AUBURNDALE, Fla. - The Wheaton College baseball team took on the nations 15th best program on Thursday afternoon, falling to Washington (Mo.) 19-9 in the RussMatts Invitational.
The loss drops the Lyons to 5-2 on the season, while the Bears improve to 13-7 overall.
Washington (Mo.) scored first with a single running coming in in the top of the first. The Lyons turned a leadoff single into the tying run on a sacrifice fly by first baseman Tyler Walsh in the bottom half of the inning.
The Bears put together a string of four hits in the second inning, which resulted in five runs, extending their lead to 6-1.
Wheaton earned one run back in their half of the inning with Mike Beneduce coming around to score on a Jimmy Smith RBI groundout. The Lyons had a chance to push more runs across the plate, but left the bases loaded as the inning came to an end.
The Bears added two more runs to their lead in the fourth. Wheaton responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning to make it an 8-4 game. An error by the WashU pitcher allowed the first Wheaton run to come home, which was followed up by an RBI single up the middle by Justin Silvestro.
The visitors answered in the next inning with three unearned runs to extend their lead to 11-4.
The Lyons used back-to-back doubles and a sacrifice fly in the sixth to trim the deficit to 11-7. Sophomore Joshua LaJoie hit the first double of the inning, sending Ryan McKeon home. Silvestro followed that up with an RBI double to left field scoring Matthew Cook. Walsh then came to the plate and picked up an RBI with a sac fly to left, scoring LaJoie.
The Bears tacked on four more runs in the seventh with two runs coming into score after a two-run homerun.
Wheaton got two runs back in the bottom half of the inning after Josh Trybuch hit the ball to the second baseman, who flipped to the shortstop at second in an attempt to get Cook on his way to the bag. After recording the out at second, the shortstop sailed the ball over the first baseman's head, allowing McKeon and Joseph Santigate to score.
Despite Wheaton earning two runs back, the Bears scored four runs in the ninth to make it a 10-run game.
Wheaton returns to action on Friday, March 18 at 4:15 p.m. against Ramapo in game eight of the invitational.