Cards Run Win Streak to 10 Games Before Dropping Final 4 Games in Calif. to Local Talent
After disposing of La Sierra in the first game of a double-header easily by a 17-1 score in its opening game in California Tues., March 16, Wesleyan pushed its best win streak to open a season since 1988 to 10 when La Sierra forfeited the second game. The game was still played and the stats counted as it was called after six innings due to darkness with La Sierra ahead, 5-4.
Opening up a 6-0 lead through two innings in the first game at La Sierra, Wesleyan had little trouble rolling to a win behind the starting pitching of Dan Thomsen '12, who logged his second victory of the season. Thomsen went five shutout innings, allowing four hits and one walk with four strikeouts. La Sierra got its only run in the 7th to avert a shutout and it was unearned.
Julian Sonnenfeld '11 (#12, photo by Sam Player '91) smacked the ball hard, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, five runs scored and three RBI. Kyle Weiss '12, Alex Meadow '12 and Brice Kelly '10 all had two hits as the Cardinals collected 13 as a team. Weiss had a triple and Kelly had a double. Both Weiss and Sonnenfeld also stole three bases in the game.
Sonnenfeld had two hits in the second game, one of which was a double and he scored twice.
Sonnenfeld didn't stop his production during a pair of games Fri., March 19. In a 15-9 setback at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Sonnenfeld slugged his fifth homer of the season. Justin Freres '11 drove in three runs, two of them with a single in the 2nd. Meadow also drove in a pair of runs, but a nine-run outburst by Claremont in the 4th helped the home team carry a 13-4 lead into the 8th. Wesleyan rallied for five runs but it still left the Cardinals six runs short.
In the day's second game at Pomona-Pitzer, Wesleyan held a 10-9 lead heading into the 7th as the Cardinals scored four in the 2nd and four in the 6th. Pomona struck for four runs in each of the last three frames, however, to pull away for a 21-12 victory. Sonnenfeld went 3-for-5 with a two-run homer in the 2nd and an RBI double in the 6th. Sonnefeld is already challenging two Wesleyan seasonal records. He has 12 doubles and six homers already this season. Wesleyan seasonal standards are 17 and nine, respectively.
Kelly also had a big game, going 3-for-4 with four RBI behind a sacrifice fly, an RBI single and a two-run home run in the 8th, his third of the campaign.
The Cardinals West Coast trip concluded Sat., March 20 with a twin-bill at Redlands. Wesleyan got four runs in the 2nd inning of the opener and led into the 9th inning, only to fall, 5-4. In the nightcap, Redlands used three five-run outbursts to claim a 15-4 decision, leaving Wesleyan with an overall mark of 9-5 during its excursion.
Against the 18-3 Bulldogs, Wesleyan combined four hits with four Redlands errors to forge a 4-1 lead in the 2nd inning. Weiss had an RBI double while Meadow and Derek Dettorre '11 both had run-producing singles in the stanza. Derek Lukin scattered 10 Redlands hits, allowing just three earned runs in 8.1 innings but the bullpen couldn't hold the lead as the host rallied for the triumph.
In game two, the Cardinals led 4-0 heading into the bottom of the 2nd, using a Sonnenfeld RBI grounder with RBI hits from Kelly and Dave Skura for three runs in the 1st while a Chris Bonti '13 triple and RBI bunt single by Brandyn Cooper '12 tacked on another run in the 2nd. Redlands got its first five-run rally in the bottom of the 2nd, then pulled ahead 10-4 in the 4th. The final five-run inning came in the 7th and ended the game via the local 10-run rule.
Wesleyan will start its New England schedule Thurs., March 25 with a trip to Coast Guard before inaugurating the NESCAC schedule Fri., March 26 at Amherst. Wesleyan and Amherst will do battle in a double-header Sat., March 27 as Wesleyan begins the home schedule.