#18 Southern Maine Tops #11 Wheaton, 15-3

#18 Southern Maine Tops #11 Wheaton, 15-3

Huskies push winning streak to 17-straight games

NORTON, Mass. – The Wheaton College baseball team, ranked no.11 overall in the latest D3baseball.com national poll, fell to no.18 Southern Maine by a score of 15-3 on Thursday evening in a non-conference matchup at Sidell Stadium.

Southern Maine sophomore reliever Andrew Richards (South Portland, Maine/South Portland) earned the victory on four-and-one-thirds innings pitched, seven hits, one run (earned), zero walks and three strikeouts.

Wheaton senior Corey Laliberte (Fall River, Mass./B.M.C. Durfee) took the loss on four innings pitched, eight hits, eight runs (six earned), three walks and three strikeouts. Junior Ryan Grant (Easton, Mass./Avon Old Farms School) allowed one base hit in a scoreless ninth.

The Huskies claimed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning as senior Chris Bernard (Scarborough, Maine/Scarborough) notched an RBI single to right field with the bases loaded. Classmate John Carey (South Portland, Maine/South Portland) added a sac fly to center field in the next plate appearance.

Trailing 4-0 in the second, senior Paul O'Neill (Framingham, Mass./Framingham) cut into the deficit with a two-out run-producing single to right field scoring sophomore Apolinar De la Cruz (Providence, R.I./Classical). De la Cruz led off the frame with a base knock through the right side and advanced to second on a single to left from senior Eric Jensen (Gorham, N.H./Gorham).

Southern Maine broke the game open in the fourth plating four runs on five hits, no errors and one runner left on base. Senior Nick Grady (Whitefield, Maine/Erskine Academy) and Bernard both had RBI singles and junior Matt Verrier (Norway, Maine/Oxford Hills) batted in a pair of runs.

Huskies junior Forrest Chadwick (Gardiner, Maine/Gardiner) highlighted the opposition's scoring over the last five innings with a two-run homer in the seventh and another two-run shot in the eighth.

The Lyons received an RBI single up the middle from freshman Mike Beneduce (North Kingstown, R.I./Moses Brown School) in the sixth. Classmate Zach Bombard (Belchertown, Mass./Cathedral) drove in Wheaton's final run in the eighth with a ground out.

O'Neill led the offense with a 3-for-4 contest at the plate. De la Cruz, Jensen and Beneduce all compiled multi-hit games for the Lyons in addition to O'Neill.

Wheaton (22-8) travels to MIT tomorrow for a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) matchup at 3:30 p.m. The Lyons need to win one game in their three-game set versus the Engineers this weekend to claim the no.1 seed in the NEWMAC Tournament and the right to host. Southern Maine (23-3) visits Plymouth State for a doubleheader on Saturday, April 20 with game one scheduled for noon.