Panthers Drop Both Ends of NESCAC West Twinbill at Wesleyan

Brooks Carroll went 2-5 with a triple and two runs scored in Saturday's second game.
Brooks Carroll went 2-5 with a triple and two runs scored in Saturday's second game.

The Middlebury baseball team dropped both ends of a NESCAC West doubleheader Saturday at Wesleyan. The Cardinals (12-6, 2-0) scored a single tally in the first inning and made it stand up for a 1-0 victory in the opener, while using a six-run second to post a 12-8 victory in the nightcap. The Panthers (6-11, 2-3) and Wesleyan wrap up their three-game series with a 12:00 p.m. first pitch on Sunday.

In the seven-inning opener, the Cardinals plated the lone run of the contest in the first inning. Alex Cappitelli drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a single by Jake Alonzo. One batter later, Matt Jeye was hit by a pitch, advancing Cappitelli to third and Alonzo to second. Cappitelli eventually scored on a base on balls drawn by Chase Pratt.

That's all Wesleyan starting pitcher Mike McCaffery needed for the victory, allowing just one Panther to reach third base over his six innings of work. He struck out 10 and walked three and surrendered no hits, while Pat Clare retired Middlebury in order during the seventh for the save.

Colby Morris (2-3) was saddled with the tough-luck loss on the hill for the Panthers. The junior right-hander allowed just one run on four hits with eight strikeouts and two walks in his second complete game of the season.

In game two, the hosts used a six-run second inning on just one hit and were aided by five walks to jump out in front. The lone hit of the frame came off the bat of Chase Pratt on a two-run single to center field. The Cardinals tallied single runs in the third, fifth and sixth innings for a 9-0 advantage.

Middlebury cut into the lead with four runs in the top of the seventh, all with two outs. Henry Strmecki walked and raced around to score on a triple to right-center field off the bat of Brooks Carroll. Walks to Justin Han and Sam Graf loaded the bases, as a Cardinal miscue in right field allowed all three to touch home.

Wesleyan added three runs in the home half of the seventh, including run-scoring base hits from Cappitelli and Earle, for a 12-4 lead.

The Panthers tallied four runs on four hits in the top of the ninth. Alan Guild lifted a sacrifice fly to left, driving in Carroll, who started the frame with a single to center. Brendan Donohue ripped a double to left, scoring Han, who induced a walk. Raj Palekar capped the scoring with a two-run base hit down the left-field line, plating Donohue and Gray Goolsby who also drew a base on balls for the final 12-8 score.

Carroll went 2-5 with a triple, RBI and two runs scored at the plate, while Donohue also had a multi-hit game, going 2-3 with a run scored.

Will Oppenheim (1-1) got the start for the Panthers and worked into the second inning, allowing six runs (one earned) on two hits.

Kelvin Sosa (3-1) earned the victory, allowed just two hits and no runs in 6.2 innings while striking out 11 and walking a pair. At the plate, Wesleyan was led by Kevin Walek's 2-2 performance with three runs scored, while Pratt went 2-4 with two RBI.