Athletics

Gavin Pittore ’16 is Playing in the Prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League this Summer

Gavin Pittore pitching for Wesleyan in Spring 2015.

Gavin Pittore pitching for Wesleyan in Spring 2015. (Photo by Brian Katten ’79)

In this News @ Wesleyan story, we speak with Gavin Pittore of the Class of 2016. This summer, Pittore played with the Bourne Braves of the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League (CCBL), the foremost of the dozen or so wooden-bat summer collegiate baseball leagues sanctioned by Major League Baseball. A second-team all-NESCAC pick in 2015, Pittore posted a 7-2 record with a 1.54 ERA and seven complete games over his 10 starts during Wesleyan’s 30-11 baseball season. Pittore had 12 relief appearances for the Braves (22-20-2 overall, playoff semifinalist), throwing 17 innings while giving up a mere eight hits and no earned runs with 17 strikeouts and a 1-1 record. He was chosen as one of nine pitchers for the West squad in the annual Friendly’s Cape Cod League All-Star Game that was played in Wareham Sat., July 25, won by the East, 1-0. Pittore pitched a scoreless inning in that contest. Five days later (July 30) he was signed as a free agent by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Q: You have accomplished perhaps every college player’s summer dream of playing in the Cape Cod League. Can you describe how you prepared for and earned an opportunity for a spot on one of the 10 teams?

A: Playing in the Cape Cod Baseball League is definitely a dream come true for me. I’ve always been familiar with the league, but not until relatively recently did I think I would have a chance of playing there. I played on the Cape last year and really got to understand what it was about. My sophomore year at Wesleyan was filled with growing experiences and many obstacles, which definitely prepared me for the mental and physical challenges presented by playing a summer on the Cape. One thing I took away from two years of trying to get into the league is that patience is key. As a sophomore, I was very anxious to be placed in a league and [Wesleyan Head] Coach [Mark] Woodworth made sure to emphasize the fact that as long as I pitched well in front of the right people, I would end up where I belonged. I took his advice and went to the annual tryout for the Cape League after both my sophomore and junior years. Both years I was signed to a temporary contract, both of which luckily turned into permanent contracts. Listening to my coaches and sticking with my daily routine prepared me to play in such a prestigious league.

Q: As a member of the Bourne Braves, you are the only Division III pitcher on a staff of some 17 hurlers. Some are from Division I powerhouses like LSU, Illinois and Notre Dame. How do you feel throwing alongside players from such high-powered programs?

A: It definitely is intimidating at first. There is a big adjustment, especially mentally, going from playing Division III baseball to facing lineups that are essentially all college all-star teams. Similarly, it is difficult to adjust to being surrounded by players that come from such storied programs.The first few weeks everyone is still getting to know everyone else and starting to understand where everyone fits in, so it was important for me to prove that I belonged. After a couple successful outings, I no longer viewed myself as D3 guy playing amongst SEC, Big 10, and ACC players, but rather just another member of the Bourne Braves. At the same time, it is an honor to be competing with and getting to know such talented and successful guys. It’s been a privilege getting to know and getting to learn from the 2015 Bourne Braves pitching staff.

Yin ’15 Repeats First-Team Academic All-American Honor

Andrew Yin '15

Andrew Yin ’15

Baseball player Andrew Yin ’15, who helped Wesleyan win two straight NESCAC titles, along with a perfect 12-0 conference record in 2015, was recently named a CoSIDA/Capital One First-Team Academic All-American for the second straight year. He is the only player among the 33 honorees on the three national teams in 2015 to repeat as a first-team choice.

Yin also is the only player among those cited to be a three-time Academic All-American. In 2013, Yin, then a sophomore, made his first appearance as an Academic All-America third-team selection. Sophomores are rare on the squad as only one of the 33 players in 2015 is a sophomore, also a third-teamer. Yin is the only Wesleyan player in any sport to be named an Academic All-American more than once, and is the fifth Cardinal baseball player since 1972 to grace the list.

Yin started 38 of 41 games at second base during Wesleyan’s banner 2015 campaign as the Cardinals posted an overall record of 30-11, just the third 30-win campaign in program history. The 2014 Cardinals set the record for wins in a season, going 31-13. Yin hit .309 with 43 hits in 139 at-bats in 2015. He led the Cardinals in walks with 21 and stolen bases, going 17-for-21. His 32 runs scored were second-highest on the team. He knocked in nine runs, had seven doubles and fielded at a crisp .957 mark. He ended his career on a 10-game hitting streak. Three of his doubles came in one game and keyed Wesleyan to its 4-3, 12-inning victory over Amherst in the NESCAC title game May 10. Yin doubled and scored in both the 5th and 7th innings, then doubled in the 9th inning to drive in the tying run. Wesleyan won the game on Guy Davidson’s (’16) 12-inning solo homer.

Yin is the only Wesleyan player in any sport to be named an Academic All-American more than once,

Andrew Yin is the only Wesleyan player in any sport to be named an Academic All-American more than once.

Davidson was among six Cardinals named all-NESCAC in 2015 as he joined pitcher Sam Elias ’15, also named Pitcher of the Year, and first-baseman Sam Goodwin-Boyd ’15 on the first team. Named to the second team were center fielder Donnie Cimino ’15 and pitchers Nick Cooney ’15 and Gavin Pittore ’16.

Yin was a first-team all-NESCAC choice in 2013 as well as second-team all-ECAC New England Division III.

Yin also was the recipient of Wesleyan’s Roger Maynard Award, given to the top senior male scholar-athlete at the university. Yin, who graduated May 24 with degrees in chemistry, molecular biology and biochemistry, and neuroscience and behavior, held a cumulative GPA of 4.01.

Read more here.

Chong ’18 Claims NCAA Division III Tennis Title

Eudice Chong '18 with Head Coach Mike Fried on the courts of the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio moments after capturing the 2015 NCAA Division III women's tennis singles title. (Photo courtesy of Ohio Northern U.)

Eudice Chong ’18 is pictured here with Head Coach Mike Fried on the courts of the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio moments after capturing the 2015 NCAA Division III women’s tennis singles title. (Photo courtesy of Ohio Northern U.)

Eudice Chong ’18 claimed the first-ever NCAA Division III tennis title for the Cardinals in a thrilling 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 victory in the title match of the NCAA Division III women’s tennis singles championship in Mason, Ohio on May 23.

Named the NESCAC Player and Rookie of the Year, as well as the ITA Division III Rookie of the Year, Chong completed the 2014-15 campaign undefeated in singles play (22-0), dropping just two sets all season, both of them 4-6 to Joulia Likhanskaia of Bowdoin, whom she played for the third time this year in the NCAA finals.

Chong also earned All-America honors in doubles this spring as she teamed with Helen Klass-Warch ’18 to reach the NCAA Division III doubles quarterfinals, losing a three-set match to the top-seeded pair from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. The Cardinal tandem amassed a 20-4 record at No. 1 doubles this year.

Baseball Wraps Up Stellar Season, Graduates 7 Stalwart Seniors

Sam Elias '15 was named NESCAC Pitcher of the Year.

Sam Elias ’15 was named NESCAC Pitcher of the Year. (Photos by Brian Katten ’79)

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Seven stalwart baseball seniors played their final game for Wesleyan on May 15 on a grand stage, the NCAA Division III New England Regional Tournament in Harwich, Mass. The Cardinals were making their second straight appearance in the NCAA playoffs after capturing their second consecutive NESCAC Tournament title.

Cimino ’15, Baseball Team Featured in Courant

The Hartford Courant profiled two-sport athlete Donnie Cimino ’15, a member of the stellar Wesleyan baseball team that recently reached the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive year. Cimino, center fielder and team captain for baseball, is also a defensive back and two-year captain on the football team.

“It’s emotional,” Cimino, one of nine seniors on the team, told the Courant, “because everything comes to an end. It’s been such a journey, four years, and we experienced a lot of success. When I got here, there wasn’t a winning attitude or a winning culture. We [Class of 2015] wanted to change that as freshmen. We looked at each other, saw a talented class and great group. We worked really hard to get where we are.”

The baseball team celebrated 30 victories this season, just one shy of the program record of 31 it posted last year. Both seasons, the team qualified for the NCAA Tournament. The program’s record over the last three seasons is 88-39-1, with its first two NESCAC championships coming this year and last.

“What you’ve seen is a product of great people, the result being incredible individual and team success,” said coach Mark Woodworth ’94, who has completed his 14th year as coach. “But what I’m most happy about is that this is just a springboard for what they’re going to do in the future. You get great people around you everywhere — players, coaches, trainers, parents, athletic director, president — and great stuff starts happening. And now they’ll go on to be great husbands, fathers and sons.”

Chong ’18 is NESCAC Women’s Tennis Player of the Year

Eudice Chong '18 in action. (Photo by Brian Katten '79.)

Eudice Chong ’18 in action. (Photo by Brian Katten ’79)

Eudice Chong ’18 has been named both the women’s tennis NESCAC Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year, as well as a first-team all-NESCAC choice in both singles and doubles, following her tremendous rookie campaign as she surrendered just one set in singles all year with a 17-0 overall record. In doubles, almost exclusively with Helen Klass-Warch ’18, Chong fashioned a 20-3 record at #1 doubles. Klass-Warch received a nod to the all-NESCAC first team in doubles.

Wesleyan Baseball Heads to Nashua, N.H. to Defend NESCAC Title

The 2015 Wesleyan baseball team at Amherst after winning the Little Three Championship in April. (Photo by Rick Dennett '77, P '15.)

The 2015 Wesleyan baseball team at Amherst after winning the Little Three Championship in April. (Photo by Rick Dennett ’77, P ’15)

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The 2015 Wesleyan baseball season was highly anticipated, fraught with hopes of picking up where the accomplished 2014 squad left off. The entire starting lineup of 2015 was back from the 2014 team, which had gone 31-13, winning the first-ever NESCAC Championship in program history and going deep into the NCAA Division III regional with a 4-2 mark. Though three pitchers from the 2014 squad graduated that year, the Cardinals had three tremendous returners on the mound and a fourth pitcher with enormous promise. The result? A program record for regular-season wins (25), a third straight Little Three title and another trip to the NESCAC tournament, the third in a row for the Cardinals and fifth excursion in the last seven seasons.

Mentors Share Experience with Female Student-Athletes

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On April 17,  more than 30 alumni, parents and community members and 80 student-athletes participated in an Alumni Athletics Mentoring Workshop in Beckham Hall. As part of the program, mentors met with female student-athletes to speak about career options.

Student-athlete Melissa Leung ’16 has first-hand knowledge of the workshop’s value. “At last year’s event, I met my mentor, Clare Colton ’12,” says Leung, who attended the event for the second year in a row. “Clare provided resume and email etiquette advice and connected me with Jim Citrin (P’12 P’14), senior director of Spencer Stuart, who created an internship position for me with Spencer Stuart in Shanghai last semester, during my semester abroad.”

(Photos by Dat Vu ’15.)

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Former Wesleyan field hockey and lacrosse player Suzi Byers ’94 shares her experience with Rosemary Martin ’16 at the mentoring event.

Feinman ’16, TeamIMPACT Child Speak at Boston Gala

Carly Feinman '16, ESPN personality Wendi Nix, and Aliana Fichera at the TeamIMPACT event in Boston, April 2.

Carly Feinman ’16, ESPN personality Wendi Nix, and Aliana Fichera at the TeamIMPACT event in Boston, April 2.

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On April 2, Carly Feinman ’16, a diver on Wesleyan’s swimming and diving team, and 10-year-old Aliana Fichera, a local girl who has become an honorary member of the team, spoke on a panel during the TeamIMPACT Game Day Gala in Boston.

In November 2014, Aliana was “drafted” onto the Wesleyan team through the TeamIMPACT program, which matches children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses with local college athletic teams. Aliana has attended numerous Wesleyan meets and team functions, and the team members have visited with Aliana during her treatments for Common Variable Immunodeficiency (CVID) and for her meets with her swim team in Rocky Hill, Conn.

Student-Athletes, Area School Children Play During Recess at Wesleyan

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Approximately 45 student from the Macdonough School in Middletown came to Wesleyan for recess April 2. It was the fifth year in a row that an area school has been invited to Wesleyan’s Bacon Field House for a noontime recess in eary April.

Student-athletes from many Wesleyan athletic teams have spent significant amounts of time at Macdonough over the last five years to act as role models and speak to the students there on a variety of topics, such as sportsmanship.

Basketball, Softball, Lacrosse Play Opponents Out of State during Spring Recess

Wesleyan’s Office of Sports Information provided the following athletic highlights on March 24:

Holding Pomona-Pitzer to seven hits and two runs with five strikeouts, Gavin Pittore ’16 upped his record to 2-1 on the season, while giving baseball a win in its final game out west. Pittore was named NESCAC Pitcher of the Week. Jon Dennett ’15 added four hits during the final four games to join the 100-hit club as the 49th Cardinal to do so. Andrew Yin ’15 hit .438 over the week with seven safeties as he rose to No. 5 on the all-time Cardinal hits list with 175. Sam Goodwin-Boyd ’15 had a .588 slugging percentage with a double and home run, as he paced the team with six RBI during the week.

Softball ended its Florida trip by going 3-1, defeating all three Division III opponents behind the pitching of Julie McDonald ’18, while losing to a Division II rival. McDonald tossed 18 innings in the three wins, allowing 17 hits with a 1.56 ERA while striking out 21. Over the final four games, Su Pardo ’16 hit .455 with a pair of doubles and five RBI. Annalie Walsh-Costello ’17 hit .500 and Izzy Linzer ’17 batted .417 with a hit on all four games, giving her a hit in 11 of the 12 games played in Florida.

Matt Prezioso ’15 carried the attack for men’s lacrosse during a pair of wins in Pennsylvania. He picked up a hat trick during a seven-goal run that extended a tight two-goal lead in the third period to a nine-goal margin heading into the fourth quarter at F&M. He then added four goals and three assists during the victory against Whittier, with three goals and an assist coming during an 8-0 Cardinals run that erased a 5-3 deficit, turning it into an 11-5 lead in the third period.

Women’s lacrosse split a pair of games in Colorado, with Leah Sherman ’15 providing the spark in the overtime win vs. Pomona-Pitzer. Scoring three goals in the final 8:16 to tie the game, Wesleyan got a goal from Sherman with :40 left in regulation to make it 10-9. Sherman then controlled the ensuing draw to set up Emily Gretsky ’16 for the tying goal at :16. Sherman then scored in the first overtime as the score remained deadlocked, 11-11, before Sherman’s sixth goal of the game decided the outcome just 41 seconds into the sudden-victory period.

For the full update, along with upcoming schedules, webcast information, and weekly scores, visit:
http://www.wesleyan.edu/athletics/weeklyupdate.html