Middlebury Takes Two From Visiting Wesleyan

Conor Himstead tossed the final two innings of Saturday's nightcap for his fourth save this season.
Conor Himstead tossed the final two innings of Saturday's nightcap for his fourth save this season.

Middlebury scored six runs in the fifth inning of game one and got a solid pitching performance during the nightcap for a NESCAC West sweep Saturday of Wesleyan. The Panthers (12-10, 7-4) won the opener 7-3 followed by a 3-2 victory in game two, running their winning streak to six. Middlebury and Wesleyan (16-10, 4-3) conclude the conference series on Sunday with the first pitch of the single game set for 12:00 p.m.

In the opener, Wesleyan took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third with a pair of runs. Will O'Sullivan walked and moved to third on a double down the left field line by Matt Jeye. One batter later, Ryan Earle reached on an infield single to first as O'Sullivan scored. Earle later stole second as a throwing error allowed Jeye to cross the plate.

The Panthers got on the board in the fourth when Ryan Rizzo singled through the left side, stole second and later scored on a pair of throwing errors. The Cardinals extended their lead to 3-1 in the fifth before the Panthers struck for six runs in the bottom half of the inning.

Jason Lock walked with the bases loaded to earn the first RBI of the inning. Sam Graf followed, belting a double to left center to drive in three runs. Justin Han earned a pair of RBI when he ripped a homer to left center to make it a 7-3 game.

Spencer Shores (3-0) threw five innings to earn the victory, including working out of bases-loaded jams in the first two frames. He allowed three runs, two earned, on six hits while striking out five. Jake Stalcup tossed two innings of one-hit relief to secure the win. Mike McCaffrey (3-2) suffered the loss for Wesleyan, giving up five runs and three hits with eight strikeouts over 4.2 innings of work.

Six different players had hits for Middlebury, with Graf (3 RBI) and Andrew Hennings earning doubles to go along with Han's homer (2 RBI). Lock was 1-2 for his 100th career hit to go along with an RBI and a run scored. Jeye went 2-3 for the Cardinals with a double, while six other players singled.

Middlebury took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning of game two. Rizzo reached on an infield single and stole second, before Lock walked. Han later singled to short to drive in Rizzo. Alan Guild followed with a double to center to plate Han and Graf for the 3-0 advantage.

Wesleyan answered with a run in the fifth when a double down the right field line by Earle drove in Nick Miceli, who had walked. The Cardinals made it a one-run game (3-2) in the sixth with an RBI single by Ellis Schaefer, driving in O'Sullivan.

Middlebury starting pitcher Colby Morris sent the Cardinals down in order in the seventh, before Conor Himstead recorded the final six outs on the hill for the hosts to earn the save.

Morris (2-3) went seven solid innings, giving up two runs on three hits with seven strikeouts and a pair of walks. Himstead gave up a hit and walk en route to his fourth save of the season, setting a single-season program record in the process. Ethan Rode (3-2) went the distance for Wesleyan, giving up three runs on seven hits while striking out five over eight innings.

Han went 2-3 in the second game with an RBI as six different batters had hits for the hosts. Guild was 1-3 with a pair of RBI.

Danny Rose was 2-4 for the visitors, while Earle went 1-4 with a double.