#24 Wheaton Tops Clark, 9-1

#24 Wheaton Tops Clark, 9-1

Lyons break 1-1 tie in seventh with seven runs

NORTON, Mass. – The Wheaton College baseball team, ranked No. 24 in the latest D3baseball.com national poll, broke open a 1-1 tie in the seventh with seven runs to claim an eventual 9-1 victory over Clark University in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Tuesday evening at Sidell Stadium.

Wheaton junior left-handed reliever Mike Bisceglia (New Boston, N.H./Goffstown) earned his second win in relief going 1 1/3 innings with zero hits and walks alongside one strikeout. Classmate Mike Gibbons (Simsbury, Conn./Avon Old Farms) turned in a quality start, his third of the season, on 6 2/3 innings, three hits, one run (earned), four walks and four strikeouts. Senior Ryan Grant (Easton, Mass./Avon Old Farms) closed out the ninth inducing three groundouts on five pitches.

Clark starter Michael Mainuli (Glastonbury, Conn./Glastonbury) was tagged with the loss in six plus innings while yielding six hits, two runs (both earned), four walks and three punchouts.

Tied 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh, junior pinch hitter Tyler Contillo (Montville, Conn./Monvtille) drove in sophomore Jimmy Smith (Worcester, Mass./Saint John's) from third with a bloop single that fell in between the Cougars' third baseman and shortstop. Smith led off the frame with a five-pitch walk before he advanced to third on a single to center field from sophomore Matt Lavanchy (Walpole, Mass./Walpole).

Junior third baseman Justin Peluso (North Reading, Mass./Saint John's Prep) highlighted the seven run frame with a hard hit two-run single to center, while Smith pushed home a run on a walk and senior Kevin Foley (Southbury, Conn./Pomperaug) was hit-by-a-pitch with the bases loaded. The Lyons also tacked on two runs off of wild pitches in the inning.

Wheaton held a 1-0 lead in the second inning as freshman catcher Joseph Santigate (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Joseph by the Sea) produced an RBI single up the middle. Clark evened the score in the next half inning with an RBI single down the left field line by sophomore Nicholas O'Brien (Potomac, Md./Winston Churchill).

Clark nearly took a 2-1 advantage in the top of the seventh with runners on first and second and one out, but Smith gunned down junior David Eschen (New York, N.Y./Xavier) at home plate with a perfect throw from shallow center field. Eschen tried to score on a single up the middle by sophomore James Conway (Newburyport, Mass./Newburyport).

After Gibbons issued his fourth walk of the afternoon to give the Cougars a first and second, two out situation, Bisceglia was summoned from the pen and promptly got Dennis Glynn (Jamaica Plain, Mass./The Dexter School) to foul out junior first baseman Apolinar De La Cruz (Providence, R.I./Classical) to end the threat.

Wheaton (8-5-1, 1-2 NEWMAC) hosts Salem State University on Thursday, March 27 at 3:30 p.m. Clark (4-10, 1-2 NEWMAC) visits Massachusetts Maritime on Friday for a 3:30 p.m. contest.

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