De La Cruz, Peluso both homer in the victory
AUBURNDALE, Fla. – The Wheaton College baseball team defeated its second nationally ranked opponent this week as the Lyons came away with a 7-1 victory over No. 18 Webster University on Sunday evening at the Lake Myrtle Sports Park.
Sophomore right-hander Kyle Kasprzyk (East Falmouth, Mass./Falmouth) earned his first career victory in his first career start for the Blue and White on six innings pitched, seven hits, one run (earned), no walks and a game-high four strikeouts. Classmate Jack Fant (McLean, Va./McLean), junior Jordan Jenkins (Scituate, Mass./Norwell) and senior Mike Bisceglia (New Boston, N.H./Goffstown) shut down the Gorloks over the remaining three innings yielding just three hits and no walks over that span.
Fant pitched 1 1/3 innings, while Jenkins recorded two outs and Bisceglia wrapped up the ninth.
Webster first-year left-handed starter Josh Fleming (Columbia, Ill./Columbia) was issued the loss on four innings of work, nine hits, five runs (all earned), two walks and four strikeouts. Sophomore Matt Goro (Wildwood, Mo./Lafayette) was effective out of the pen tossing a scoreless inning for the Gorloks.
Wheaton jumped out to a quick 5-0 advantage as the Lyons scored two runs in the first and solo runs in the second, third and fourth innings.
In the first, senior Tyler Contillo (Uncasville, Conn./Montville) plated two runs with a double to right center scoring classmates Zach Bombard (Belchertown, Mass./Cathedral) and Apolinar De La Cruz (Providence, R.I./Classical).
In the next inning, senior second baseman Justin Peluso (North Reading, Mass./Saint John's Prep) belted his first career home run to left center and De La Cruz followed with a blast of his own (eighth career) to right field in the third to put the Lyons up 4-0.
Sophomore catcher Joseph Santigate (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Joseph by the Sea) capped the scoring in the fourth with a run-producing single to center that plated junior center fielder Jimmy Smith (Worcester, Mass./Saint John's) who doubled down the left field line with one out earlier in the frame.
Defensively, sophomore shortstop Joshua LaJoie (Somers, Conn./Avon Old Farms) and Smith kept Webster off the scoreboard with their glove and arm, repsectively, to keep the shutout intact throughout the first three innings of play.
In the top of the first inning, Smith threw a bullet from center field to gun down a potential go-ahead run at the plate. Later in the third inning with a runner on second and two outs, LaJoie made an outstretched dive to his right on a sharp ground ball off the bat of Gorloks' sophomore Alec Bahnick (Owensboro, K.Y./Owensboro Catholic) that looked destined to roll into left field holding Webster's hitter to an infield single while also preventing Connor Hogan (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln Way West) from scoring from second base.
In the next at-bat, LaJoie corralled a grounder up the middle and promptly made a quick throw to second base for the final out of the frame as he forced out Bahnick on a bang-bang play at the bag.
LaJoie also helped Wheaton tack on another run in the sixth with an RBI double down the right field line to score Santigate, who hustled home all the way from first base.
Senior third baseman Jeff Kammer (Chesterfield, Mo./Lafayette) broke up the shutout for Webster in the seventh with a solo shot to left center field, his second of the season.
Wheaton (2-2) enjoys a day off tomorrow before returning to action against Bowdoin on March 10 in Auburndale, Fla. at 9:30 a.m. Webster (1-4) takes on Marietta College tomorrow in Port Charlotte, Fla. at 3 p.m.