Palioca no-hits Bears through seven innings
NORTON, Mass. – Wheaton College junior right-handed pitcher Alec Palioca (Wrentham, Mass./King Philip Reional) struck out a season-high nine batters and did not surrender a hit through seven innings of work to guide the Lyons, ranked no.10 overall in the latest D3baseball.com national poll, to a 4-0 victory against Coast Guard Academy in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Friday evening at Sidell Stadium.
Palioca issued two free passes, plunked one batter and struck out at least one hitter in every inning to push his record to 5-1 overall. Freshman Eric Dumas (Brookline, Mass./Brookline) kept the no-hitter alive with one strikeout in a clean eighth inning.
Coast Guard sophomore Matt Hanks (Chesapeake, Va.) finally put a tally in the hit column for the Bears in the ninth with a single through the right side of the infield off of Wheaton junior Ryan Grant (Easton, Mass./Avon Old Farms School).
Nate Vedrani '00 has pitched the only no-hitter in program history as it came against Coast Guard on April 13, 1999.
Senior Nate Toll (Olney, Md.) was dealt the loss for the Bears on seven innings pitched, five hits, four runs (two earned), four walks and three strikeouts.
Wheaton grabbed a 1-0 advantage in the first as senior co-captain Dan Gusovsky (Andover, Mass./Andover) drew a bases loaded walk for his team-leading 26th RBI of the season.
In the next half inning, senior right fielder Sean Ryan (Norton, Mass./Norton) robbed Coast Guard senior Ed Sella (Silver Spring, Md.) of an extra base hit with a diving catch near the right field line which allowed the no-hit bid to progress into the ninth inning of the game.
Palioca stymied the Bears for the remainder of his outing only allowing one runner to advance into scoring position while racking up seven strikeouts.
The Lyons tacked on three insurance runs in the eighth on two hits, one error and one runner left on base. Sophomore Apolinar De la Cruz (Providence, R.I./Classical) knocked in freshman Jimmy Smith (Worcester, Mass./Saint John's) with a single up the middle and classmate Matt Lavanchy (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) stung a two-run base knock through the right side of the infield for a 4-0 lead.
In the ninth inning, Wheaton's defense fended off a second and third base situation to preserve the shutout. Coast Guard senior Eric Gerken (Tampa, Fla.) got caught in between third base and home plate as sophomore third baseman Justin Peluso (North Andover, Mass./Saint John's Prep) initiated a 5-2-5-1-6 relay for the second out of the frame. After senior Mike Massaro (Sewell, N.J.) walked, Grant induced an easy fly out to right field to keep the Lyons seven-game winning streak intact.
Wheaton (15-5, 9-0 NEWMAC) travels to Coast Guard (13-9, 5-4 NEWMAC) tomorrow for a conference doubleheader scheduled to begin at noon.