LaJoie goes 5-for-6 in the loss
WORCESTER, Mass. – The Wheaton College baseball team had its 17-game winning streak against Clark University snapped on Wednesday evening as the Lyons fell to the Cougars, 11-8, in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) matchup at Granger Field.
Clark sophomore left-handed reliever Joseph Gouveia (Nashua, N.H./Nashua South) picked up his second victory of the season over three innings of work alongside five hits, one run (earned) and two walks. Junior starter Jack Kenney (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy) was dealt a no-decision on four innings pitched, ten hits, four runs (all earned), one free pass and four punchouts.
Wheaton starter Jack Fant (McLean, Va./McLean) shouldered the loss on four innings pitched, four hits, five runs (three earned), two walks and two strikeouts. First-year Cody Kozin (Storrs, Conn./E.O. Smith) was effective in relief yielding two hits in two shutout innings.
In the top of the second inning, the Lyons jumped out to a 2-0 lead as sophomore catcher Joseph Santigate (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Joseph by the Sea) launched his first career home run.
Clark evened the score with two runs in the bottom half of the frame. Zach Richall (Tyngsboro, Mass./Tyngsboro) doubled home Dennis Glynn (Jamaica Plain, Mass./The Dexter School), while Kyle Bonicki (Waterbury, Conn./Chase Collegiate) knocked in Tyler Hutchinson (Greene, Maine/Leavitt Area) on a run-scoring groundout.
The Lyons responded with two runs in the fourth on back-to-back RBI singles by Joshua LaJoie (Somers, Conn./Avon Old Farms) and Justin Silvestro (Waltham, Mass./BC High), which also chased Kenney out of the game.
Down 4-2 entering the fifth, the Cougars struck for eight runs on eight hits including two from Hutchinson. The eight-run frame was highlighted by a two-run double from Bonicki and a two-run triple by Hutchinson, while both Michael Eglow (Delmar, N.Y./The Albanay Academies) and Matt Asdornvuttikrai (Winchester, Mass./Winchester) each had sacrifice flies.
Glynn was in the middle of all the action as well, scoring the first run of the inning on an error after a leadoff single and then he drove in another run with a two-out double.
Trailing 10-4, Wheaton got one run back in the sixth off of Gouveia, but the damage could've been much worse. LaJoie led off with a single and then went to third on a Silvestro double. After an RBI groundout from Apolinar De La Cruz (Providence, R.I./Classical), Mike Beneduce (North Kingstown, R.I./Moses Brown School) hit a grounder to the left side of the infield that Richall snared and promptly fired home in time to cut down Silvestro who was trying to score from third.
A single by Thomas Landry (Hingham, Mass./BC High) put runners on first and second with two outs, but Gouveia was able to get Justin Peluso (North Reading, Mass./Saint John's Prep) to fly out to end the inning.
The Lyons threatened again in the seventh when they loaded the bases with two outs, but again Gouveia was able to work out of trouble, getting De La Cruz to fly out to center.
Clark tacked on another run in the seventh when Eglow blasted his first career home run deep to left field to lead off the inning.
Wheaton returned the favor in the top of the eighth when Beneduce greeted Cougar reliever Kai Glick (New York, N.Y./The Beacon School) with a towering shot to left center field for his first career home run to make the score 11-6. Landry followed that up with a double and eventually came around to score on a Peluso sacrifice fly.
In the ninth, the Lyons brought the go ahead run to the plate against reliever Brett O'Keefe (Brighton, Mass./Trinity Catholic) after he yielded three-straight singles to open the frame, loading the bases. O'Keefe worked his way out of it, however, giving up an RBI groundout to De La Cruz before striking out Beneduce and getting Landry to pop out to short to end the game.
Wheaton compiled a season-high 20 hits in the loss highlighted by LaJoie's 5-for-6 effort out of the two-hole in the lineup. Silvestro also went 4-for-5 from the three-spot, while Beneduce was 3-for-6.
Wheaton (9-5, 3-1 NEWMAC) hosts Babson College tomorrow for a NEWMAC contest at Sidell Stadium. Clark (4-7, 1-1 NEWMAC) takes on WPI in a conference doubleheader on Friday, March 3 at 3:30 p.m. in Northboro, Mass. The Scarlet and White's last win over the Lyons came on April 13, 2008 – a 14-10 win in the nightcap of a doubleheader.