Lyons extend winning streak to five with doubleheader sweep of Western New England

Lyons extend winning streak to five with doubleheader sweep of Western New England

NORTON, Mass. – Freshman Kevin Foley (Southbury, Conn./Pomperaug) drove in two runs in game one and sophomore Alec Palioca (Wrentham, Mass./King Philip) tossed 8.1 shutout innings in game two as the No. 10 Wheaton College baseball team swept a non-conference doubleheader from Western New England University Saturday afternoon at Trelease Park.

Senior Hal Landers (Salem, N.H./Salem) and freshman Justin Peluso (North Andover, Mass./St. John's Prep) each drove in a run in game two for the Lyons (20-3), who won game one 6-1 and game two 2-0 to extend their winning streak to five. Wheaton is now 11-1 against non-conference opponents and has reached the 20-win plateau in all 15 seasons of varsity baseball in school history under head coach Eric Podbelski.

Landers drew a leadoff walk in the first inning of game one and scored on an RBI single by freshman Apolinar De la Cruz (Providence, R.I./Classical). Two batters later, Foley singled in De la Cruz to give Wheaton an early 2-0 dvantage.

After an RBI single by Golden Bears sophomore Steve Ambrosino (Laurel Hollow, N.Y./Cold Spring Harbor) in the third cut the Lyons lead in half, Landers brought in senior John Keating (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) on an RBI groundout in the fourth to make it a 3-1 game. Wheaton extended its lead to 6-1 in the seventh on a bases-loaded walk to junior Dan Gusovsky (Andover, Mass./Andover) and a two-run single off the bat of Foley.

Junior Frank Holbrook (Middletown, R.I./Portsmouth Abbey) worked 6.2 innings of one-run ball to earn his third win of the season. He scattered eight hits, walked two, and struck out three. Junior Kevin Jefferis (Cheshire, Conn./Cheshire) took the loss for the Golden Bears, allowing four hits and three runs with five walks and four strikeouts in five innings.

Game two remained scoreless until the fifth when the Lyons scratched out a pair of runs. Keating poked a one-out single up the middle, advanced to second on a groundout by senior Dan Demeo (Glastonbury, Conn./Glastonbury), and scored on a double down the right field line by Peluso. Landers followed with a double to right to bring in Peluso for what turned out to be an insurance run.

Palioca surrendered six hits and one walk while striking out five to earn to improve to 4-0 on the year. Sophomore Ryan Grant (Easton, Mass./Oliver Ames) recorded the final two outs for his sixth save of the season. Sophomore Brendan Nugent (Milford, Conn./St, Joseph's) allowed nine hits and two runs over eight innings in defeat. He walked one and struck out five.

De la Cruz recorded one hit in both games and now has at least one in 18 of the Lyons 21 games this season. Junior Sean Ryan (Norton, Mass./Norton), meanwhile, also picked up one hit in both ends of the DH and has hit safely in 17 of Wheaton's 21 games.

The Lyons head to Trinity (Conn.) Monday afternoon for a 3:30 p.m. contest. Western New England (14-8) travels to Suffolk for a 3:30 p.m. contest Monday.