BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – Senior Hal Landers (Salem, N.H./Salem) went 5-for-5 and freshman Apolinar De la Cruz (Providence, R.I./Classical) drove in four runs as No. 7 Wheaton College knocked off Bridgewater State 11-6 in non-conference baseball action Tuesday afternoon at Alumni Park.
Senior John Keating (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) also drove in three runs for the Lyons (14-1), who ran their win streak to 14 games after moving up three spots in this week's D3baseball.com poll. The loss drops the Bears to 8-10 on the season and 9-16 all-time against Wheaton.
Trailing 5-3 entering the seventh, the Lyons exploded for five runs on six hits to build an 8-5 lead. Keating tied the game at five with a two-run double that plated senior Dan Haugh (Andover, Mass./St. John's Prep) and junior Dan Gusovsky (Andover, Mass./Andover), then scored on a wild pitch to give the Lyons at 6-5 lead. Later in the frame, juniors Eric Jensen (Gorham, N.H./Gorham) and Sean Ryan (Norton, Mass./Norton) delivered RBI singles to make push the lead to 8-5.
Still leading by three in the ninth, the Lyons tacked on three runs to pad their lead to 11-6. Junior Justin Connor (Arlington, Mass./Arlington) led off with a double and scored on a throwing error to account for the ninth run, and De la Cruz delivered a two-run single later in the inning to cap the scoring. He finished the contest with two hits to extend his hitting streak to 14 games.
Sophomore Mike McGinnis (Mashpee, Mass./Mashpee) started for Wheaton and allowing seven hits and five runs (three earned) in 5.1 innings. He walked one and struck out two. Senior David Longley (Brunswick, Maine/Brunswick) came on in relief in the sixth and worked 2.2 innings of one-hit ball to record the win. Sophomore Ryan Grant (Easton, Mass./Oliver Ames) worked a 1-2-3 ninth.
Landers scored the first run of the game in the first inning on a fielding error. The Bears answered with two in the second to take the lead on a fielders choice by junior Trevor Lawson (Easton, Mass./Oliver Ames) and a single by junior Tory Buck (Shelburne Falls, Mass./Mohawk Trail Regional).
In the third, BSU junior Craig Stewart (Brockton, Mass./Brockton) lifted a sac fly to right to push the Bears lead to 3-1. Wheaton scored one in the fifth and one in the sixth to tie the game at three. Landers singled and scored on a single by De la Cruz in the fifth and Keating led off the sixth with a single and scored on an error. Bridgewater went ahead 5-3 in the sixth on a run-scoring single by junior Jose Polanco (Lawrence, Mass./Central Catholic) and an RBI fielders choice by junior David Pierce (East Bridgewater, Mass./East Bridgewater).
Jensen, De la Cruz and Haugh each recorded two hits for Wheaton, which hammered out 18 hits and won despite committing six-or-more errors for the second time in three games. Senior Ian Williams (Taunton, Mass./Taunton) and junior John Garabedian (Mansfield, Mass./Mansfield) each had two hits for BSU, which saw junior Kenny Pennini (Millis, Mass./Millis) allow 11 hits and six runs in 6.1 innings in the loss.
The Lyons host Babson Friday at 3 p.m. in the opener of a three-game conference set. The Bears travel to Suffolk for a 5 p.m. contest on Thursday.