Mike Barsotti '12 (#22, main photo) struck out 12 batters in a complete game and the Wesleyan offense used a pair of big innings, one of which featured a grand slam by Justin Freres '11 (#11, photo insert lower right) to best Amherst, 8-3, in a very important game Fri., April 29. With the win, Wesleyan evened its record at 16-16 and improved to 6-4 in NESCAC West action, moving one step closer to its third straight NESCAC Championship appearance, while Amherst, which had already clinched a post-season spot, fell to 19-7 and 8-2 in the NESCAC West.
The teams then settled the issue over NESCAC West and Little Three supremacy for 2011 in a double-header at Amherst Sat., April 29. The Lord Jeffs got off to a 5-0 start in the opener without the benefit of a hit and went on to take a 10-3 decision to clinch the titles they were looking for and deny the Cardinals a spot in the post-season. Amherst also took the nightcap, 6-3, dropping Wesleyan to 6-6 in the league and 16-18 overall.
Wesleyan touched the Amherst starting pitcher for three runs in the 1st inning of Friday's series opener. Kyle Weiss '12, who had two hits in the game, led off with a single through the right side, and Alex Meadow '12 followed with a triple to the gap in right-center to score Weiss. Julian Sonnenfeld 11 followed with a walk before Joe Giaimo '11 singled to center to plate Meadow. Sonnenfeld came around to score on a single through the left side by Derek Dettorre '11.
Leading 3-1, Wesleyan broke the game open with a five-run 5th inning, capped by the grand-slam home run of Freres. Chris Bonti '13 was hit to open the inning and Weiss followed with a single to put two on. Meadow then laid down a bunt that was fielded and thrown to third, but not in time to nab Bonti. Sonnenfeld followed with a grounder to the right side that was knocked down but turned into an RBI infield single and a 4-1 edge. Freres then crushed a ball over the left-field fence for his first career grand slam to make it 8-1.
Amherst got a pair in the top of the 7th and had a threat of more runs with half of their 10 hits off Barsotti in the frame, but Barsotti got a strikeout and popup to end the inning and strand three Lord Jeff runners. In total, Amherst left 10 men on base. With today's victory, Wesleyan is now 5-1 in its last six home games against Amherst.
With his two hits in the contest, Sonnenfeld moved into sole possession of second place on the all-time Wesleyan hits list with 176. He is just 13 shy of Jeff Maier's all-time mark of 189.
During the twin-bill at Amherst, Meadow was a bright spot at the plate for the Cards as he rapped five hits, including two doubles, in nine at-bats, accounting for one-third of the squad's 15 safeties and three of the team's five RBI. Bonti and Dettorre also had exceptional efforts offensively as the former scored four runs with two hits, one of which was a homer, and a pair of walks while Dettorre picked up three hits. Sonnenfeld edged his career figure up to 177 hits with a 3rd-inning single to left during the second game.
On the mound, Jeff Blout '14 had his second straight solid relief appearance during the week, going 5.0 innings of game two, allowing just four hits and one run.
Ahead fot erh Cardinals is a home game with Westfield St., slated for Tues, May 3 with LiveStats available by clicking < here >.