NEWMAC CHAMPIONSHIP: Wheaton, MIT Split Series Opener

NEWMAC CHAMPIONSHIP: Wheaton, MIT Split Series Opener

Lyons, Engineers to play for NEWMAC Championship on Sunday at 1 PM

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Third-seeded Wheaton College and first-seeded MIT will play for the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) baseball championship tomorrow after the two teams split the first two games of the best of three championship series this afternoon. MIT won the first game, 10-7, before Wheaton came back to take the nightcap, 7-5.

MIT 10, Wheaton 7 (Game 1)

Engineers' senior reliever K.J. Parent (Knoxville, Tenn./Web School) claimed the win (4-0) on 2 2/3 innings pitched, five hits, three runs (all earned), no walks and one strikeout. Junior closer Michael Wymer (Flower Mound, Texas/Flower Mound) shut the door on his fourth save of the season with a walk and one strikeout in the ninth.

Wheaton sophomore starter Michael Bruemmel (Bridgewater, Mass./Bridgewater-Raynham) shouldered the loss (3-3) on 4 2/3 innings pitched, eight hits, eight runs (all earned), three walks and a game-high five punchouts. Classmate Kyle Kasprzyk (East Falmouth, Mass./Falmouth) was effective out of the pen tossing 3 1/3 innings of shutout baseball. Kasprzyk did not allow a hit or a walk and also struck out one batter in his relief appearance.

MIT (23-11) jumped out early in the first game with three runs in the first inning and never trailed again. The Engineers put two on with a single and a walk for junior Nate Rodman (Corvallis, Ore./Corvallis), who delivered a two-out, two-run double to right. He then came around to score on a base hit by senior Reid Bishop (Cypress, Texas/Houston Christian) to make it 3-0.

Wheaton (25-14) got on the board in the third when senior Tyler Contillo (Uncasville, Conn./Montville) doubled home sophomore Joshua LaJoie (Somers, Conn./Avon Old Farms). The Lyons then made it a one-run game in the fourth, getting a two-out run when junior Jimmy Smith (Worcester, Mass./Saint John's) singled, stole second, and then scored on a base hit by junior Matt Lavanchy (Walpole, Mass./Walpole).

MIT responded with two runs in the fourth on a two-run home run by first-year Austin Filiere (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton) that made it 5-2.

Wheaton crept back within a pair in the top of the fifth when LaJoie led off with a double and came around to score on a single by senior Apolinar De La Cruz (Providence, R.I./Classical).

The Engineers answered again in the bottom half of the inning, scoring five times with two outs.

After getting RBI singles from first-year Garrett Greenwood (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) and sophomore John Drago (Peoria, Ariz./Sunrise Mountain), MIT loaded the bases for senior Parker Tew (Chapel Hill, N.C./East Chapel Hill) who delivered two runs with a single up the middle. Classmate Hayden Cornwell (Newport Beach, Calif./Jserra Catholic) completed the big inning with an RBI hit to left, putting the Engineers up 10-3.

Wheaton made it interesting down the stretch, scoring three times in the seventh when De La Cruz followed a leadoff double with an RBI base hit before Contillo smacked a two-run home run over the fence in right center. The Lyons added another in the eighth when LaJoie went deep to left, to make it 10-7.

Wymer came on in the ninth from the MIT bullpen and shut things down, allowing just a one-out walk to seal the win.

Wheaton 7, MIT 5 (Game 2)

Wheaton first-year starter Brady Furdon (Natick, Mass./Natick) registered his fifth victory of the season on 5 2/3 innings pitched, six hits, two runs (both earned), four walks and five strikeouts. Senior Mike Bisceglia (New Boston, N.H./Goffstown) picked up the save (8) on 2 1/3 innings, three hits, two runs (two earned), no walks and four strikeouts.

MIT sophomore starter David Hesslink (San Diego, Calif./West Hills) took the loss (4-4) on 6 1/3 innings, six hits, six runs (four earned), two walks and three strikeouts.

It was a pitcher's duel from the start in the second game. Hesslink gave up just one hit over the first five innings, while Furdon was just as strong, allowing three hits over the first four innings.

 MIT finally got to Furdon in the fifth when a hit batter, a single and a wild pitch put runners on second and third with one away. Tew put the first two runs of the game on the board, singling to center to put the Engineers on top.

Wheaton came right back in the sixth, starting the inning with a double and a walk. Junior Justin Silvestro (Waltham, Mass./BC High) tied the game with a triple to the gap in right center and De La Cruz then put the Lyons on top with a ground out to first.

MIT went on to commit a pair of miscues in the field that helped Wheaton score twice more, with junior Mike Beneduce (North Kingstown, R.I./Moses Brown School) tripling in one of the runs.

Wheaton scored single runs in the seventh and eighth, getting a De La Cruz sac fly in the seventh and an RBI single by Lavanchy in the eighth. MIT answered each time, getting an RBI single in the seventh from Rodman and a two-run double by Filiere in the eighth that made it a 7-5 game.

Bisceglia, who gave up the two eighth inning runs, shut the door on the Engineers in the ninth, retiring the side in order to set up Sunday's showdown.  

The two teams will play the deciding third game tomorrow at Briggs Field starting at 1:00 p.m.

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