NEWMAC TOURNAMENT: #1 Wheaton Rallies Past #4 Coast Guard In Opening Round

NEWMAC TOURNAMENT: #1 Wheaton Rallies Past #4 Coast Guard In Opening Round

Peluso drives in two in three-run seventh

NORTON, Mass. – First-seeded Wheaton College used a three-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning to clinch an opening round 7-5 triumph over fourth-seeded Coast Guard Academy in game one of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Baseball Tournament on Saturday afternoon at Sidell Stadium.

The Lyons (26-10), ranked no.12 overall in the latest national poll, will host second-seeded MIT later today at 2:30 p.m. in the double elimination tournament format. The Engineers defeated third-seeded Babson, 8-2, earlier this afternoon. Coast Guard (20-8) will take on the Beavers in Babson Park, Mass. today at 2:30 p.m.

Wheaton freshman Eric Dumas (Brookline, Mass./Brookline) gave up just one hit through one-and-two-thirds innings to push his record to 2-0 overall on the season. Senior right-handed pitcher Frank Holbrook (Middletown, R.I./Portsmouth Abbey School) landed the no-decision in six-and-one-thirds innings. Holbrook yielded five runs (all earned) on ten hits, one walk and a game-high six strikeouts. Junior closer Ryan Grant (Easton, Mass./Avon Old Farms School) picked up his eighth save of the spring with a clean ninth.

Coast Guard reliever Curt Barrett (Bremen, Ga.) took the loss allowing three runs (all earned) on two hits and two free passes in one-and-one-thirds out of the bullpen. Classmate Derek Petty (Parker, Colo.) was handed the no-decision through five full innings, eight hits, four runs (two earned), two walks and four punchouts.

The Lyons jumped out to a 4-0 advantage through three frames compiling seven hits during that span. A slew of seniors led the way as Sean Ryan (Norton, Mass./Norton) plated Eric Jensen (Gorham, N.H./Gorham) in the first with an RBI single to left field. In the second, Paul O'Neill (Framingham, Mass./Framingham) had a run-producing double to center and Justin Connor (Arlington, Mass./Arlington) made it 3-0 with a double down the left field line. Dan Gusovsky (Andover, Mass./Andover) capped the scoring in the third on an RBI single through the left side.

The Bears cut into the deficit in the fourth producing three runs on five hits, one error and two runners left on base. Senior Mike Massaro (Sewell, N.J.) brought home sophomore Matt Hanks (Chesapeake, Va.) with single through the right side of the infield and freshman Mark Behne (Clifton, Va.) also knocked in a pair with a hit through the same side.

Senior Ed Sella (Silver Spring, Md.) tied the game at 4-4 in the fifth with an RBI single to center field and Massaro lifted a sac fly to center in the seventh for a 5-4 gap.

Wheaton's offense responded in the next half inning with three runs on three hits, no errors and one runner left on base. After Ryan and sophomore Apolinar De la Cruz (Providence, R.I./Classical) notched base hits, Gusovsky laid down a successful sacrifice bunt (1-4) to advance both runners into scoring position. Sophomore Tyler Contillo (Montville, Conn./Montville) was intentionally walked to load the bases but O'Neill came through with the tying run on a ground out to the pitcher. Sophomore Justin Peluso (North Andover, Mass./Saint John 's Prep) followed with a two-run single through the left side to put the Lyons ahead 7-5.

In the eighth, Dumas pitched a 1-2-3 inning recording two ground outs and Ryan closed the door in the ninth not allowing the ball to leave the infield.

Hanks, seniors Nolan Gallager (New Milford, Conn.) and Tyler Babkiewich (Golden, Colo.) and Sella all compiled multi-hit games out of the 2-3-4-5 spots in the lineup for Coast Guard. De la Cruz went 3-for-5 with one run scored in the cleanup spot for Wheaton while Jensen and Ryan both had multi-hit contests.