Cards Pick up Must-Win at Middlebury in Hopes of Making NESCACs, Now Need Help from Williams
Needing a victory at Middlebury Sat., May 2 in the make-up of a game rescheduled from early April, the Cardinals got the job done with a 9-6 triumph, and now need help from Williams to land a spot in the NESCAC tournament for the first time since 2005. Williams, which has clinched the top spot in the NESCAC West and will host the upcoming NESCAC tournament May 8-10, can propel Wesleyan into the playoffs by downing Amherst Sun., May 3 in the final conference game for both squads.
Wesleyan got off to a good start in Vermont, scoring three runs with three hits and four walks in the top of the 1st. While the Panthers cut the gap to 3-2, Wesleyan pushed the lead back to three at 5-2 in the 5th. In the bottom of the 6th, Middlebury got to Cardinal starter Dusty Mones '09, scoring four runs and taking its first lead at 6-5. Brett Yarusi '12 (#26, right side of photo) came in to pitch before the frame ended and was touched for the go-ahead run, which was unearned.
But in the 8th inning, Wesleyan batted around to push across four runs and take the lead for good. A bases-loaded single up the middle by Brice Kelly '10 (#7, left side of photo) made it 7-6 and a Middlebury throwing error and an RBI single from Alex Meadow '12 accounted for the final two tallies.
Yarusi then closed the door on the Panthers, aided by his infield as the Cardinals turned a double play in both the 8th and 9th innings. The win evened Yarusi's record this season at 3-3.
Wesleyan closes out the regular-season by visiting Trinity for a double-header Sun., May 3. Should Wesleyan qualify for the NESCACs, Trinity would be the Cardinals' opening-day opponent.