Lyons, Engineers to play for regular season title tomorrow
NORTON, Mass. – The Wheaton College baseball team, ranked no.11 overall in the latest D3baseball.com national poll, was swept by MIT in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) doubleheader by scores of 4-3 (eight innings) and 3-2 (seven innings) on Monday afternoon at Sidell Stadium.
With the sweep, the Engineers forced a winner take all game tomorrow afternoon for the NEWMAC regular season title as both teams are 13-4 in the conference. Wheaton and MIT will play for the right to host the NEWMAC Tournament on Tuesday at Northeastern University at 3:30 p.m.
MIT 4, Wheaton 3 (eight innings)
Senior Aric Dama (Winfield, Ill./Wheaton North) earned the victory in game one on seven innings pitched, ten this, three runs (all unearned), two walks and five strikeouts. Classmate Henry Zhu (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West) picked up his sixth save of the season fanning one batter in a clean ninth.
Wheaton senior right-hander Frank Holbrook (Middletown, R.I./Portsmouth Abbey School) took the loss on eight innings, nine hits, four runs (three earned), zero walks and one strikeout.
In the top of the eighth inning, sophomore K.J. Parent (Knoxville, Tenn./Web School) lifted a solo homer with two outs just over the left field fence to give the Engineers a 4-3 lead. Zhu stymied any chance of a rally in the bottom half of the frame with a 1-2-3 inning.
MIT claimed a 1-0 advantage in the first capitalizing on three errors by the Lyons. Wheaton responded in the next half inning as sophomore Tyler Contillo (Montville, Conn./Montville) ripped a two-run single down the left field line and senior Dan Gusovsky (Andover, Mass./Andover) scampered home on a throwing error.
The Engineers chipped away at their deficit over next few innings receiving a run-producing single to center field from sophomore Hayden Cornwell (Newport Beach, Calif./Jserra Catholic) in the third and an RBI single through the right side of the infield from classmate Karl Sorensen (Blacksburg, Va./Salem) in the fourth.
Wheaton senior Paul O'Neill (Framingham, Mass./Framingham) went 3-for-3 from the seventh spot in the lineup while classmate Sean Ryan (Norton, Mass./Norton) and Contillo both collected multi-hit games.
MIT 3, Wheaton 2 (seven innings)
Senior Max Ockner (Chesterfield, Mo./Parkway Central) allowed two runs (both earned) over five-and-one-thirds innings, one walk and two strikeouts to improve his record to 4-2 overall. Zhu shut the door in the seventh as he set the Lyons down in order for his seventh save of the season and second of the afternoon. Junior right-handed pitcher Rob Bertucci (Belleville, Ill./St. Louis University HS) retired both batters he faced in the sixth.
Lyons' senior Corey Laliberte (Fall River, Mass./B.M.C. Durfee) was handed the loss yielding two runs (both earned) and five hits in three-and-one-thirds innings pitched. Junior Alec Palioca (Wrentham, Mass./King Philip Regional) blanked the Engineers in the last three innings of the game.
Sophomore Apolinar De la Cruz (Providence, R.I./Classical) opened up the scoring for Wheaton in the bottom of the first with an RBI ground out. Senior Eric Jensen (Gorham, N.H./Gorham) was hit by a pitch with one out in the frame, stole second base and advanced to third on a throwing error to set up the scoring.
MIT broke through in the fourth with three runs on four hits, one error and three runners left on base. Freshman Nate Rodman (Corvallis, Ore./Corvallis) drove in a run with a single down the right field line to even the score at 1-1. Sophomore Parker Tew (Chapel Hill, N.C./East Chapel Hill) pushed the Engineers ahead on an RBI single through the left side of the infield and freshman Kendall Helbert (St. Louis, Mo./Lindbergh) increased MIT's gap to 3-1 touching home on a throwing error.
Contill cut into the deficit in the fourth plating De la Cruz on a sacrifice fly to right field. The Lyons stranded the game-tying run at second base on a fly out to right field. In the seventh, Zhu held back a potential rally holding off a runner at second base with one out on a ground out to short and a fly out to right field to secure the sweep.
Cornwell went 2-for-4 with one run scored out of the cleanup spot in the lineup while senior Ricardo Perez (Vienna, Va./James Madison) was 2-for-3 from the five-hole in the batting order for MIT.