Landers reaches milestone in No. 9 Wheaton's 5-2 loss to Rhode Island College

Landers reaches milestone in No. 9 Wheaton's 5-2 loss to Rhode Island College

NORTON, Mass. - Senior Hal Landers (Salem, N.H./Salem) became Wheaton College's all-time leader in stolen bases in a 5-2 loss to Rhode Island College in non-conference action Thursday afternoon at Sidell Stadium.

Landers stole a pair of bases in the first inning to bring his career total to 75 and move him past current San Diego Padres OF Chris Denorfia (1999-2002). RIC junior David Hoey (Lincoln, R.I./Lincoln) upstaged Landers, however, tossing a complete game four-hitter as the Anchormen (24-14) defeated the Lyons for just the second time in 15 all-time meetings.

The Anchormen jumped all over senior starter Nolan Corr (Somersworth, N.H./Saint Thomas Aquinas) in the first, scoring three times to grab an early lead. Senior Brent Hopkins (Cranston, R.I./La Salle Academy) drove in the first run of the game with a double to left center. Following a wild pitch by Corr that allowed senior Dan Hopkins (Cranston, R.I./Cranston West) to score from third, sophomore Alex Verrecchia (Cranston, R.I./Bishop Hendricken) tapped out to second to plate B. Hopkins with the third run of the frame.

Ranked No. 9 in this week's D3baseball.com poll, Wheaton answered with a pair of runs in its half of the first to climb to within one at 3-2. Landers reached on an error to start the game, stole second and third base, and scored on a fielders choices off the bat of junior Sean Ryan (Norton, Mass./Norton). Ryan advanced to second on a wild pitch and came in to score on an RBI single by freshman Apolinar De la Cruz (Providence, R.I./Classical). The RBI was De la Cruz's team-leading 39th of the season.

In the fourth, RIC freshman Dean Grasso (Cranston, R.I./La Salle Academy) led off with a single and scored on a wild pitch by Corr to stretch the Anchormen's lead to 4-2. Later in the inning, senior and all-time hits leader Kyle Allaire (Uxbridge, Mass./Uxbridge) plated junior Cory Ortega (Kissimmee, Fla./Osceola) to give the Anchormen a 5-2 lead and close the scoring.

Hoey walked three and struck out six to improve to 6-1 with the win. Corr, meanwhile, surrendered seven hits and five runs (one earned) with two walks and one strikeout to fall to 5-3.

"Hoey is a really good pitcher who threw really well today," said Lyons head coach Eric Podbelski. "Our guys battled all day, but Hoey was able to throw his breaking ball for strikes consistently today. That makes it tough. The first three or four hitters jumped on Nolan in the first, but he really settled down and competed like he always does."

Allaire tallied three hits on the afternoon for the Anchormen while B. Hopkins and senior J.P. Stone (Narragansett, R.I./Narragansett) recorded two hits. Junior Eric Jensen (Gorham, N.H./Gorham) went 2-for-3 for Wheaton (33-8).

The Lyons return to action on Saturday when they defend their New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship at 3:30 p.m. against the winner of No. 2 Springfield / No. 3 Babson at noon. RIC hosts UMass Boston for a pair of games Friday beginning at 1 p.m.