#12 Wheaton Claims 500th Career Program Victory Over Eastern Connecticut State

#12 Wheaton Claims 500th Career Program Victory Over Eastern Connecticut State

Lyons baseball program stands at 500-188-4 over 16 seasons

NORTON, Mass. – The Wheaton College baseball team, ranked no.12 overall in the latest D3baseball.com national poll, delivered 16th-year head coach Eric Podbelski his 500th win on Thursday afternoon as the Lyons defeated Eastern Connecticut State University, 8-3, in non-conference action at Sidell Stadium.

Podbelski, who has been at the helm of the program for all 16 varsity seasons, improves to 500-188-4 overall joining an illustrious group of 36 active NCAA Division III baseball coaches who have won 500 or more games during their career. Podbelski is currently the sixth coach in Division III baseball to accomplish that feat this season.

Sophomore Mike Gibbons (Simsbury, Conn./Avon Old Farms School) earned the win in relief throwing two scoreless innings while yielding two hits. Freshman Jared Clement (Wrentham, Mass./Saint Sebastian's School) allowed one hit over three shutout innings. Senior Corey Laliberte (Fall River, Mass./B.M.C. Durfee), freshman Eric Dumas (Brookline, Mass./Brookline) and junior Ryan Grant (Easton, Mass./Avon Old Farms School) blanked the Warriors through the last three frames in succession.

Senior Evan Chamberlain (Amston, Conn./RHAM) took the loss on two-and-one-thirds innings, eight hits, five runs (all earned) and one free pass.

Wheaton pushed across three runs in the second inning on four hits, zero errors and three runners left on base. Freshman Matt Lavanchy (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) knocked in a pair of runs with a single through the right side of the infield for a 2-0 advantage. Senior Sean Ryan (Norton, Mass./Norton) drove home the third run of the frame on an infield single to short.

The Lyons tacked on two more in the third as senior Paul O'Neill (Framingham, Mass./Framingham) scored sophomore Tyler Contillo (Montville, Conn./Montville) with a base hit up the middle. Senior Justin Connor (Arlington, Mass./Arlington) made it 5-0 a sacrifice bunt RBI to the pitcher. O'Neill also added an insurance run in the fourth with an infield RBI single for a 6-0 lead.

Eastern Connecticut State cut into the deficit with a three-run sixth inning highlighted by a run-producing single from senior Mike Riemer (Ellington, Conn./Berkshire School).

O'Neill finished the contest going 4-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI. Lavanchy went 2-for-5 with two RBI while sophomore Zach Horton (North Attleboro, Mass./North Attleboro) was 3-for-4 with one run and one RBI out of the eighth spot in the lineup.

Wheaton (25-10, 14-4 NEWMAC) earned the no.1 seed in this weekend's upcoming New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament and will host fourth-seeded Coast Guard Academy at 11 a.m. on Saturday. The winner of game one between the Lyons and the Bears will take on the winner of game two between third-seeded Babson College and second-seeded MIT at Wheaton College at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. The losers of game one and two will square off at 2:30 p.m. at Babson College in Babson Park, Mass. Eastern Connecticut State (22-10-1) hosts UMass Dartmouth on Saturday for a doubleheader at noon.