Palioca strikes out ten in game one of doubleheader
NORTON, Mass. – The Wheaton College baseball team, ranked No. 24 in the latest D3baseball.com national poll, swept a pair of New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) games away from Springfield College on Saturday evening at Sidell Stadium. The Lyons were victorious in game one by a 7-1 score and also won the nightcap 9-2 in eight innings due to rain. Today's games were originally scheduled to be played at Springfield but were moved due to unplayable field conditions.
WHEATON 7, SPRINGFIELD 1
Senior right-hander Alec Palioca (Wrentham, Mass./King Philip Regional) hurled eight innings of one run (unearned) baseball on seven hits, two walks and a game-high ten strikeouts. Palioca's tenth and final strikeout in the eighth inning pushed his career total to 150 in 35 appearances (33 starts, 19-6 overall). Junior lefty Mike Bisceglia (New Boston, N.H./Goffstown) completed the ninth yielding one hit alongside a strikeout.
Springfield starter Oliver Collette (Spencer, Mass./St. John's) took the loss on 6 2/3 innings, four hits, two runs (one earned), one walk and six strikeouts.
Ahead 2-0 in the top of the eighth thanks to a pair of RBIs from sophomore Matt Lavanchy (Walpole, Mass./Walpole), Wheaton busted the game open with four runs on five hits, one error and one runner left on base.
Classmate Brett Fontaine (Newburyport, Mass./Newburyport) drove in a run with a base knock through the left side of the infield and junior Justin Peluso (North Reading, Mass./Saint John's Prep) scratched home a run with a fielder's choice RBI. Sophomore Jimmy Smith (Worcester, Mass./Saint John's) laced a two-run single up the middle, scoring both Fontaine and Peluso, to cap the scoring for the Lyons.
Springfield's lone run came in the bottom half of the frame on passed ball with the bases loaded.
WHEATON 9, SPRINGFIELD 2 (eight innings)
Freshman Michael Bruemmel (Bridgewater, Mass./Bridgewater-Raynham) improved to 2-2 on the season pitching 7 2/3 innings, yielding five hits, two runs (both earned), one walk while striking out four batters.
Senior Eric Chase (Vernon, Conn./Mount Saint Mary) shouldered the loss on four innings pitched, five hits and four runs (all earned).
In the fourth, junior Apolinar De La Cruz (Providence, R.I./Classical) pushed Wheaton ahead 3-0 with a solo blast to right field, his first of the season. Classmate Zach Horton (North Attleboro, Mass./North Attleboro) tacked onto the lead with a sacrifice bunt RBI plating Bisceglia.
Peluso made it 5-0 in the sixth with a run-producing single to right-center while Smith added a two-run single later in the frame for a 7-0 advantage. Junior Tyler Contillo (Montville, Conn./Montville) and De La Cruz increased the gap to 9-0 for the Lyons with RBI singles in the eighth.
Springfield broke open the shutout in the bottom half of the frame as seniors Frank Calabrese (East Longmeadow, Mass./East Longmeadow) and Sean Smith (Broken Arrow, Okla./Bishop Kelley) registered RBI base hits before the game was called due to unplayable conditions.
Wheaton (12-6-1, 3-2 NEWMAC) travels to Clark University on Tuesday, April 1 for a conference matchup at 3:30 p.m. Springfield (5-6, 0-4 NEWMAC) visits Westfield State next Monday for a non-conference 3:30 p.m. contest.