SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - A bases loaded single from Josh LaJoie in the bottom of the ninth inning propelled the Wheaton College baseball team to an 8-7 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference win over Springfield College.
The win is the second of the season for the Lyons (21-8; 11-3 NEWMAC) over the Pride (13-11; 6-6 NEWMAC) and the second time Wheaton has used late inning walk-off hits to defeat Springfield.
First-year Trevor Marques got the start for the Lyons, pitching five complete innings, giving up three hits, while striking out eight. Joe Bongiovanni replaced Marques, pitching 2.2 innings, before being replaced by Zach Pipa and Paul McGeehan. McGeehan picked up his first win of the season.
Wheaton got things started in the bottom of the second inning with a sacrifice fly from Joey Santigate that scored Zach Goodwin-Boyd from third. The Lyons added another run in the fourth with a solo home run to deep center from Santigate. The home run is the second of the season for the senior and the fifth of his career.
Springfield responded in the top of the fifth with two runs on a double to right center from Chad Shade. The Lyons recaptured the lead in the sixth when Tyler Walsh hit a solo home run of his own. The home run is Walsh's first of the season. Ty Calabro pushed the Wheaton lead back to two runs later in the inning with an RBI single to right that scored Chris Ruocco.
The Pride once again had an answer, putting up two runs in the seventh to knot the game at 4-4. Springfield took its first lead of the contest in the eighth with a two-run home run to left by Kyle Allen.
Trailing 6-4, Wheaton responded in the bottom half of the eighth with three runs on two hits and two Springfield errors. Santigate, Ruocco and LaJoie all came around to score in the inning.
A one out, home run to left field from Colin King tied the game at 7-7 in the top of the ninth. Down to their final three outs, the Lyons put together a solid ninth inning of their own, starting with a single to left from Walsh. A sacrifice bunt from Santigate moved Walsh to second, before back-to-back walks loaded the bases. With just one out, LaJoie roped the ball to right center allowing Walsh to come home.
The Lyons return to the field on Friday, April 21 against MIT at Sidell Stadium for a 3:30 p.m. NEWMAC contest. The game is the first of a three game series between the Lyons and Engineers.