Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Logo of The Middlebury Campus
Thursday, Sep 28, 2023

Baseball battles, but falls short in home opener

Kyle McCausland ’25 had nine RBIs in Middlebury’s final game of the weekend against Wesleyan.
Kyle McCausland ’25 had nine RBIs in Middlebury’s final game of the weekend against Wesleyan.

With warm temperatures finally melting out Forbes Field, the baseball team (12–6) opened up their first homestand of the year with a tough 9–8 loss to Wesleyan University (9–10) in a 10-inning affair. 

Alex Price ’23 took the mound for the Panthers and made history despite his uneven performance. His 11 strikeouts over five and two-thirds innings moved him into a fourth place tie on Middlebury’s all time strikeout list (167 career K’s).  

Although Price generated plenty of whiffs, he also gave up five earned runs on two home runs, four hits and four walks. Midd’s offense backed him up with power of their own as Alec Ritch ’23 homered in the third inning to put the Panthers up 3–1. That put Ritch at fifth all-time on the Middlebury home run list with 13 career dingers.  

The teams were neck-in-neck until the top of the ninth when the Cardinals scored on a wild pitch to take an 8–6 lead. Facing defeat, Midd’s offense rallied in the bottom of the frame with back to back walks and a single from Beau Root ’24. Kyle McCausland ’25 singled to left to bring home the tying runs and send the game to extras.  

Despite the heroics, the Cardinals nudged forward again on an RBI single from Kyle Sylvester, and the Panthers bats went quiet in bottom of the 10th.  

Forbes Field proved to be an important factor for the prolific success of the 2022 team as the Panthers went 14–2 in home games, leading them to their second NESCAC Championship. The team looks to repeat their success at home this season.

The team rebounded on Saturday to split their doubleheader with Wesleyan, but ultimately lost an important series against a division rival. With a 1–2 divisional record, the Panthers now face an uphill climb from fourth place in the NESCAC. The pitching staff’s 5.33 earned run average hamstrung the team in the first two games of the series (especially game two where the Cardinals rallied for four runs in the top of the seventh), but they came back big to win 23–2 on the same formula from last year: effective pitching and a massive offensive outburst. Kyle McCausland had a school-record nine RBIs in Middlebury’s win in the second game of the doubleheader.

The team remains at home this weekend where they will play Hamilton (13–8) in a three game series. The team will play one game Friday at 4:00 p.m. and a doubleheader on Saturday starting at noon.

Ryan Heinzerling

Ryan Heinzerling '24 (he/him/his) is one of the Sports Editors!  

He's studying English and Political Science. Outside of his studies, Ryan is also a member of the Middlebury College Ski Patrol, has a radio show at WRMC, and spent this previous summer working as a Corporate Partners Intern at the New York Mets!