De La Cruz hits team leading third home run of the season
NORTON, Mass. – The Wheaton College baseball team fell to MIT, 12-4, in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Friday afternoon at Sidell Stadium.
Wheaton junior Kyle Kasprzyk (East Falmouth, Mass./Falmouth) shouldered the loss (4-1) as he threw three innings allowing nine hits and five runs (all earned). Senior outfielder Zach Bombard (Belchertown, Mass./Cathedral) scored a run, stole a base and knocked in two RBI's on a 2-for-4 day at the plate. Classmate Apolinar De La Cruz (Providence, R.I./Classical) cranked his team-leading third home run of the spring, which accounted for the rest of the Lyons' offense.
Engineers' junior pitcher Alan Wang (Paoli, Pa./Conestoga) allowed four runs (all earned), seven hits, three walks and struck out three batters through seven innings to claim his fourth win of the season (4-1). Classmate Michael Wymer (Flower Mound, Texas/Flower Mound) sealed the win for MIT with two clean innings out of the pen.
Senior Hayden Cornwell (Newport Beach, Calif./Jserra Catholic) drove in a season-high six runs and hit his third home run of the season to pace Engineers offensively, while first-year Austin Filiere (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton) roped his NEWMAC leading eighth homer of the spring that drove in three runs in the eighth.
Cornwell opened the scoring for MIT with a single up the middle that plated sophomore John Drago (Peoria, Ariz./Sunrise Mountain) in the top of the first inning for a quick 1-0 advantage.
Wheaton answered MIT's tally with a four-spot in the bottom of the second.
De La Cruz sent his third home run of the season, a solo shot, over the fence in right center field, while Bombard singled through the right side of the infield to drive in senior Justin Peluso (North Reading, Mass./Saint John's Prep) and junior Matt Lavanchy (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) for a 3-1 advantage.
Bombard stole second which allowed junior Jimmy Smith (Worcester, Mass./Saint John's) to cross the plate on the throw down to second base for the Blue and White's fourth run of the inning.
Cornwell came up for his second at-bat of the afternoon and proceeded to belt a three-run home run to the deepest part of the park, which evened the score at 4-4 through 2 1/2 innings. MIT then retook the lead, 5-4, on an infield ground out with runners on second and third after a sacrifice bunt allowed both runners to move into scoring position.
MIT went on to score two runs in the sixth, three runs in the eighth - highlighted by Filiere's home run down the right field line - and two in the ninth. Wymer came on to pitch a 1-2-3 top of the eighth, but allowed runners to reach in the final frame.
Sophomore Joseph Santigate (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Joseph By the Sea) reached on a throwing error by the catcher after a dropped third strike, Peluso singled down the right field line and Smith beat out the throw at first after bunting down the third base line to loaded the bases. Bombard proceeded to hit into a 6-4-3 double play that ended the game and sealed the win for the visiting Engineers.
Wheaton (19-8, 12-3 NEWMAC) and MIT (15-8, 11-3 NEWMAC) will face-off tomorrow afternoon in a doubleheader that will wrap up the three game home-and-home series between the top two teams in the NEWMAC's East Division. Game one is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m., while first pitch of the second game is posted for a 2:30 start time.