Wheaton Tops Western New England, 5-1

Wheaton Tops Western New England, 5-1

Southerland strikes out seven over six innings

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – First-year starting pitcher Dan Southerland (Dartmouth, Mass./Dartmouth) struck out a career-high seven batters over six innings, and the Wheaton College baseball team defeated Western New England University, 5-1, on Thursday evening at Trelease Memorial Baseball Park.

Southerland gave up one run (unearned) on three hits and two walks to push his record to 3-1 on the season. Classmate Jimmy Gowen (Brielle, N.J./St. Rose) pitched a scoreless seventh, while junior Eric Dumas (Brookline, Mass./Brookline) blanked the Golden Bears in the eighth to set up senior Mike Bisceglia (New Boston, N.H./Goffstown) for a non-save situation in the ninth. Bisceglia wrapped up the victory with two strikeouts (one looking), no hits and one walk.

Junior Chris Casey (Milford, Mass./Milford) received the loss on five innings pitched, two runs (both earned), three hits, two free passes and one punchout.

Western New England took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning as junior Connor Hayes (Bristol, Conn./Bristol Eastern) ripped an RBI triple to right center that plated classmate Scott Hubener (Mendon, Mass./Nipmuc Regional) from second base. Hubener reached on an error to lead off the frame and stole second before scoring.

In the fourth, senior Apolinar De La Cruz (Providence, R.I./Classical) launched a two-run home run down the right field line, his second of the season, to push Wheaton ahead, 2-1.

The Lyons added three more runs in the eighth inning to jump out to a 5-1 advantage. Junior Matt Lavanchy (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) notched a two-run single to right field, which drove in classmate Justin Silvestro (Waltham, Mass./BC High) and De La Cruz, and senior Justin Peluso (North Reading, Mass./Saint John's Prep) connected on a run-producing single to right field as well to cap the scoring.

Silvestro got the offense going with a leadoff infield single before he advanced to second base on a wild pitch. De La Cruz worked a walk and both runners eventually advanced one base, respectively, as junior Jimmy Smith (Worcester, Mass./Saint John's) grounded out to the first baseman (3-1).

Lavanchy followed with his two-run single and promptly stole second base before scoring the game's final run on Peluso's base hit.

Western New England threatened with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth, but Southerland fanned junior Matt Calzone (Middlebury, Conn./Pomperaug) to avoid a big inning by the Golden Bears.

Gowen retired the side in order in the seventh, while Dumas allowed a leadoff single in the eighth before rolling over a 4-6-3 double play and whiffing the next batter he faced to keep Western New England at bay.

In the ninth, the Golden Bears had runners at the corners with one out but Bisceglia recorded back-to-back strikeouts for the win.

Wheaton (19-7) hosts MIT tomorrow in a conference matchup with first pitch scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Western New England (11-13) travels to Curry College for a conference doubleheader on Saturday at 12 p.m.

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