Wheaton Bests #9 Concordia (Ill.), 5-2, In Season Opener

Wheaton Bests #9 Concordia (Ill.), 5-2, In Season Opener

Lyons improve to 12-6 in season opening contests

AUBURNDALE, Mass.  – The Wheaton College baseball team opened up its 2015 season on Friday evening at Etherton Field with a 5-2 victory over No. 9 nationally ranked Concordia University (Ill.).

Junior right-hander Jared Clement (Wrentham, Mass./Saint Sebastian's) earned the win for the Lyons throwing 5 2/3 innings, while yielding two hits, two runs (both unearned) and a pair of walks to go with four strikeouts. Senior Mike Bisceglia (New Boston, N.H./Goffstown) picked up his first career save over two scoreless innings of work, one hit and a punchout. Junior Jordan Jenkins (Scituate, Mass./Norwell) also registered a clean seventh inning alongside one strikeout to highlight the rest of the bullpen on the evening.

Concordia junior righty Eric Palmer (Melrose Park, Ill./West Leyden) took the loss on four innings pitched, three runs (all earned), three hits, four walks and three strikeouts.

Matt Lavanchy (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) helped put the Blue and White on the board in the first half inning of play as the junior right fielder eventually came around to score from third base on a passed ball after reaching base via a hit-by-pitch to leadoff the frame.

Lavanchy, who went 0-for-1 in the matchup, reached base in all six of his plate appearances, which included four consecutive walks in his last four trips to the plate. As a team, Wheaton drew 13 walks and also had four hit batsmen reach as well in the win.

Sophomore shortstop Joshua LaJoie (Somers, Conn./Avon Old Farms) bumped Lavanchy to third on a single to right field before scoring on the passed ball. Despite an ensuing walk to junior third baseman Justin Silvestro (Waltham, Mass./B.C. High) to put runners at first and second with one out, Palmer got out of the early jam with a strikeout, line out to third and a ground out to second.

The Lyons tacked on two more runs in the fourth as sophomore left fielder Zachary Goodwin-Boyd (Florence, Mass./Northampton) and senior second baseman Justin Peluso (North Reading, Mass./Saint John's Prep) both scored runs with two outs in the inning after notching back-to-back singles to get the offense going to begin the frame.

With two outs and the bases loaded, LaJoie was a hit by a pitch to push across Goodwin-Boyd and Silvestro worked a walk to bring home Peluso to make it 3-0.

Wheaton then pushed its advantage to 4-0 in the fifth on an RBI single to left field from senior Zach Bombard (Belchertown, Mass./Cathedral).

The Cougars countered with two runs in the bottom of the sixth on a fielding error with the bases loaded and two outs in the frame. Junior left-hander Michael Baryski (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) eventually got out of the jam with a fly out to center field to strand runners at second and third.

In the bottom of the seventh, Jenkins kept another potential run off the scoreboard with a strikeout, fly out to right field and a line out to third base on 12 pitches (nine for strikes).

Wheaton added its fifth run on a throwing error in the eighth. Senior first baseman Apolinar De La Cruz (Providence, R.I./Classical) smacked a double to deep center field and advanced to third base on an infield single by classmate Tyler Contillo (Uncasville, Conn./Montville) before coming home on an errant throw by Concordia's third baseman.

In the following half inning, Bisceglia shutdown a likely rally for the Cougars as the senior left-hander entered the game with the bases loaded and no outs. Bisceglia struck out the first batter he faced, looking, before inducing two fly outs to squash the big inning on nine pitches (six strikes). Bisceglia went on to finish the ninth on two ground outs and a line out to wrap up the victory (17 strikes, 26 pitches).

Wheaton (1-0) plays a doubleheader tomorrow against St. Joseph's (Me.) in Auburndale, Fla. with game one scheduled for 1 p.m. Concordia (3-3) takes on Suffolk University at 3 p.m. in Winter Haven, Fla.

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