BABSON PARK, Mass. – The No. 7 Wheaton College baseball team split its New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) doubleheader with Babson College on Sunday afternoon, winning game one 4-3 behind two RBI from junior Sean Ryan (Norton, Mass./Norton) before dropping the nightcap 5-3 at Govoni Field.
The Beavers (9-9, 5-4 NEWMAC) took an early 1-0 in game one on an RBI double by junior Chris Kucher (Westwood, Mass./Xaverian Brothers). The Lyons struck back for four runs in the top of the third to take a 4-1 lead. Ryan brought in seniors Hal Landers (Salem, N.H./Salem) and Dan Demeo (Glastonbury, Conn./Glastonbury) with a double to left, followed by an RBI single off the bat of senior Dan Haugh (Andover, Mass./St. John's Prep) and an RBI ground out from freshman Apolinar De la Cruz (Providence, R.I./Classical).
Senior Billy Miller (Sagamore Beach, Mass./Boston College H.S.) cut the Beavers deficit in half with a sac fly in their half of the third that brought in junior Billy Hocking (Duxbury, Mass./Boston College H.S.). In the fourth, junior John Botelho (Tempe, Ariz./Marcos de Niza) homered to right-center to make it a 4-3 game, but senior David Longley (Brunswick, Maine/Brunswick) and sophomore Ryan Grant (Easton, Mass./Oliver Ames) shut down the Beavers in the final two innings to preserve the win for sophomore starter Alec Palioca (Wrentham, Mass./King Philip).
Palioca allowed eight hits and three runs with two walks and two strikeouts over five innings. Longley worked a hitless sixth and Grant recorded the final three outs to earn his fifth save.
Junior Kyle Lyon (Flemington, N.J./Delaware Valley Regional) tossed a complete game, six-hitter for the Beavers to fall to 2-2. He surrendered six hits and four runs (two earned) with no walks and one strikeout. Hocking, Kucher, Botelho, and senior Travis Jonasson (Needham, Mass./Catholic Memorial) each recorded two hits for Babson.
In game two, Miller and junior Conor Kortmann (Manalapan, N.J./The Peddie School) laced RBI singles in the bottom of the first to give Babson a 2-0 lead. An RBI triple off the bat of senior John Keating (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) in the second plated junior Dan Gusovsky (Andover, Mass./Andover) and brought Wheaton to with a run at 2-1.
Botelho recorded an RBU groundout in the fourth to put Babson ahead by two runs (3-1) before De la Cruz belted his first collegiate home run to right-center in the sixth to slice its lead to one. The Beavers responded with back-to-back home runs to start their half of the sixth and open up a 5-2 lead. Kucher and Miller each took Wheaton senior starting pitcher Nolan Corr (Somersworth, Mass./Saint Thomas Aquinas) deep.
Keating was hit by a pitch leading off the seventh and scored on a single up the middle by junior Eric Jensen (Gorham, N.H./Gorham) to cap the scoring. Sophomore Matt Grenier (Rochester, Mass./Spaulding) picked up the win for Babson, allowing nine hits and three runs in seven innings of work. He walked none and struck out one before being lifted for junior Brian Swanton (Foxboro, Mass./Foxboro) to start the eighth. Swanton gave up one hit and struck out one to earn his first save of the season.
Corr surrendered 10 hits and five runs in six innings of work. Sophomore Nick Filloramo (Rochester, Mass./Old Rochester) worked the final two innings and fanned a pair. Landers, Gusovsky, Keating, and junior Paul O'Neill (Framingham, Mass./Framingham) each picked up two hits for Wheaton while Miller went 4-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored for the Beavers.
Winners of 15 of its last 17 games, Wheaton (15-3, 7-2 NEWMAC) returns to action on Tuesday with a 3:30 p.m. contest at NEWMAC foe Springfield. Babson hosts Coast Guard Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.