Palioca fans five, De la Cruz drives in three for Wheaton
NORTON, Mass. – The Wheaton College baseball team, ranked no.12 overall in the latest D3baseball.com national poll, ran its winning streak to four-straight games with a 7-2 victory against Western New England University on Thursday evening at Sidell Stadium.
Wheaton junior Alec Palioca (Wrentham, Mass./King Philip Regional) struck out a game-high five batters over six-and-two-thirds innings pitched, allowed eight hits, two runs (both earned) and no walks to improve his record to 6-1 overall on the season. Freshman Eric Dumas (Brookline, Mass./Brookline) held the Golden Bears scoreless for one-and-one-thirds innings while junior Ryan Grant (Easton, Mass./Avon Old Farms School) spun a clean ninth.
Senior left-hander Jeff Richardson (Simsbury, Conn./Simsbury) took the loss on five-and-one-thirds innings, eight hits, four runs (all earned), two walks and one punchout.
Lyons' sophomore Apolinar De la Cruz (Providence, R.I./Classical) gave the hosts a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first with a sacrifice fly to center field plating classmate Kevin Foley (Southbury, Conn./Pomperaug). Senior Eric Jensen (Gorham, N.H./Gorham) added to the lead with an RBI single up the middle scoring sophomore Tyler Contillo (Montville, Conn./Montville).
In the fifth inning, senior Sean Ryan (Norton, Mass./Norton) drove in Contillo for his second run of the contest with a single to left field. Contillo stroked a one-out double to the left-center gap to set up the inning.
Sophomore Justin Peluso (North Andover, Mass./Saint John's Prep) made it 4-0 in the sixth with a fielder's choice RBI. The Golden Bears cut into their deficit in the next half inning as senior Kyle McKelvey (Schenectady, N.Y./Schalmont) notched a run-producing double to center field and junior Jeff Schult (Wappingers Falls, N.Y./John Jay) connected on an RBI single up the middle.
De la Cruz silenced Western New England's rally in the bottom half of the seventh with a two-run base knock to center field bringing home Contillo and Ryan. Contillo led off the frame with a walk and advanced to third on Ryan's double to left-center. Contillo also tacked on an insurance run in the eighth with a fielder's choice RBI.
Ryan, De la Cruz and Jensen went a combined 6-for-10 from the 3-4-5 spots in the lineup, scored two runs and knocked in five.
Wheaton (19-6, 11-1 NEWMAC) hosts Springfield College tomorrow for a conference matchup at 3:30 p.m. Western New England (15-7), who is receiving votes in the latest D3baseball.com national poll, welcomes Wentworth to its campus on Saturday, April 13 for a doubleheader scheduled for noon.