Owls edge No. 5 Wheaton on a walk-off single, 7-6

Owls edge No. 5 Wheaton on a walk-off single, 7-6

KEENE, N.H. - Freshman Tyler Contillo (Montville, Conn./Montville) drove in two runs in No. 5 Wheaton College's 7-6 loss to Keene State in non-conference baseball action Sunday afternoon at the Owl Athletic Complex.

The Lyons (32-7) struck for four runs in the opening frame to build an early lead. Senior Hal Landers (Salem, N.H./Salem) led off with a double and scored the first run of the game on a grounder off the bat of junior Eric Jensen (Gorham, N.H./Gorham). Freshman Apolinar De la Cruz (Providence, R.I./Classical) plated the second run of the game with a single through the right side. Two batters later, Contillo's RBI single pushed Wheaton's lead to 3-0 before a sac fly from senior John Keating (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) brought in the fourth run of the inning.

Keene State cut the Lyons lead in half with a pair in its half of the first. Senior Larry Longo (Londonderry, N.H./Derryfield) brought in the first Owls run when a ball he hit to left field was misplayed. Later, sophomore Nick Vita (Spofford, N.H./Keene) lifted a sac fly to right to account for the second run of the inning.

An RBI single by Contillo in the third brought home junior Dan Gusovsky (Andover, Mass./Andover) and pushed Wheaton's lead to 5-2.  The Owls climbed back to within two at 5-3 on an RBI single by senior Erik Bergstrom (Enfield, Conn./Enrico Fermi) in the fifth.

In the seventh, Keene State put up a '3' spot to take a 6-5 lead. Bergstrom laced an RBI double to start the rally, followed by RBI singles from senior Peter Burgio (Bolton, Conn./Bolton) and Longo. Wheaton junior Sean Ryan (Norton, Mass./Norton) tied the game at six with a pinch-hit sac fly in the eighth that scored Contillo.

Keene State senior Kyle Morrill (Auburn, N.H./Memorial) recorded a one-out single in the ninth and scored the game-winning run when Vito singled to center off freshman reliever Brian Mylett (Dorchester, Mass./Boston Latin).

Sophomore Mike McGinnis (Mashpee, Mass.) tossed the first five innings for Wheaton and allowed five hits and three unearned runs with one walk and one strikeout. Landers, Contillo, and freshman Kevin Foley (Southbury, Conn./Pomperaug) each recorded two hits while Gusovsky went 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to nine games.

Junior Chris Crutcher (Londonderry, N.H./Southern New Hampshire University) started on the bump for Keene State and allowed four hits and four runs with two walks in 0.1 innings of work. Junior John Coughlin (Litchfield, N.H./Campbell) allowed one hit and struck out two in 1.2 innings in relief to earn the win. Bergstrom, Longo and Vita each drove in two runs.

Wheaton returns to action on Tuesday with a non-conference game against UMass Boston at Sidell Stadium at 3:30 p.m. The Owls (27-11) host UMass Dartmouth for a pair on Friday.