The Wells College baseball team returned to non-league play and took on Ithaca College in a road game Thursday, May 4 at Ithaca. The host Bombers took an 8-0 lead in the first three innings, but Wells rallied all the way back and tied the score 8-8 in the top of the ninth. Ithaca scored a game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth for a 9-8 victory.
The game also marked a special occasion for the family of Wells College head coach David Valesente. He led the Express against the team coached by his father, George. George Valesente has fashioned a legendary coaching career at the helm of the Ithaca College program. He has led the Bombers to two national championships, 29 NCAA berths, and more than 1,000 wins in his 39 seasons at Ithaca College. David Valesente is in his first season as a collegiate head coach in this inaugural year of varsity baseball at Wells College.
The home field for Ithaca College is named the Valesente Diamond at Freeman Field.
With the victory on Thursday, Ithaca College improved to 25-11 on the season. Wells is 13-21.
The Bombers scored a single run in the first, added three in the second, and four in the third to take an 8-0 advantage. Most of the damage was done against Wells starter Aaron Wintermute.
Zach Kemp came on in relief and worked 3.2 effective innings. He allowed one run and three hits in 3.2 innings with three strikeouts. Christian Jorden recorded the final out of the sixth and followed with two shutout innings in the seventh and eighth to hold Ithaca at eight runs and allow Wells to rally.
The Express climbed right back into the contest with a six-run rally in the fifth inning and sent 12 batters to the plate. Wells loaded the bases with one out and all three runners scored on a triple to right center by Greyson Avots. Dylan Nolan later singled to bring in Avots. Mike Diehr drove in Brandon Shirley on an infield grounder, and an infield error with two outs allowed Dylan Nolan to score.
The score remained 8-7 in Ithaca's favor until the top of the ninth. With one out, Anthony Aumick hit a solo home run over the left-field fence to tie the score 8-8.
Wells pitcher Jared Strait came in to pitch the bottom of the ninth and took the loss. Ithaca's John Peterson doubled to left and pinch-runner Ryan Dougherty scored on a Josh Savacool single to give Ithaca the victory.
Strait took the loss, and Ithaca's Chris Marinaccio earned the win in relief.
The Express has two games pending Sunday, May 7 against Penn State Abington as a makeup of games that were rained out April 22. Please follow the schedule page at this site for updated news on the time, location, and status of these games.