Lyons to play Amherst on Thursday before NEWMAC Championship series begins on May 2
MANSFIELD, Conn. – The Wheaton College baseball team dropped a 4-2 non-conference decision to Eastern Connecticut State University (ECSU), 4-2, on the road at Eastern Stadium on Tuesday evening.
ECSU first-year left-hander Jacob Smith (East Longmeadow, Mass./East Longmeadow) struck out a career-high ten batters in his first collegiate start to help the Warriors claim the win. Smith scattered six hits, allowed two runs (one earned), and walked four batters in the outing.
Wheaton first-year Dan Southerland (Dartmouth, Mass./Dartmouth) took the loss (3-2) on four innings pitched, five hits, three runs (two earned), one walk and four strikeouts. The Lyons used four more relievers down the stretch with three combining for 2 1/3 scoreless innings. First-year Chris Fowler (Centerville, Mass./Barnstable) blanked the hosts in the fifth, while junior Eric Dumas (Brookline, Mass./Brookline) set down ECSU in order in the eighth to highlight the bullpen's efforts.
The Warriors struck for two runs in the second inning as sophomore Christian Budzik (Cromwell, Conn./Cromwell) laced a two-run single to drive in senior Corey Keane (Tolland, Conn./Tolland) and first-year D.J. Scavone (Auburn, Mass./Auburn).
Wheaton got a run back in the third when junior Jimmy Smith (Worcester, Mass./Saint John's) scored on a passed ball after senior Apolinar De La Cruz (Providence, R.I./Classical) was issued ball four at the plate. Ja. Smith proceeded to get out of the two-out, first and second jam with a strikeout swinging.
Junior Chad Adams (Ware, Mass./Williston Northampton) replenished ECSU's previous two-run advantage with an RBI single to center field in the bottom half of the third.
Both teams were held scoreless until the top of the sixth when senior Justin Peluso (North Reading, Mass./Saint John's Prep) drove in De La Cruz with a sacrifice fly to right field to make it 3-2.
Junior Andrew Scully (Stratford, Conn./Frank Bunnell) added the all-important insurance run in the seventh for the Warriors with a hard-hit RBI single to left field that scored Budzik from second base. Despite a throwing error that put two runners in scoring position in the next at-bat, junior Jared Clement (Wrentham, Mass./Saint Sebastian's) rolled over a ground ball to short to keep it a two-run contest.
In the top of the eighth, Wheaton threatened after senior Tyler Contillo (Uncasville, Conn./Montville) roped a pinch-hit one-out double to right field, but Ja. Smith used back-to-back ground outs to get out of the inning unscathed.
The Lyons also put the tying run on base in the ninth as sophomore Thomas Landry (Hingham, Mass./BC High) notched a two-out single to left field, but, once again, Ja. Smith pitched another scoreless frame using a strikeout to lock up the victory.
Wheaton (24-12) will host Amherst College on Thursday, April 30 at 4 p.m. ECSU (16-15) travels to Trinity tomorrow for a conference matchup at 3:30 p.m.
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