan's 12-game trip, Lamborn paced the team with a .449 average while hitting safely in each of the first 11 games. He had 11 extra-base hits with eight doubles, three homers and knocked in 19 runs. Also with an 11-game hitting streak was Meadow (.370 average). Sonnenfeld, who also had three round-trippers, was second among the regulars with his .388 average and 14 RBI while leading the way in runs with 15.
The Cardinals inaugurate the home season Thurs., March 26 with a visit from the Coast Guard Academy, followed by the first Little Three and NESCAC West game of the year as Amherst comes to Middletown Fri., March 27.