NORTON, Mass. – Senior Hal Landers (Salem, N.H./Salem) and junior Dan Gusovsky (Andover, Mass./Andover) each recorded two hits in No. 7 Wheaton College's 3-2 loss in 11 innings to Babson College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action Friday afternoon at Sidell Stadium.
Junior Chris Kucher (Westwood, Mass./Xaverian Brothers) broke the 2-2 tie with a sac fly in the 11th for the Beavers, who snapped the Lyons 14-game winning streak and evened their mark at 8-8 (4-3 NEWMAC). The loss was the first for Wheaton (14-2, 6-1 NEWMAC) in conference play this season.
Wheaton took an early 1-0 lead with an unearned run in their half of the first. Landers led off with a walk, stole second, advanced to third on a fielding error, and scored on a sac fly by senior Dan Haugh (Andover, Mass./St. John's Prep).
The Lyons held their one-run lead until the sixth when Babson scored twice to take a 2-1 lead. Kucher was hit by a pitch leading off the inning, and senior Billy Miller (Sagamore Beach, Mass./Boston College H.S.) followed with a single, putting runners on first and second. Later in the frame, junior Pat Matvichuk (Middletown, Mass./Masconomet Regional) singled to center to bring in both runners and put Babson in front.
The Lyons tied the game in the eight. Haugh drew a leadoff walk, and back-to-back singles by Gusovsky and senior John Keating (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) loaded the bases. Junior Justin Connor (Arlington, Mass./Arlington) brought in the tying run with a bases-loaded walk.
Wheaton threatened to win the game in the 10th by putting runners on first and second with two down, but could not plate the winning run. In the 11th, Babson put runners on the corners with one out, and Kucher lifted a sac fly to left field to bring in freshman Dillon Gonzalez (Beverly, Mass./St. John's Prep) and put the Beavers up by one.
Senior Rick Gilbody (Hanover, Mass./Boston College H.S.) retired Wheaton in order in the bottom of the ninth to record his third win of the season. He came on in relief of sophomore starter Derek Richards (Framingham, Mass./Framingham) to start the eighth and worked four scoreless innings. He scattered three hits, walked two and struck out two. Richards, meanwhile, allowed five hits and two runs (one earned) with four walks and seven strikeouts.
Junior Frank Holbrook (Middletown, R.I./Portsmouth Abbey) tossed the first six innings for Wheaton and surrendered 10 hits and two runs while striking out two. Sophomore Nick Filloramo (Rochester, Mass./Old Rochester) took the loss as he allowed no hits and one unearned run in the 11th.
"Babson pitched really well. Both teams made a lot of key pitches when they had to," said Lyons head coach Eric Podbelski. "It came down to one little That's the beautiful thing about baseball – you get to come back tomorrow and try again."
Wheaton freshman Apolinar De la Cruz (Providence, R.I./Classical) went 0-for-3 with two walks and saw his hitting streak snapped at 14 games. The two teams combined to leave 27 runners on base (14 for Babson, 13 for Wheaton).
The two schools will play a doubleheader Saturday afternoon in Babson Park, beginning at noon.