Furdon dominant, LaJoie walks in game-winning run
NORTON, Mass. – First-year reliever Brady Furdon (Natick, Mass./Natick) did not allow a hit over six scoreless innings out of the bullpen to aid the Wheaton College baseball team to a 9-5 comeback victory over Babson College on Thursday evening in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) matchup at Sidell Stadium.
Furdon needed just 65 pitches (43 strikes) to work his way through the final six innings of the contest to claim his first collegiate victory (1-2). Furdon induced ten ground outs, including a 5-4-3 double play to end the game, four fly outs and three strikeouts alongside one walk and one hit-by-pitch.
Wheaton starter Kyle Kasprzyk (East Falmouth, Mass./Falmouth) was handed the no-decision on two innings pitched, six hits, four runs (three earned) and one walk.
Babson senior starter Connor Allen (Madison, N.J./Madison) shouldered the loss on five innings of work, seven hits, six runs (five earned), one free pass and two punchouts.
Trailing 5-2 in the bottom of the fifth, the Lyons struck for three runs to even the score at 5-5. Junior center fielder Jimmy Smith (Worcester, Mass./Saint John's) reached on a fielder's choice with one out and eventually advanced to third base on back-to-back wild pitches before classmate Matt Lavanchy (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) roped an RBI single to right field to cut into the deficit at 5-3.
Sophomore shortstop Joshua LaJoie (Somers, Conn./Avon Old Farms) followed with a single to center field and junior third baseman Justin Silvestro (Waltham, Mass./BC High) ripped a run-producing single down the right field line to make it 5-4.
With runners at first and third and one out, senior first baseman Apolinar De La Cruz (Providence, R.I./Classical) tied the game with a ground out to first base, which plated LaJoie from the backdoor. Babson sophomore first baseman Jack Halpin (Glastonbury, Conn./Glastonbury) robbed a potential base hit from De La Cruz by knocking down a hard-hit grounder, picking up the loose ball and tagging the base with his glove to keep De La Cruz off first.
Allen got out of the jam with a ground out to second base stranding the go-ahead run in Silvestro who was stationed at second.
In the sixth, LaJoie worked a two-out bases loaded walk to post a 6-5 margin on the scoreboard, while Silvestro drilled a two-run double down the right field line to bump the score to 8-5. The Lyons also added an insurance in the seventh on a sacrifice fly to right field by Smith.
Babson first-year designated hitter Brett Ender (Skillman, N.J./The Hun School) gave the visitors a 2-0 lead in the top of the first with a two-run single up the middle and sophomore right fielder Jake Weiss (Irvine, Calif./Northwood) doubled the Beavers' advantage in the second with a towering two-run shot over the left field fence. Babson also tacked on another run in the third on an RBI single by senior second baseman Rob Caggiano (Medford, Mass./Belmont Hill) to move its gap up to 5-1 at the time.
In the fourth, the Beavers threatened again with runners on first and second and no outs, but Furdon entered the ball game and shut down the visitors' offense for the remainder of the matchup.
Furdon retired six in a row from the conclusion of the fourth inning until the sixth and also put together a string of eight consecutive outs towards the tail end of the game.
Allen actually settled in nicely after giving up two runs in the second retiring seven in a row before the three-run sixth inning.
Wheaton (10-5, 4-1 NEWMAC) travels to Babson (8-6, 4-2 NEWMAC) on Saturday for a NEWMAC doubleheader with game one scheduled for 12 p.m. The Beavers will host Plymouth State University tomorrow at 3;30 p.m. prior to playing Wheaton on Saturday.