WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - Sophomore Jared Sharkey hit a three run blast over the left center fence in the bottom of the ninth, but it was not enough to overcome an eight run deficit as the Wheaton College baseball team fell to Rowan University, 8-3, in its first game of the RussMatt Invitational.
Righty Dan Southerland got the start for the Lyons, pitching four complete innings, while surrendering five runs. Junior Joe Bongiovanni, who relieved Southerland, pitched the following four innings, giving up just four hits, while striking out one.
Danny Serreino picked up the win for the Profs after throwing seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits and striking out 10.
After a scoreless first inning of action, the Profs went onto score one run in the second before tacking on two runs in both the third and fourth. Taking the mound in the fifth, Bongiovanni retired the the Profs in order, while sparking the Lyons bats. Tyler Walsh led off Wheaton's half of the fifth with a free pass to first after taking the ball off the elbow, before advancing to second on the Lyons first hit of the day. The hit came from Sharkey, who found a gap in right field. The sixth, like the fifth, once again saw Bongiovanni retire the side, before another Wheaton hit. This time it was Matt Cook who collected the hit, with a double down the left field line.
Rowan found a way to score in the seventh with a ground rule double that knocked in a run, before adding two more in the eighth.
First-year Zach Pipa came in to close out the ninth, doing so in style, retiring side. With three outs remaining, the Lyons put together one last effort. Wheaton picked up its first base runner with a Joey Santigate walk which was swiftly followed by a Casey Twomey single. Now with two runners on base, Sharkey stepped up to the plate and blasted his second homerun of the season. The Lyons would go onto strand one more runner before ending the game with a flyout to right.
The Lyons return to the field at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 11 against Webster on Field #1 at Lake Myrtle Park.