HARTFORD, Conn. – Tufts Baseball has NESCAC's best offense this spring and displayed it in their conference tournament opener this afternoon with a 16-3 victory over Wesleyan University at Trinity College.
The Jumbos (19-15), who have scored 66 more runs than any team in the league for 2018, were led by two hits and three rbis apiece by senior Tommy O'Hara and sophomore Elias Varinos today. O'Hara became just the second player in Tufts baseball history to record 200 career hits. With 201, he joins Major League Baseball draft pick Dan Callahan (1999-2002) who had 219.
Tufts moves along in the winner's bracket, where they will play the winner of today's Amherst vs. Bates first-round game on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Wesleyan, led by three hits from Andrew Kauf, drops into the loser's bracket and will play the Amherst-Bates loser in an elimination game tomorrow at 10 a.m.
Sophomore Spencer Langdon got the start in the post-season opener for the Jumbos and improved to 5-0. He gave up 13 hits, but only three runs.
Tufts scored multiple runs in each of the first five innings to build a 12-1 lead through five. Senior Malcolm Nachmanoff, freshman DH Ryan Daues and Varinos had rbis in the first. O'Hara doubled home a run and also scored on a Nachmanoff double in the second. O'Hara then hit a two-run single to center in the fourth. Senior Christian Zazzali capped the five-inning barrage with an rbi single in the bottom of the fifth.
Wesleyan had scored its first run in the top of the second when Jake Alonzo singled home Tanner Fulkerson, who had reached with a bunt single. The Cardinals would score twice more in the top of the sixth as Fulkerson tripled home a run and scored on a ground-out by Jesse Levy-Rubinett.
Tufts answered with two more in the seventh and two again in the eighth to finish the scoring. Varinos had an rbi double in the eighth.
Junior LF Casey Santos-Ocampo led Tufts' 16-hit attack with three. Six Jumbos had two or more. Junior SS Will Shackelford and Santos-Ocampo both scored three times. Kevin Galasso and Jamie Weiss both pitched perfect innings of relief. Tufts turned three double plays in the first five innings and had four overall.
Fulkerson finished 2 for 4 and scored two runs for the Cardinals. Kelvin Sosa lasted just two-thirds of an inning on the hill allowing three hits and three runs while taking the loss. Dan Lombardo was the only Wesleyan pitcher with a clean inning against the Jumbo bats.