Seventh Inning Surge Pushes Baseball Past St. Joseph's in Season Opener

AUBURNDALE, Fla. - The Wheaton College baseball team opened the 2016 campaign with a 5-4 come-from-behind victory over Saint Joseph's (Me.) on Friday afternoon in the Lyons opening game of the RussMatt Invitational. 

Wheaton is now 1-0, while the Monks fall to 4-3 on the season. 

Sophomore righty Brady Furdon earned the win for the Lyons after pitching six complete innings, striking out four. Michael Baryski, Jared Clement, and Eric Dumas all came on to pitch one inning of relief, with Dumas picking up the save.

Saint Joseph senior right-hander, Corey McNamara took the loss on 2 2/3 innings pitched.

The Monks picked up two runs in the first inning as Nic Lops singled to left center, driving in Taylor Black who reached base earlier in the inning after being hit by a pitch.  A single through the left side by Jameson Collins knocked in St. Joe's next run.

Anthony DiPrizio extended his teams lead to 3-0 in the bottom half of the next inning with a single up the middle that brought in Dennis Meehan.

The Lyons sat the Monks down in order in the third inning, before escaping the fourth after giving up just one hit.

Wheaton was not so lucky in the fifth inning, as Saint Joseph's picked up another run on two hits.

Heading into the seventh inning with just three hits and trailing 4-0, the Lyons found a way to get their bats going. First-year Tyler Walsh kicked it all off with an inning starting solo homerun to left field. Back-to-back walks setup a well-placed sacrifice bunt by first-year Willy Boyd. The bunt to the Monk pitcher, moved both Ty Calabro and Joseph Santigate into scoring position. Both players came home just moments later as sophomore Joshua LaJoie doubled down the left line. 

Now down one run with one out, an error by the Monk second baseman allowed Matt Lavanchy to reach first and created enough space for LaJoie to score. Lavanchy went onto steal second, before being knocked in by a single to right center by Justin Silvestro. McNamara managed to get the Monks out of the inning with the next two batters, but the damage had been done.

Wheaton's pitching was solid throughout the remaining three innings, allowing Saint Joseph's to muster up just three more hits.

The Lyons return to the field on Saturday, March 12 at 9 a.m. for a contest against Rhodes. 

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