Lyons finish come-from-behind effort versus MIT
NORTON, Mass. – First-seeded Wheaton College has advanced to the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Baseball Tournament championship round for the fourth-straight season as the Lyons posted an 11-8 come-from-behind victory over second-seeded MIT on Saturday afternoon at Sidell Stadium.
Wheaton (27-10) will host the NEWMAC Tournament championship round on Saturday, May 4 at Sidell Stadium needing just one win to claim its 13th conference title in the league's 15-year history. The Lyons will play the winner of second-seeded MIT (22-8) and third-seeded Babson College (22-15) at 3 p.m. The Engineers and the Beavers will square off at 1 p.m.
Sophomore Mike Bisceglia (New Boston, N.H./Goffstown) earned the win in relief completing one inning, yielding two hits, two runs (both earned), one walk and one strikeout. Freshman Eric Dumas (Brookline, Mass./Brookline) pitched two scoreless frames and junior closer Ryan Grant (Easton, Mass./Avon Old Farms School) recorded his ninth save of the season with one strikeout in the ninth.
MIT freshman Michael Wymer (Flower Mound, Texas/Flower Mound) did not register an out to pick up the loss. Wymer gave up four runs (all earned) on four hits in the sixth inning. Senior Aric Dama (Winfield, Ill./Wheaton North) was dealt the no-decision on five-and-one-thirds innings pitched, five hits, four runs (all earned), two walks and three strikeouts.
The Engineers held a 5-0 lead after three and a half innings of play highlighted by a two-run double to left-center field from senior James McKinney (Wakefield, R.I./South Kingstown) in the fourth.
Wheaton rallied in the bottom half of the frame with four runs on five hits to come within one run of its deficit at 5-4. Senior Eric Jensen (Gorham, N.H./Gorham) had an RBI double to right-center and sophomore Apolinar De la Cruz (Providence, R.I./Classical) plated Jensen later in the inning with a single through the right side of the infield to make it 5-2. Senior Paul O'Neill (Framingham, Mass./Framingham) added a sacrifice fly to center field and sophomore Justin Peluso (North Andover, Mass./Saint John's Prep) ripped a run-producing base knock to right field to end the offensive outburst.
Sophomore K.J. Parent (Knoxville, Tenn./Web School) got a run back for the Engineers in the fifth driving in classmate Hayden Cornwell (Newport Beach, Calif./Jserra Catholic) with a base hit to right field.
The Lyons put the game away in the sixth scoring six runs on seven hits, no errors and one runner left on base. O'Neill, Peluso and freshman Matt Lavanchy (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) all had RBI singles in the frame. Senior Justin Connor (Arlington, Mass./Arlington) brought home a run on a sacrifice bunt and senior Sean Ryan (Norton, Mass./Norton) punctuated the inning with a two-run double to left field.
After MIT scratched home two runs in the seventh, Wheaton's bullpen retired the next seven batters in order to punch its ticket to the championship round.
McKinney led the Engineers offense with a 2-for-4 showing at the plate and three RBI out of the two-hole in the lineup. Ryan went 3-for-5 with one run scored and two RBI while senior Dan Gusovsky (Andover, Mass./Andover) was 3-for-4 with one run scored. The Lyons, who collected 16 hits total, had six players record multi-hit games.
Wheaton, ranked no.12 overall in the latest D3baseball.com national poll, hosts UMass Boston on Tuesday, April 30 at 3:30 p.m. in non-conference action on "Senior Day" at Sidell Stadium.