Smith preserves go-ahead run, Silvestro knocks in game-winner
NORTON, Mass. – The Wheaton College baseball team remained undefeated in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play on Tuesday evening at Sidell Stadium with a dramatic, 5-4, walk-off victory over Clark University.
In the top of the ninth inning, Lyons' junior outfielder Jimmy Smith (Worcester, Mass./Saint John's) quelled Clark's first and third, one-out scoring chance by catching a sinking line drive in center field before promptly throwing out first-year Teddy Downing (Cambridge, Mass./Ringde & Latin) at the plate by three strides to send Wheaton into its own dugout with an opportunity to walk-off with a win.
Junior right fielder Matt Lavanchy (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) got the offense going in the bottom of the night with a hard-hit single to center field before sophomore Joshua LaJoie (Somers, Conn./Avon Old Farms) reached base via a fielding error. Junior third baseman Justin Silvestro (Waltham, Mass./BC High) followed with a line drive single to right center field to plate Lavanchy from second base for the walk-off victory.
In 83 games played so far during his career, Smith has compiled six outfield assists with five of them coming at home plate.
Wheaton senior closer Mike Bisceglia (New Boston, N.H./Goffstown) earned the win on 1 1/3 innings pitched, two hits and two strikeouts. Junior Jared Clement (Wrentham, Mass./Saint Sebastian's) was dealt the no-decision through five innings pitched alongside seven hits, three runs (all earned), no walks, and three punchouts. Both Michael Baryski (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) and Jimmy Gowen (Brielle, N.J./St. Rose) were effective out of the pen combining for 2 1/3 scoreless innings.
Clark senior Luke Crocker (Strafford, Vt./Landmark School) shouldered the loss on one inning pitched, two hits, one run (earned) and no walks to go with two strikeouts. First-year starter Conor Walsh (Marstons Mills, Mass./Barnstable) received the no-decision on 5 1/3 innings, six hits, four runs (all earned), three walks and one strikeout. Senior Patrick Robinson (Watertown, Conn./The Taft School) tossed 1 2/3 shutout innings for the Cougars in between Walsh and Crocker's respective appearances.
Wheaton led, 4-2, after the first three innings of the contest as senior Tyler Contillo (Uncasville, Conn./Montville) drove in two runs with double to center in the first and Zachary Goodwin-Boyd (Florence, Mass./Northampton) brought home another run in the third with an infield single. On the same play in the third, senior Apolinar De La Cruz (Providence, R.I./Classical) also scored on the backend of Goodwin-Boyd's single via a fielding error.
Clark mounted a comeback over the next five innings thanks in large part to junior left fielder James Conway (Newburyport, Mass./Newburyport) who knocked home both runs for the visitors.
In the fourth, Conway ripped a run-producing double down the left field line that scored classmate Michael Eglow (Delmar, N.Y./The Albany Academies) easily from second base. Eglow led off the frame with a single through the left side and followed by stealing second before scoring.
Conway drove in the game-tying run off of Bisceglia in the eighth with a single to right field, which plated senior Daniel Lima (Manchester, Conn./Howell Cheney Technical) from second with two outs. Lima pinch ran for senior Matt Asdornvuttikrai (Winchester, Mass./Winchester) who ripped a one-out single to center field earlier in the frame. Lima then advanced to second base on a single up the middle by Eglow prior to tying up the matchup.
Bisceglia squandered the potential of a bigger inning for Clark with a strikeout in the next at-bat to push the game to the bottom of the eighth. Crocker worked a 1-2-3 frame, which was highlighted by back-to-back strikeouts looking, before Wheaton claimed the walk-off victory.
Wheaton (9-4, 3-0 NEWMAC) is scheduled to play Clark University (3-7, 0-1 NEWMAC) on the road at 3:30 p.m. to wrap up the home-and-home series between both squads.