Grant becomes all-time leader in saves (36)
HARWICH, Mass. – Second-seeded Wheaton College, ranked no.15 overall in the latest D3baseball.com national poll, eliminated eighth-seeded Daniel Webster from the NCAA Division III New England Regional double elimination tournament with a 3-1 triumph on Friday afternoon at Whitehouse Field in the first-ever meeting between both squads.
The Lyons (32-11) will play Western New England University in an elimination game later tonight at 8 p.m. The Eagles season comes to a close at 29-12 overall.
Junior right-hander Nick Filloramo (Rochester, Mass./Old Rochester Regional) improved to 6-3 overall on seven innings pitched, four hits, one run (earned), zero walks and five strikeouts on 89 pitches (68 strikes). Sophomore Mike Bisceglia (New Boston, N.H./Goffstown) hurled a scoreless eighth yielding just one hit and junior closer Ryan Grant (Easton, Mass./Avon Old Farms School) locked down his 12th save of the season on two strikeouts in the ninth. Grant surpassed Mike Spavento '02 for the all-time career lead in saves as both relief pitchers were tied at 35 entering this afternoon's contest.
Daniel Webster senior Syed Ali (Dracut, Mass./Dracut) was dealt the loss over seven innings, eight hits, three runs (all earned), three walks and two punchouts.
Wheaton opened up the scoring with two outs in the top of the third as senior Dan Gusovsky (Andover, Mass./Andover) was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to take a 1-0 advantage. Gusovsky knocked in his team-leading 23rd two-out RBI of the season.
Senior Eric Jensen (Gorham, N.H./Gorham) reached on a fielder's choice, stole second base and advanced to third on an infield single to third base from classmate Sean Ryan (Norton, Mass./Norton). After Ryan swiped second, sophomore Apolinar De la Cruz (Providence, R.I./Classical) worked a seven pitch walk to set up the scoring. Ali held the Lyons offense in check with a ground out to first to end the threat.
Freshman Matt Lavanchy (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) gave the Lyons a 2-0 lead in the fourth with a sacrifice bunt RBI in between the pitcher's mound and home to plate senior Paul O'Neill (Framingham, Mass./Framingham) from third. O'Neill led off the frame with a single to center field and used his speed to advance from first to third on a base hit to center by senior Justin Connor (Arlington, Mass./Arlington).
In the sixth, Lavanchy hooked a run-producing double on the chalk of the right field line to push Wheaton ahead 3-0. Sophomore Justin Peluso (North Andover, Mass./Saint John's Prep) scored from first base as Lavanchy's hit bounced into the Lyons open bullpen down the line in foul territory. Peluso got the offense started in the inning with a leadoff single up the middle.
Daniel Webster answered in the bottom half on a sacrifice fly to right field off the bat of senior Elliot Kilgore (Milford, N.H./Milford), his 17th RBI of the season. Classmate Darrik Marstaller (Spofford, N.H./Keene) notched a single to right-center, stole his team-leading 17th base of the season and advanced to third on a ground out for the Eagles lone run.
Filloramo used a ground out to end the inning and three more in the seventh to erase a two-out double down the left field line from freshman Devin DeCarteret (Pelham, N.H./Pelham) to close out his outing. Bisceglia allowed a one-out single in the eighth, stranding a runner at second base with three ground outs. Grant retired the side in order in the ninth on a strikeout swinging, a 1-3 ground out and a strikeout looking for his 36th career save. Grant is also the all-time leader in games finished (69) in program history and third all-time in appearances (72) as a junior.
Lavanchy collected Wheaton's only multi-hit game going 2-for-4 with two RBI. Lavanchy now has 18 multi-hit games this season. Jensen extended his hitting to nine games while De la Cruz pushed his to eight and Gusovsky moved his to seven as all three hitters had just one hit in the contest.