WORCESTER, Mass. - Junior Eric Jensen (Gorham, N.H./Gorham) drove in three runs in game one and freshman Apolinar De la Cruz (Providence, R.I./Classical) plated three in game two of No. 7 Wheaton's College's doubleheader sweep of Clark University in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) baseball action Saturday afternoon at Granger Field. The Lyons won game one 4-2 and game two 15-4.
With the wins, the Lyons improve to 29-4 on the season and finish the conference slate with a program-record 16 wins against two losses. Wheaton - which earned the No. 1 seed in the NEWMAC Tournament with a 10-3 win over the Cougars yesterday in Norton - will open the tournament with a noon contest against No. 4 WPI next Saturday at Sidell Stadium.
The sweep marks the fifth conference foe the Lyons have taken all three regular season games from in 2012, joining Coast Guard, MIT, Springfield, and WPI. Wheaton is one win shy of its eighth-straight 30-win season under head coach Eric Podbelski.
The Lyons took a 1-0 lead in the third inning of game one when Jensen singled in senior John Keating (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury). In the fifth, senior Dan Demeo (Glastonbury, Conn./Glastonbury) led off with a single and scored on a single by Jensen to double Wheaton's lead.
Clark tied the game at two with a pair of runs in its half of the frame. Freshman Matt Asdornvuttikrai (Winchester, Mass./Winchester) scored an unearned run to bring the Cougars to within one, and freshman Dennis Glynn (Jamaica Plain, Mass./The Dexter School) lifted a sac fly to right to bring in the tying run.
Wheaton answered with two in the sixth to regain the lead at 4-2. Junior Dan Gusovsky (Andover, Mass./Andover) led off with a single and scored on a fielders choice off the bat of Demeo. Two batters later, Jensen singled in freshman Kevin Foley (Southbury, Conn./Pomperaug). Sophomore Ryan Grant (Easton, Conn./Oliver Ames) sent the Cougars down 1-2-3 in the seventh to record his eighth save of the season.
Junior Frank Holbrook (Middletown, R.I./Portsmouth Abbey) picked up his fifth win of the season. He surrendered six hits and two runs (one earned) with one walk and four strikeouts in 5.2 innings of work. Sophomore Brian Sullivan (Auburn, Mass./Auburn) allowed nine hits and four runs with two walks and nine strikeouts in seven innings of work.
Wheaton scored in each of the first seven innings of game two and scored six times in the ninth to cruise to victory. Landers and freshman Justin Peluso (North Andover, Mass./St. John's Prep) each drove in two runs while Landers and junior Sean Ryan (Norton, Mass.) each recorded three hits. Jensen, Ryan, and Keating each scored twice.
Sophomore Alec Palioca (Wrentham, Mass./King Philip Regional) improved to 6-0 as he allowed six hits and three runs (two earned) with two walks and five strikeouts. Junior Andrew LeBlanc (Farmington, Conn./Farmington) suffered the loss, allowing 12 hits and eight runs (four earned) with three walks and three strikeouts.
Wheaton returns to action Sunday when it heads north for a noon contest with Southern Maine. The Cougars (7-26, 3-15 NEWMAC) close their season with a 3:30 p.m. contest on Friday against Nichols.